By Anel Ceballos, September 21, 2021
After years of efforts by the Feminist Fight Club, Cal Poly Pomona Student Health Services strives to implement more accessible and affordable health care options for students on campus.
Guided by its R-Justice campaign, the club advocated for the university to become a provider of care and treatment for family planning, offer hormone replacement therapy, include student voices in its implementation of SB24 and helps create a sex education program for student organizations.
The R-Justice campaign is a continuation of the Care on Campus campaign, which advocates for students’ reproductive and sexual health needs. The campaign demands affordable and accessible health care on campus for all CPP students.
Feminist Fight Club co-chair Blanca Martinez, anthropology student, highlighted the importance of the R-Justice campaign.
“The R-Justice campaign focuses on a framework for reproductive justice, which respects student autonomy, respects the right of students to have or not to have children as well as informed and comprehensive services for students” , said Martinez.
The campaign is a development of the club’s efforts last year in which it drafted the ASI resolution in support of reproductive and trans-inclusive health care. This resolution, passed by the ASI Board of Directors in April 2020, called on RPC to become an Access Family Planning Care and Treatment Provider, or F-PACT.
F-PACT is a program of the California Department of Health Services that provides free family planning services to low-income California residents. Currently, CPP offers birth control pills, Plan B injections, and Depo-Provera at a cost. If the CPP were to implement F-PACT, eligible students would receive birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraception, Depo-Provera Shot, and long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs, such as IUD / IUC and the Nexplanon arm implant, which are not currently offered at the CPP, free of charge.
According to Director of Student Health and Welfare Services Rita O’Neil, there is no set date yet for CPP to become an F-PACT provider, as all staff must complete training within six months from the initial date of registration with F-PACT.
“We have to go through training and generally when doctors are training in a new skill they are supervised by another doctor, who then watches them perform many of the procedures themselves,” said O’Neil. “It has to be by protocol and by policy and another doctor willing to train them.”
RPC was expected to receive training from a doctor at CSU Northridge, but the doctor did not work during the summer.
“We also have to hire people because there is also an invoicing aspect,” said O’Neil. “So you need to know how to bill in a Medi-Cal environment, and since we are not currently a Medi-Cal supplier, we don’t have anyone on our staff who knows this skill. So there is training and recruiting that we will still have to do before we can actually implement the program. “
Nearby, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Los Angeles, and Cal State San Bernardino are three of the eight CSU campuses that are F-PACT providers. If the CPP joins them, it would expand birth control options for students.
The club’s call for hormone replacement therapy, which would require all staff at the Student Health Center and Bronco Wellness Center to receive training to address the health concerns of trans students, as well as access to both hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery, was also not implemented. Dated.
“This remains outside the scope of practice of clinicians at Student Health,” said O’Neil. “We can support and support students in the care of other physicians with specialized training when those students need help to self-inject hormones. “
There is currently no psychiatrist specializing in hormone replacement therapy. The Feminist Fight Club advocated for the hiring of a trans-friendly psychiatrist so that trans students can receive the support they need.
While the Bronco Wellness Center offers sexual health education such as one-on-one discussions about birth control options and safe sex, Shalis Danayan, peer health educator at the center, created a sexual health program called Love Yourself, Literally, which offers more inclusive and accessible forms of sex education. Students of all backgrounds and identities are offered a wider range of topics through free giveaways, presentations, and games.
“I wanted to do some information on masturbation and self-esteem,” Danayan said. “We understand that students engage in activities and certain things and we will never tell you not to do something. We will always teach you how to do something safe.
SB 24, the College Student Right to Access Act, was a California law passed in 2019 that requires all CSU health centers to carry the abortion pill. In view of the implementation of the law, required by January 2023, the club is advocating for the CPP health services to offer abortion training as well as postpartum and postabortion therapy sessions.
“I think implementing these initiatives would definitely help shape the culture of the campus, better help students provide them with these resources and know that this school is there to support them, whether through academics. whether it’s through reproductive health or just general health care, ”Martinez said. “The school shows that it takes care of its students by implementing different programs and resources.
Featured Image by Nicolas Hernandez