Supporting Bodily Autonomy for Safe and Healthy Families in Massachusetts

August 5th, 2021 | News


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has been working over the past 30 years to decrease sexual and reproductive health (SRH) inequities; decrease incidence of sexually transmitted conditions in priority populations; and increase the sustainability of the SRH service delivery network in Massachusetts. Recently, JSI has taken on a new project to support  MDPH’s long-term goal of preventing unintended pregnancies and planning and raising families in safe, healthy communities through accessing clinical care and community resources that support bodily autonomy.

We will support clinicians, administrators, support staff, and other health care professionals employed by Sexual and Reproductive Health Program-funded agencies with training, information, and other resources to help them manage their clients’ increasingly complex health, medical, and social determinants of health. 

JSI and the MDPH have similar goals for this work, including: 

  1. Improving racial equality.
  2. Mitigating effects of structural and institutional racism. 
  3. Implementing racial equity into all aspects of SRH practice, including implementation of a reproductive justice framework into service provision.
  4. Preventing reproductive coercion from partners and providers. 

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to build our mission through a meaningful focus on health inequities, systemic oppression, racial justice, and inclusive approaches to systems change. Through our collaboration with the MDPH, this training program will address the inequities in access to SRH care faced by Black and Indigenous people of color, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities,” said Amy Black, the JSI project director.

JSI will apply distance-based learning blended with tailored, in-person support. The first step will be to assess provider needs to identify training content areas (e.g., structural and institutional racism, reproductive social justice). The next steps will be to develop technical assistance and training plans that respond to the needs of each SRH provider. 

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