APN Fall 2018 Summit on Reproductive Justice – a Great Success!

 The Association of Perinatal Networks of NY (APN)’s 2018 Annual Summit on Reproductive Health Justice was held October 23, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Downtown in Albany, NY.  Lead by Keynote Speaker, Lauren Deustch (APN board member and CEO of the Healthy Baby Network of Rochester), the daylong program consisted of five plenary sessions, each focusing in on a specific component of reproductive justice.  Morning sessions focused on Reproductive Justice and Women’s Reproductive Rights by speakers Lauren Deutsch and Dr. Rachel Phelps. The afternoon sessions focused on Women’s Rights and Public Policies related to reproductive health access and issues; the impact of childcare availability on women’s issues; and domestic violence. Speakers for the pm sessions were Lois Utley, Sheri Scavone and Kymberly McNair.

Over 50 representatives from multiple health care and community-based services from throughout NYS attended the program, and via post-program evaluation, rated the program as an excellent with 97% approval ratings for all speakers.  Comments included:  “Best Presenters I’ve ever seen! All five were true experts!”….. “Thank you for the great training. I really enjoy every presentation. I’m ready to share all the information with my coworkers.”……. “Great connection with all speakers, good flow. I have a lot of ideas of how to incorporate info into my work. Thanks again!”

The issues surrounding reproductive justice can be divisive with individuals having opposing views and opinions ranging from very liberal to conservative.  The faculty for this summit expressed more liberal perspectives and not all attendees agreed with these views.  “I very much agreed with all segments, but was all left-leaning. In my view, it was not balanced to both sides.”……. “There were a lot of facts and figures and information which I appreciated; but, there were also a lot of opinions which I did not appreciate. It made me uncomfortable. I was not in agreement with some of what was said and brought up, but I felt I could never say what I was thinking”…….

As a leader for community-driven maternal and child health, APN is committed to strengthening maternal, child and family health through community collaboration, advocacy and education. It is our goal through our annual summits to address emerging issues, topics and policies which can adversely affect women’s access to health care and health-related services as well as those which may impact infant health and health care.  APN recognizes not everyone views all issues from the same perspective; therefore we appreciate, respect and welcome comments and recommendations related to current and future programs.

Summit Faculty:

Lauren Deutsch, Exec. Director, Healthy Baby Network of Rochester

Kymberly Mc Nair, Community Engagement Coordinator, My Sister’s Place

Rachael Phelps, MD, Rochester Planned Parenthood

Sheri Scavone, Executive Director, WNY Women’s Foundation

Lois Utley, Co-founder, Raising Women’s Voices , Program Director, Women’s Health Program @ Community Catalyst

The 2018 Reproductive Justice Summit was made possible with support provided by:  Albany Medical College, Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, Caribbean Women’s Health Association, & North Country Prenatal-Perinatal Network.


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