Throughout the ongoing, evolving, and challenging COVID19 health pandemic, we’ve remained committed to our mission to empower individuals make healthy life-affirming decisions through education and medical services. We have kept our doors open, grown, and even thrived across all services areas (medical clinic, support services, material support, and youth outreach) even amid the challenging circumstances.
Vida is an essential resource, provider, and support to our clients, patients, and the greater Fox Valley community, and this has become all the more evident and vital during this time. Like many free medical clinics and pregnancy resource centers across the U.S., those we serve have seen greater economic challenges, loss of insurance, other health concerns, and additional fears, desperation, or anxieties when facing an unplanned pregnancy, other sexual health concern, or parenting challenges during this unprecedented pandemic.
To protect the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients, staff and volunteers, we’ve put all necessary precautions in place to minimize COVID19 exposure, reduce transmission, and still serve our clients, patients, and the community well. As a medical provider, our clinic has always been meticulously sanitized and cleaned to protect the health of those we serve, as well as employees and volunteers. A brief pre-appointment screening, temperature taking, and masking are among a few additional precautions we’ve implemented.
Vida now offers at-home, chemical abortion reversal in partnership with a local Fox Valley medical provider. At-home, chemical abortions can be viewed as more easily accessible and popular during the pandemic, yet after taking one or both of the medications used for an at-home, chemical abortion, some feel regret, worry for their safety, or feel pressured to continue the process. It may not be too late to reverse the process. Reversing the process is a medically supervised regimen of progesterone replacement that is most successful if begun within 24-72 hours after taking the first drug. Individuals can visit abortionpillreversal.com or call 1-877-558-0333 to talk to someone and to be connected to the nearest provider in the area, including a partnering provider here in the Appleton area and Fox Valley. This is a critical service and connection for those facing this situation.
Like so many other businesses, we have befriended technology even more during COVID19 and are using it to continue services where appropriate. Technology has played a huge role in delivering our support services educational materials to clients. We can now send materials via a digital link right to a client’s phone to review. Viewing the program virtually has actually encouraged some couples, support people, and other family members to watch and engage with the educational materials together. The content ranges from labor and delivery education to parenting skills. This creates even greater potential for important conversations, connection, and collaboration between partners. Following the support services virtual learning, the support services mentoring appointment is also conducted over the phone or virtually. During that time, mentors ask clients for a list of the baby items and other items they may need from the Vida store, and a staff member shops for them and assembles a box or bag. The client is invited to pick it up at their convenience in a safe, limited contact manner at Vida in Appleton. This ensures clients still receive educational, emotional, and material support.
We are also creating virtual Youth Outreach learning opportunities and curriculum to ensure young people and students are still receiving sexual health education, which empowers and equips them to make healthy choices. Last year alone, thousands of students received sexual health education through Vida in 14+ different school districts in Appleton, the Fox Valley area, and beyond.
Our supporters, donors, and community has remained extremely generous during this time. From material donations to financial contributions, support continues to enable us to provide essential services, to meet the needs of patients and clients, and, like many clinics like Vida across the country, to serve even more.
This blog was adapted from a story in the fall 2020 edition of Vida LifeLinks. Check out more updates and stories from that edition here, or sign up to receive the Vida e-newsletter regularly for updates.