LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
I’ve been at the helm of Planned Parenthood affiliates for nearly 20 years. When the first COVID-19 diagnosis was publicly confirmed in February in Santa Clara County – where Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is headquartered – I knew we were heading into something I could never have imagined even just a few weeks earlier.
Staff and patient safety was paramount. Pivoting quickly, we implemented curbside pickup of birth control, on-site COVID-19 testing, and rapid expansion of telehealth. We shifted the way we worked, while continuing to provide trusted, non-judgmental health care and sex education.
We expanded the diversity, equity, and inclusivity programs at PPMM. We are standing with Black, Indigenous, and people of color in our ongoing commitment to addressing and correcting health inequities, bias, structural racism so that we can continue to improve our delivery of health care and education.
It has been critically important, now more than ever, that people in our communities were able to receive the care they needed, when they needed it, regardless of their income, age, beliefs, gender identities, sexuality, or immigration status.
In this together,
President & CEO
A new strategic plan
Last year was a period of significant strategic growth and development at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte as we engaged stakeholders at all levels – health center staff, administrative staff, board members, and community partners – to help chart the path forward.
We emerged from this process with a roadmap to help us continue to lead the way as a service provider, an employer, and an indispensable member of your community.
We are committed to continuing outstanding health care for all who need it.
We are strengthening our infrastructure in order to ensure we have a foundation for success.
We are focusing on our people because without cultivating dedicated staff, we cannot deliver life-changing and life-saving care.
We are increasing services to the areas that need it most, with careful growth.
Emphasis on patient-centered care and eliminating stigma
PPMM has focused on patient-centered care in all aspects of the health services we provide. This means putting the patient at the center of the way we design care, train staff, and plan expansion. It means thinking about how patients experience care, not the old health care model of prioritizing what the provider needs to deliver services.
In 2020, we have enhanced our patient-centered model for abortion care as well as a primary care, and we come to patients where they are when it is convenient for them, via telehealth. We also prepared for the launch of our Gender Affirming Care program as a core service, a reflection of our commitment to eliminating stigmatization of care.
PPMM has a duty as an organization that provides equitable health care to break down and eliminate stigma and take care of patients in their health home.
unique patients in FY2020
live below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (2019 FPL annual income for one person is $12,490)
are insured by Medi-Cal or Medicaid (NV)
live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
are covered by California’s Family PACT program, which provides family planning assistance, including contraceptives, for those living up to 200% of FPL and who don’t have ACA insurance
Gender Affirming Care
PPMM established our innovative Gender Affirming Care program, led by a physician who has deep experience serving the transgender community, to assure that all staff are trained in cultural competence and understand the disparities and discrimination that transgender people face outside of Planned Parenthood.
Gender affirming services are a crucial part of PPMM’s mission to serve all patients in every community. Most health care organizations don’t yet have a program like this and we are so proud to be on the leading edge of providing this care.
For Elliot L., their job as patient navigator for gender affirming care services at our Westside health center in Santa Cruz is not only about providing health care. It’s about health justice – especially in the days of COVID-19, when finding this care that patients need and deserve is more challenging than ever.
“The process of getting prescribed hormones or accessing gender-affirming procedures is often bureaucratic, obscure, unaffordable and sometimes emotionally harmful or even endangering for patients,” Elliot said. “When we get to act in a creative and patient-centered way, it’s a chance to establish a different pattern.
“Our health care is a life-line for people. I want it to be a respectful, empowering experience. People often say the gender affirming care they’ve received at our health center is the best they’ve experienced. Although, of course, there’s room for growth. It’s such a joyful thing!”
Tests for sexually transmitted infections (STI)
Reproductive health care visits*
Breast and cervical cancer screenings
(70% Medication, 30% Surgical)
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) visits
Family medicine visits**
Gender affirming care visits
Behavioral health visits
Patients may receive multiple services per visit
* Wellness, contraception, pregnancy, gender affirming care, STI testing/treatment and cancer-screening visits.
** Pediatric and adult primary care
An early leader in the COVID-19 pandemic local response
By early March, when shelter-in-place protocols first started, PPMM was one of the very first community health care providers to offer COVID-testing at many of our health centers. By the end of March, we launched curbside pick-up of birth control and other prescriptions. All in-person appointments, including on-site abortions, were converted to “minimal touch” to protect patients and staff. We also established three public COVID-testing sites – at the request of local officials in the cities of Tracy, Mountain View, and Monterey – to protect the health of our communities.
