Expanded outreach through Operation Reproductive Health
Elise Damman, PharmD, is the APhA senior manager of student development in Washington, DC.
Operation Reproductive Health, known as the Women’s Health Campaign when it was established in 2018, is an educational campaign supported by Merck that allows student pharmacists to reach out to their community. Through the campaign, student pharmacists provide health and wellness services focused on improving cancer prevention through Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and improving reproductive and sexual health. Through public awareness, community outreach, and patient-specific education on reproductive health and cancer prevention strategies, your chapter has the ability to empower more patients to take control of their reproductive health.
The Women’s Health Campaign was wildly successful, with nearly 100 chapters participating in the efforts, so we are excited to see the continued impact that you all will make as the program expands its footprint and outreach.
Why the name change?
There are a few reasons that led to the re-launch and reframing of the program as Operation Reproductive Health. The main reason for the update is to reflect the program’s shift in focus from solely women’s health to the reproductive and sexual health of all individuals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Additionally, use of “operation” in the title allows the program to more closely mirror the name of the other patient care projects, such as Operation Heart, Operation Diabetes, and Operation Immunization.
What are the goals?
With the shift to being more inclusive, Operation Reproductive Health is focused on educating ALL individuals on important reproductive and sexual health topics. Some of the main focuses include providing education focused on:
- HPV vaccines and their role in cancer prevention.
- Reproductive health, including the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), hormonal contraceptive options, and access to hormonal contraceptives.
- Promoting the role of the pharmacist in educating and providing reproductive health education and care to patients.
These initiatives are not new. Rather, the updated focus of who to educate opens the door to impact an even greater number of patients. Some of these activities can include HPV vaccine and cancer prevention education, providing HPV vaccines, hormonal contraceptives education, and STD prevention. Additionally, we have seen unique projects focused on pertinent topics like self-defense, domestic violence abuse and victim support, nutrition, mental health, diabetes prevention, personal hygiene, access to community resources, body image positivity, LGBTQ+ issues, sex trafficking, and urinary tract infections.
In addition to educating patients, this is a great opportunity to bring in speakers and have conversations in your chapter on what exactly reproductive health is and the pharmacist’s role in supporting it.
Operation Reproductive Health branding
As you may have noticed, with a new name comes new branding. The updated logo is intended to be reflective of the inclusive nature of the project’s reframing to ensure reproductive health education and resources are provided to all. Chapter leaders can find the updated branding materials in the logo DropBox folder (reach out to your Chapter President if you need access).
Exciting new era
It will be exciting to see the innovative ways chapters will embrace new opportunities to impact, engage, and empower their communities to take control of their sexual and reproductive health. Increased focus on HPV vaccinations efforts and education on reproductive health topics will have a positive impact on all who participate. For more information on Operation Reproductive Health visit pharmacist.com/apha-asp-projects-programs
Thank you to Merck for their support of Operation Reproductive Health and student pharmacists!
Women’s Health Campaign achievements
Every chapter and student pharmacist who participated in the 2019–20 program year should be proud of the work that was done to support women’s health and community health!
• 94 chapters participated
• 8,293 student pharmacists participated
• 446 faculty and staff members participated
• 106 pharmacists participated
• 1,090 individuals educated
• 185 on cancer prevention
• 162 on cardiovascular health
• 180 on HPV vaccination
• 150 on hormonal contraceptives
• 126 on osteoporosis prevention
• 50 on pregnancy wellness
• 146 on reproductive health
• 91 others on topics such as: self-defense, domestic violence abuse and victim support, nutrition, mental health, diabetes prevention, personal hygiene, access to community resources, body image positivity, LGBTQ+ and gender, sex trafficking, and urinary tract infections
• 3,895,738 individuals reached through public relations initiatives
Congratulations to the four 2019–20 Outstanding Chapters recognized during the APhA 2021 APhA–ASP Awards Celebration
• The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
• The University of Houston College of Pharmacy
• University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
• West Virginia University School of Pharmacy
Posters can be viewed online at pharmacist.com/apha-asp-womens-health-campaign