Our Partners in Tennessee

We've worked with the following partners in this state to expand access to reproductive health care.

Current Partners

State partner
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Following their successful work to improve reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC, SisterReach, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are continuing their efforts to increase access to this service in hospitals by educating health care providers and administrators on how to address existing barriers and hosting stakeholder meetings across the state. This coalition is also continuing to host conversations with communities around the state to understand how patients experience care, including any bias and coercion, to inform best practices for providers on patient-centered care. Since 2016, NIRH has supported SisterReach, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University in their work to improve access to LARC across the state using a reproductive justice framework. They advocated with private insurers to improve reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC, as well as working with hospitals to develop and implement systems that facilitate offering this service. Additionally, they worked with providers, health officials, and patients to increase awareness of LARC, patients’ rights to make their own decisions about contraception, and methods of counseling and service provision that are patient-centered and anti-coercive. NIRH supports its LARC partners by offering technical assistance as needed, linking their work to state and national trends and best practices, and lifting up their successes and lessons learned to share with the field.

State partner
CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

CHOICES, an innovative, patient-centered reproductive health practice serving the Memphis area, is working to increase access to LARC for their patients, with an eye toward developing a model that can benefit other independent clinics around the country. The systems changes they will create and implement include standardized procedures for educating patients, ordering and tracking LARC inventory, and raising public awareness of the full range of methods of contraception available. CHOICES moved forward with their newly created patient advocacy program in 2017, and identified patients that would receive training in a variety of new skills including legislative advocacy. Together, CHOICES and these new leaders advocated for access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and against restrictions.

State partner
University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Following their successful work to improve reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC, SisterReach, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are continuing their efforts to increase access to this service in hospitals by educating health care providers and administrators on how to address existing barriers and hosting stakeholder meetings across the state. This coalition is also continuing to host conversations with communities around the state to understand how patients experience care, including any bias and coercion, to inform best practices for providers on patient-centered care. Since 2016, NIRH has supported SisterReach, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University in their work to improve access to LARC across the state using a reproductive justice framework. They advocated with private insurers to improve reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC, as well as working with hospitals to develop and implement systems that facilitate offering this service. Additionally, they worked with providers, health officials, and patients to increase awareness of LARC, patients’ rights to make their own decisions about contraception, and methods of counseling and service provision that are patient-centered and anti-coercive. NIRH supports its LARC partners by offering technical assistance as needed, linking their work to state and national trends and best practices, and lifting up their successes and lessons learned to share with the field.

State & local partner
SisterReach

Following their successful work to improve reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC, SisterReach, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are continuing their efforts to increase access to this service in hospitals by educating health care providers and administrators on how to address existing barriers and hosting stakeholder meetings across the state. This coalition is also continuing to host conversations with communities around the state to understand how patients experience care, including any bias and coercion, to inform best practices for providers on patient-centered care. Since 2016, NIRH has supported SisterReach, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University in their work to improve access to LARC across the state using a reproductive justice framework. They previously advocated with private insurers to improve reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC, as well as working with hospitals to develop and implement systems that facilitate offering this service. Additionally, they are working with providers, health officials, and patients to increase awareness of LARC, patients’ rights to make their own decisions about contraception, and of methods of counseling and service provision that are patient-centered and anti-coercive. NIRH supports its LARC partners by offering technical assistance as needed, linking their work to state and national trends, and lifting up their successes and lessons learned to share with the field. NIRH is also continuing its support of SisterReach’s Youth Ambassadors (SYAs) program, a youth-led group that advocates for comprehensive sexuality education. Restrictive state policy on sexuality education and the state’s increasing reliance on biased and limited services of crisis pregnancy centers – fake clinics that deceive women – mean that many young people in Tennessee receive almost no sexual health education at all. This crisis is exemplified by rising rates of STIs in cities across the state. NIRH will supported SisterReach’s SYA program to run a campaign to repeal Shelby County’s “opt-in” sexuality education policy. SYAs will receive a stipend for their work engaging community members through canvassing and holding town halls on the need for this policy change. In 2017, with NIRH’s support, 20 SYAs received intensive training in reproductive justice, sexual health, and community service, including peer-to-peer education, skills for speaking with community members and elected officials, and campaign leadership. The SYAs went on deliver presentations to the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators and the Shelby County School Board on reforming state and local policies so families have to opt-out of receiving sex education as opposed to opting-in. The #CSE4TN campaign also included a strong faith-based narrative and SisterReach and its coalition partners engaged key stakeholders and the larger community at their ten “CSE Report Out” town hall events. In 2013, SisterReach recruited youth ambassadors to lead the Choose2Wait program to support comprehensive sex education in Memphis. With NIRH’s support, SisterReach also conducted focus groups with people of color on sex education in Memphis and published the first report in Tennessee specifically focused on people of color and sex education.

Past Partners

State partner
Healthy & Free Tennessee

In 2014, Healthy & Free Tennessee played an instrumental role in the "No on One" campaign to prevent a state constitutional amendment from removing abortion as a constitutional right in Tennessee. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the campaign’s efforts included mailings, phone banking, and canvassing efforts that strengthened the base of pro-choice supporters. In 2013, the National Institute worked with Healthy & Free Tennessee to support the development and growth of the Healthy & Free Tennessee Coalition, including the creation of an organizational structure, mission, and goals.