Continuing its support of reproductive rights, OHSU launches new Center for Reproductive Health Equity

Maria Rodriguez, MD, MPH, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the OHSU School of Medicine, performs an ultrasound of a patient. Rodriguez is now director of the new OHSU Center for Reproductive Health Equity. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

Americans are facing a drastic reduction in reproductive rights since the overturning of Roe v. Wade Last year, Oregon Health & Science University continued to lead the way in making access to essential health care easier with a new Reproductive Health Equity Center To advance reproductive health services, education and policy research.

last year’s disastrous rollback Roe v. Wade Protections result in abortion services – what should be basic health care – becoming unsafe and inaccessible to individuals in more than a dozen states, disproportionately affecting low-income people and already marginalized communities Huh.

In the face of growing health disparities, OHSU has been a leader in reproductive health care and education, including: working to provide access to abortion services for out-of-state patients; Advising on international efforts to improve reproductive health; and, more recently, offering abortion training to medical residents who live in states where abortion is prohibited or restricted, and therefore, clinical with abortion care as part of their family planning training. No access to experience. The new center continues OHSU’s steadfast commitment to universal access to reproductive health services for all.

Maria Rodriguez, MD, MPH (OHSU)

Maria Rodriguez, MD, MPH (OHSU)

“Reproductive health is a fundamental right, yet so many Americans – especially people of color, immigrants, low-income individuals and LGBTQ+ people – do not have equal access to care,” said Maria Rodriguez, MD, MPH, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the new center at OHSU School of Medicine. “The establishment of this center is an important and necessary step in ensuring the right of an individual to make decisions about his or her own health, which is not limited in any way by factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity or socioeconomic status.” Not there.”

Information Drive Improvement

The United States has one of the highest rates of pregnancy and childbirth-related death and illness among developed nations, and these disparities are greatest among people of color and those living in poverty. A key driver of this public health crisis is limited access to evidence-based reproductive health services – in particular, contraception and abortion. The new OHSU center will work to identify and address the health-system factors underlying these disparities, ultimately empowering clinicians and researchers to more effectively design and deliver care, educate students and trainees, and promote evidence-based reproductive health Will allow policy advocacy.

The center, located within OHSU’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will focus on three key areas: research, education and clinical care.

Research priorities will include determining the role of health-system factors in reducing or perpetuating reproductive health disparities and evaluating various clinical interventions that promote reproductive health equity. The center’s education efforts will engage students, residents, and faculty on the role of policy in shaping factors and conditions related to reproductive health equity. And importantly, the center will enlist physicians to improve reproductive health care access for marginalized populations in Oregon and across the country.

In the past year alone, more than 500 policies have been passed that restrict access to reproductive health care. These policies affect all areas of care, including maternity and newborn care, contraceptive access, abortion services, and fertility treatment.

“Recently we’ve taken such extreme measures to limit access to reproductive health care, and these actions have very real consequences on women’s health in this country,” Rodriguez said. “While our team at OHSU is thrilled to advance this work, we also understand that there is not a moment to waste.”

The establishment of the Center for Reproductive Healthy Equity represents another important step in OHSU’s commitment to providing a full continuum of sexual and reproductive health care to all who seek it, and to educating the next generation of physicians and advancing research. moves forward. The Center builds on the ongoing support of generous donors and dedicated healthcare and community partners, who recognize the importance of advancing the field of reproductive health.

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