SisterReach empowers young people to lead healthy lives, raise healthy families, and live in healthy and sustainable communities by using a four-pronged strategy of education, policy and advocacy, culture change, and harm reduction.
In 2013, NIRH partnered to help SisterReach create its SisterReach’s Youth Ambassadors (SYAs) program, a youth-led group that advocates for comprehensive sexuality education. They supported comprehensive sexuality 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.
From 2016 to 2019, NIRH supported SisterReach, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in their work to improve access to LARC across the state of Tennessee using a reproductive justice framework. Through the lifetime of this project, this coalition successfully advocated to improve Medicaid reimbursement for immediate postpartum LARC in hospitals and worked to develop and implement systems that facilitated providing this service in hospitals across the state. The coalition worked 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.
In 2019, SisterReach completed a series of community conversations across the state to understand how patients experience care, including any bias or contraceptive coercion, to further inform best practices for providers.