September-October 2017

KBFPC at Salmonfest

Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic was excited to make our first ever appearance at Salmonfest, which was held August 4th-6th, 2017. KBFPC staff and volunteers offered information and resources to festival-goers and gave away over 500 condoms!
Our Outreach program is supported by Alaska Run For Women and BCHC.
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Photo: Outreach Advocate Rebecca Bartee tends the KBFPC booth at Salmonfest 2017

Focus on Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast cancer remains the second most common cancer among women in the United States. Each year, more than 200,000 women in the United States will get breast cancer and over 40,000 will die from the disease.

Most breast cancers occur in women over 50 years of age. Approximately 10% of breast cancers occur in women under 45 years old. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.

There are steps that you can take at any age to help improve your overall health and to reduce your risk of breast and other cancers:

Diet & Exercise - Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy body weight lowers your risk of cancer and other disease. Research suggests that getting regular exercise (at least 150 minutes each week) is associated with decreased risk of breast, colon, and endometrial cancers (Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 2013).

Tobacco & Alcohol - Women who smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke are at increased risk for breast cancer, with the risk increasing with number of cigarettes used per day. Avoiding or limiting tobacco use helps maintain breast health and overall health. For best breast health, alcohol should be consumed in moderation; most women should have less than one serving of alcohol each day to maintain breast health.

Screening - Follow your healthcare provider's screening recommendations for breast exams and mammogram. The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends that women over age 50 complete a screening mammogram every two years. Women between 40 and 49 should talk with their provider about when they should begin and how often they should get a screening mammogram. Your own screening recommendations may be different, based on your personal risk factors, so it is important to talk with your provider about when to begin and often to complete breast cancer screenings.

Family History - Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a close relative with breast cancer, let your healthcare provider know and discuss what screening recommendations would be appropriate for you.

Concerned about cost? Many women qualify for a free or low-cost annual Well-Woman Visit through the Breast and Cervical Health Check (BCHC) Program. This program can cover a pap test, breast exam, and breast imaging, as appropriate for your age and medical history. You will always be provided with an opportunity to enroll in this program at your Well-Woman Visit at Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic.

Pink Flag Campaign

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Kachemak Bay Family Planning clinic launches its annual Pink Flag Campaign, a fundraiser that focuses on raising awareness and funding for breast cancer screenings and other preventative health services.

Throughout the month of October, businesses and households can display one or more pink flags to increase awareness and support local breast cancer resources. Each flag is a $100 tax-deductible donation that stays right here in our community. The funds raised through the Pink Flag Campaign are an important source of funding for KBFPC, ensuring the continuance of programs that offer breast cancer screenings and breast health education. Flags will be delivered and displayed by a member of the KBFPC board or staff at the beginning of October and conveniently picked up in November.

If you would like to display one or more pink flags at your home or business, and have not yet been approached by a member of the KBFPC board, please use the link below or contact the clinic at (907) 235-3436.

Thank you for your continued support!

MAPP Community Opioid Response Events

During the month of May, KBFPC participated in two valuable community and provider meetings organized by MAPP. The events aimed to increase awareness of addiction as a chronic disease, the impacts of opioid and polysubstance misuse and addiction, as well as existing resources for treatment and ongoing support for those in recovery.

Executive Director Catriona Reynolds and Clinic Manager Clare Wheeler gave a presentation on May 22nd, highlighting the increased number of KBFPC clients reporting substance misuse, injection drug use and needle-sharing, and those receiving a new diagnosis of Hepatitis C related to shared injection supplies. Additionally, we see clients disclosing opioid and other substance misuse who are at risk of unintended pregnancy or with newly-discovered, sometimes advanced pregnancies. These individuals face significant barriers to receiving medical care, as well as the potential for health, legal, and social impacts.

The following week, Youth Programs Manager Anna Meredith, Peer Educator Lia Jacobsen, and Clinic Manager Clare Wheeler attended a community conversation held at Homer High, where we heard from addiction-medicine specialist Dr. Spencer, State of Alaska Deputy Incident Commander Andy Jones, Public Health Nurse Stephanie Stillwell, and personal stories of addiction and recovery from individuals and families.

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The KBFPC DipJar found a new home at The Fritz Creek General Store! The DipJar allows you to make a quick, secure donation using a credit card. Next time you're at Fritz Creek, consider making a donation to support quality reproductive healthcare and youth programming for our community. And don't forget to pick up a delicious treat while you're there!

KBFPC joins group focused on maternal and newborn health

KBFPC Executive Director Catriona Reynolds, Clinic Manager Clare Wheeler, and Medical Director Dr. Katie Ostrom are excited to be part of a collaborative community-based work group, focused on addressing the health and societal impacts of substance abuse during and after pregnancy. This monthly work group is organized through South Peninsula Hospital and also includes representatives from the Office of Children Services (OCS) and Change 4 the Kenai. As an organization, we see a lot of value in our involvement with this group, which is committed to seeking client-centered and innovative ways to improve the health and safety of women, infants, and families affected by substance use.

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The current and former R.E.C. Room staff

Photo Left to Right: Parker Gibson (and Wadi), Chloe Pleznac, Lia Jacobsen, Anna Meredith, Zoe Story, Connor Schmidt, Zane Boyer (and Dale), Mina Gherman, and Doug Koester.

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Project Wellness

By: Jonas Noomah, Past-Peer Educator

This summer I had the opportunity to work with the R.E.C. Room and KBFPC for my fourth summer. It seems like forever ago that I was a peer educator taking my first steps towards understanding the world of sexual health. This time, instead of education, my focus was solely on recruitment. We were trying to get fifty 18-24 year olds to visit the clinic, and thanks to a generous grant, we could offer $50 gift cards as an incentive.

Unsurprisingly, getting young people to take the time to do things was as challenging as ever. As a 20 year old, I completely understand why. Despite the challenges, I had a grand time going out on the street and reaching out to young people with my fellow recruiter, Shenandoah Lush. Most of our peers were excited to receive gift cards to local business just for taking care of their health.

This project was also a learning experience for me as a young professional. I had never worked with a graphic designer or submitted an invoice before. I want to thank Catriona Reynolds, Anna Meredith, and all the clinic staff for helping us make this project a success.

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Photo: Former Clinic Assistant and long-time KBFPC supporter Caroline Ross and current KBFPC Executive Director Catriona Reynolds show their love for KBFPC!

Not ready for your KBFPC-themed tattoo? No worries! There are many ways to show your love for KBFPC that involve ink that isn't quite so permanent:

  • Purchase a KBFPC tee shirt! Our vintage logo tee is available in regular and women's fit, sizes S-XXL. Tees are $25 each and can be purchased at the clinic or on our Facebook page.
  • Pick up some KBFPC stickers. Stickers are given with all membership renewals or donations of $25 or more.
  • Break out your prettiest pen and write a check to support reproductive healthcare and youth programming for individuals in our community!

Contact Information

Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic is a member-supported organization that provides broad access to reproductive health care services and education in a supportive and empowering environment.
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Support access to quality reproductive healthcare and youth programming for our community by making your contribution today.