The COVID-19 testing that Planned Parenthood Mar Monte brought to our community has been invaluable. Residents on the Monterey Peninsula were calling for a testing location closer to home, but there just weren’t enough county resources to make it possible. PPMM stepped forward just when we needed them most. PPMM made it possible for the county to provide this critical health resource in every community.
– Mary L. Adams, Fifth District Supervisor, County of Monterey
Community colleges and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte are very similar; we serve whomever comes to us. We offer expert advice and guidance. We tailor our services to local need. The partnership between PPMM and Monterey Peninsula College to offer free COVID-19 testing to our shared communities just made sense on every level.
– Yuri Anderson, Chair, Monterey Peninsula Community College District Board of Trustees
Reaching patients safely
We quickly launched video appointments (telehealth) in a matter of weeks by leveraging technology to meet patients where they are, whether they’re accessing health care from remote rural regions, suburbs, or large cities.
Telehealth will also help our local communities well beyond the pandemic. It will continue to expand patient choice, reach patients who have a hard time traveling to a health center, and allow people to access health care where they feel most safe and comfortable. More people in more places will get the care they need today and tomorrow, no matter what.
“I completely understand that people are shy to just jump on telehealth,” said Health Services Specialist Wei-Wei C. “I’ll walk them through the process, and this helps me have a better understanding of the patient experience. When they come onscreen for the first time, we’re both excited. I’ve had people say, ‘It’s nice to see your face!’ – even though I’m wearing a mask.”
Recently, Wei-Wei spoke with a patient who has a history of medical conditions that make it difficult to leave home, so a telehealth appointment was a great alternative. “There were a lot of pets in the background onscreen, and we talked about that,” she said. “We were able to connect in a way we normally wouldn’t have over the phone – or even in person.”
New Mountain View health center
The Mountain View health center opened its new, re-located site in early 2020 with strong support from the community. PPMM patients were thrilled, including longtime family medicine patients who have relied on care from the health center for more than a generation.
1 million patient calls to our Response Center
Our Response Center staff logged an extraordinary 1 million calls in one year from patients requesting appointments for health services.
Here’s a snapshot of what our 83 specially trained Response Center staff achieved and how they did it:
93% of the one million calls were answered immediately by Response Center staff.
Each Response Center staff member has a mentor/coach who works with them daily.
Each staff member is graded monthly on a list of a dozen criteria, including technical skill and customer service, requiring a score of 96%.
The Response Center is also one of the largest single employers in Fresno County.
Taking care of staff on the frontlines
We couldn’t provide compassionate, non-judgmental health care, or reach tens of thousands of people to help them make educated decisions about their future without our incredibly dedicated staff. We have always taken care of our staff so that we can continue to provide care, no matter what.
Our staff, who continue to work in our health centers providing care during COVID-19, are our heroes. As the pandemic hit, we needed to make sure PPMM’s staff stayed safe both physically and emotionally. That’s why we made sure they had tools like the Calm meditation app, 24/7 on-demand mental health support, and access to increased sick and vacation time.
We also continue to advance important initiatives, like training all staff on gender affirming care, so that we can provide this expert and much-needed care at all of our 35 health centers.
Health Services Specialist Lauren R. worked long hours every week helping to conduct drive-through COVID-testing on the Monterey Peninsula College campus. She was used to seeing cars lined up before 8 a.m. at the site, which was established through a partnership with Monterey County officials and PPMM.
“One patient was going to a funeral for a family member who had died of coronavirus,” Lauren recalled. “He said everyone there would be wearing a mask. He still wanted a test.”
She said it wasn’t unusual for people to tell her that they had lost their health insurance and are relieved that PPMM is there to help keep them safe: “One patient actually came back later to give us a hand-written thank-you note, saying he’d lost his job and didn’t know where to get tested.”
Many times, Lauren helped patients sign up for Family PACT, California’s family planning services program for people with low-incomes.
“Every day I’m there, I’m reminded that it’s awesome we’re such a financial help to our patients. They’re not just getting great care they need, but care they can afford.”
