Tag Archives: Brenda “Bré” Thomas

valley forward receives grant

Arizona Family Health awards $2.7M in grants

Six Arizona health agencies providing family planning healthcare services to low-income residents at clinics in eight Arizona counties have been awarded a total of $2.7 million in Title X grants through a competitive grant process administered and managed by the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP).

The grants will provide funding for nine months beginning April 1 for services that include pregnancy testing and counseling, contraceptive methods, breast and cervical cancer screening, achieving pregnancy, basic infertility services and preconception health.  Federal funds cannot be used for abortion services.

The six agencies will use the funding to serve an estimated 35,000 clients at no charge or on a sliding scale based on income in Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Pima, Yavapai and Pinal counties.  Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. The Title X Family Planning program was enacted in 1970 as Title X of the Public Health Service Act.

Agencies receiving funding are Canyonlands Healthcare (Graham, Greenlee, Gila counties)), Pima County Health Department, Pinal County Public Health Services District, Planned Parenthood Arizona (Maricopa, Pima and Coconino counties), Yavapai County Community Health Services and Wesley Community Center (Maricopa).

For more than 40 years, Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals nationwide.

“Our goal at Arizona Family Health Partnership is to build strong Arizona families by providing them with the healthcare services and counseling to make thoughtful, balanced and educated decisions about family planning,” said AFHP CEO Brenda “Bré” Thomas.  “The process used to determine how Title X funding is allocated in Arizona is highly competitive based on rigorous standards for quality of care and sustainability.”

“Access to adequate healthcare and education is vital for women, men, teens and families,” Thomas said.

childbirth

Arizona Community Foundation awards $25K to AFHP

The Arizona Community Foundation has awarded the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP) a $25,000 grant to implement a statewide public awareness and education campaign for young women about the importance of taking B vitamin folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent birth defects.

Research consistently shows that the highest rate of unintended pregnancies is among women 18 to 24, a population with the lowest awareness of the benefits of folic acid and its role in preventing birth defects.  Folic acid has been proven highly effective preventing birth defects known as neural tube defects (NTDs), which affect the brain and spine.

AFHP will use the funds to activate the Project B Aware campaign, first piloted in 2010 in Phoenix-area high schools by the March of Dimes Arizona Chapter and the Arizona Department of Health Services through a one-time federal grant.

The result of the pilot program was a 50 percent increase in knowledge about folic acid among participating high school students.

“Young women, particularly those who are low-income, are at high risk of unplanned pregnancies and at higher risk of having a baby born with an NTD due to their lack of knowledge about folic acid,” said AFHP CEO Brenda “Bré” Thomas.  “Despite being described as an ‘astounding public health silver bullet’ by a 2008 Gallup poll, only 39 percent of women ages 18 to 45 take folic acid daily.”

Research shows that lack of awareness and lack of advice in recommending foliate supplements before and during pregnancies is the primary reason young women don’t take folic acid.

“This important funding from the Arizona Community Foundation will enable us to use the previously created March of Dimes Folic Acid 400 curriculum to reach a much broader statewide audience with this critical health information,” Thomas said.
AFHP will use the March of Dimes-developed curriculum that has been adapted for teens.
The Project B Aware program includes a folic acid pre-test administered to all students and teachers, a PowerPoint presentation about folic acid with interactive student participation, a post-test, a list of foliate-rich foods and information about the importance of taking folic acid daily, and a survey to assess the presentation.

AFHP will recruit and train folic acid educators, identify and coordinate program presentations at specific high schools and administer the pre-and-post tests.  The program ends in April 2014.  AFHP will partner with Kappa Delta Chi sorority to provide the folic acid education.

AFHP expects to complete presentations to approximately 1,400 students.
For more information about the Arizona Family Health Partnership and Project B Aware, visit www.arizonafamilyhealth.org or call (602) 258-5777 in Maricopa County and (888) 272-5652 outside Maricopa County.