Under attack, Oberlin shifts gears to student health care providers
The Oberlin College community confirmed via a local news report on Sunday that the college has outsourced all student medical services to Catholic medical institutions that prescribe only contraceptives with “medical indications.” I knew. But on Tuesday, after facing a barrage of criticism, President Carmen Twiley-Amber announced that the university would change course and partner with a local family planning clinic to provide reproductive health services, including contraception, to students.
A local family planning clinic will be on site in Oberlin three days a week, and the university will pick up and drop off students to the clinic on the other two days.
migration comes after local chronicle telegram reported on Oberlin’s partnership with Harness Health Partners. Over the past two years, the university has been working with Harness Health to conduct campus COVID testing and, earlier this summer, signed a contract with a provider to provide campus testing for the next academic year. I ran a clinic.
University officials said last week that the change would not affect prescribing of contraceptives or the Plan B morning-after pill, but a Bon Secours spokesperson told a local paper that contraceptives were not allowed because of a “medical indication.” said it would only be prescribed for just contraception. Additionally, the Plan B pills will only be administered to victims of sexual assault, the spokesperson said.
Meet the Bon Secours Spokesperson Inside higher education to Oberlin.
Oberlin’s partnership with Catholic health organizations criticized upon Social media later chronicle telegram Article has been published. Students will return to campus this week and classes will begin on Thursday.
To cut costs, universities nationwide outsourced college health programs, reduced office hours and staff, and closed pharmacies.
“Outsourcing has proven to be a highly controversial topic, but as universities face increasing regulatory, programmatic and financial pressures, more and more institutions are seeking comprehensive university health programs. We are considering alternative approaches to delivering the program,” said the American College Health Association. said in his May 2019 guidelines on outsourcing.
Outsourcing campus health is nothing new, but navigating the post-Roe environment is. Many colleges and universities are working on new state laws restricting access to abortion. Abortion is illegal in Ohio when you are 6 weeks pregnant or when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
After the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling in June, Oberlin President Ambar pledged to continue supporting the reproductive health needs of students, faculty and staff. Amber also attended a roundtable on abortion with Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this month.
“In this singular moment, higher education has a responsibility to help America have a more civil dialogue about the right of women to make decisions about their health care, and, dare I say it, about equality itself.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ambar said Bon Secours “through media reports and emails” had changed its position on providing birth control and gender reassignment care since Oberlin first spoke with Harness Health Partners. He said that he had notified the university of
“While we were disappointed with this change just before the semester began, we acted quickly to ensure that student needs were met without interruption,” the statement said. “Our solution was to rely on another partner with whom we had an established working relationship.”
Harness Health will continue to provide basic health care services to Oberlin students, and Lorain County’s Family Planning Services will cover reproductive health care services. This includes providing gender-verifying care, providing medications such as birth control pills and Plan B. Family planning clinics are also considering offering telemedicine, according to a statement.
“Oberlin has already installed three vending machines that sell condoms,” Ambar said in a statement. I have.”
Ambar reiterated that equitable access to reproductive health is a personal and organizational value.
“We want to assure students and parents, faculty and staff, and alumni that we have a multi-layered approach to student care that includes all the reproductive health services that students deserve,” she wrote.
For former student health workers, Tuesday’s announcement was welcome, but could have been avoided if administrators had spoken to clinic staff.
“I think they made a bad decision choosing Mercy,” said Amy Holmes, a former women’s health expert at Student Health Services. “I don’t think they were thinking about reproductive health,” she said.
Oberlin first outsourced student health services a year ago when it signed a contract with a Cleveland-based university hospital. The university said the decision was related to increased demand for its services during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the campus newspaper. (The university has outsourced food and storage operations in recent years.) Students complained of long wait times and lack of appointments after the transition.
Holmes remained with Student Health Services during the switch to University Hospital, but said she was not given the opportunity to apply for Harness Health Partners because her position was essentially precluded.
Erin Gornall, a registered nurse who was the clinical coordinator for Student Health Services, had a similar experience.
Gornall and Holmes said Oberlin’s Student Health Service, under the University Hospital, has six staff members. Under Harness Health, the clinic has only three staff and no registered nurses. Both said they asked Oberlin why he changed the student’s health care provider, but received no answer.
Gornall said he fears the combination of Roe’s overthrow and the move to Harness Health will prevent students from getting the reproductive health care they need.
Last year, Student Health Services added oral contraceptives to the on-site pharmacy for easy access by students. The clinic also gave the students free Plan B pills, no questions asked. Both hope that family planning services will intervene to ensure that students continue to receive the services they need.
“We want to make sure [students are] We can get the services they need without us being included.