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
These qualities are the foundation for all of the work we do at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
The PPMM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee blossomed this past year and was essential in advising and steering crucial messages to and communications with patients, program participants, and colleagues. The committee’s mission is to ensure that PPMM’s value of respecting and honoring all people is reflected in all of the work we do and how we do it.
The DEI Committee is dedicated to making sure that PPMM is focused on health equity as well as acknowledging and respecting the ways people identify themselves.
PPMM is strengthened by a diversity of voices. It gives us the experience, compassion, and resilience to serve communities and meet patients where they are.
PPMM Employee Demographics
A new era of sex ed
PPMM Education provided sex education, health care resources, safer sex kits, and youth development programs to 69,248 people of all ages in California and Nevada, including students with disabilities, incarcerated youth, migrant workers, homeless populations, and Spanish-only speakers.
Even as all of us sheltered in place, these programs remained in high demand by many school districts – where local education leaders know we deliver trusted, state-compliant sex education programs. We responded to that demand in March, with the launch of the Digital Learning channel.
“Our pivot to a digital platform was truly successful because, through our feedback surveys, we were able to see that students were still able to take away valuable information that will help them in life as they develop and grow into adults,” said Leah C., PPMM Education program manager.
This year, PPMM health educators, as well as trained Teen Council and PromotorX peer educators, delivered more than 85,728 hours of sex ed to middle and high school students, and young adults.
“Not only did the program provide me with knowledge and tools for my future sexual experiences, but it equipped me with skills to distribute the same vital information to my peers,” one PPMM peer educator said.
in the number of middle school students that were able to correctly identify two ways to try to prevent pregnancy and STIs.
(1,814 students surveyed.)
After PPMM's comprehensive sex ed program:
69,248 people received PPMM Education programs and outreach, including:
middle and high school students who received an estimated 85,728 hours of comprehensive sex ed (CSE*) including programs designed to meet the needs of special education and Spanish-speaking students
young parents who received an estimated 13,116 hours of service through long-term youth development programs
learners who accessed sex ed through our Digital Learning platforms
Helping young parents succeed
PPMM’s Teen Parent Support Program (TPSP) – formed in 2007 in partnership with the Santa Clara County Public Health Dept. – remains the sole provider of evidence-informed comprehensive case management for young parents in the county. In FY20, TPSP provided direct services to an estimated 280 expectant and parenting youth, ages 21 and younger, to help them reach self sufficiency through strength-based development of their resiliency, wellness, parenting, education and goal attainment, communication skills, and other positive assets. TPSP rapidly converted to virtual-delivery during COVID-19, including launching a donation drive to insure the young parents had essential items like diapers, baby formula, and distance-learning supplies.
Additionally, PPMM’s youth development programs helped 324 young parents through more than 13,000 hours of support over a year or more, including comprehensive case management, coaching, support groups, life skill classes, and assistance in securing childcare, food, or housing services.
After Teen Parent Support Program intervention:
increase among participants who hope to pursue post-secondary education
increase among participants working full- or part-time
increase among participants using contraception
for what’s right
Despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, below is a partial list of bills passed in California that were championed by Planned Parenthood to further the interests of our patients and the communities we serve:
Prop 56 — 2020-2021 California state budget
Supported the retention of Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for sexual and reproductive health care.
AB 732: Requires incarcerated pregnant persons to be offered access to pregnancy-related care in county jails and state prisons.
AB 890: Removes physician supervision for nurse practitioners in certain settings.
AB 1196: Makes it illegal for officers to use the carotid hold or chokehold to detain a suspect.
AB 1185: Increases oversight and transparency of sheriffs by allowing the oversight commission to issue a subpoena to investigate a sheriff’s department and establish an office for an inspector general.
AB 2054: Creates a pilot grant program for community-based response, rather than armed police, to local emergencies.
AB 2077: Expands access to clean hypodermic needles and syringes to reduce the spread of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases.
In Nevada, before the pandemic, PPMM partnered with Washoe County’s Sexual Health and Responsibility Education (SHARE) committee members to update – for the first time since 2003 – the sex ed curriculum in Washoe County.
PPMM staff and volunteers created a vote-by-mail voter education outreach campaign, Shout Your Vote, following Nevada’s shift to a vote-by-mail primary in response to the spread of COVID-19.