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    BHC Norfolk Expands Walk-In Contraception Clinic Hours

    BHC Norfolk Expands Walk-In Contraception Clinic Hours

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Laura Myers | 180731-N-IY469-002 - The Women’s Health staff members. “This is a great...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Laura Myers 

    Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

    Branch Health Clinic Naval Station Norfolk’s Walk-in Contraception Clinic expanded its operational hours from the current Tuesdays to include Wednesdays, July 11.

    The clinic opened in April 2017, and offered service for a few hours every Tuesday. The plan was to expand the days and hours if the demand was there, and there’s been an overwhelming response from beneficiaries.

    “We’ve had a large volume of women come through needing birth control, our volume has increased significantly enough that we are now open on Wednesdays as well,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stacey Hamlett, a certified nurse midwife at BHC Norfolk.

    Initially, opening the walk-in contraception clinic was a U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) initiative.

    “We opened as part of a BUMED initiative, and that is to provide quick and easy contraception to service members to help prevent unintended pregnancies and increase fleet readiness,” Hamlett said. “For females that are deploying, they just let us know when they come in and we make sure the let the pharmacy know and they will provide them with enough to get through the deployment.”

    Research shows that around 45 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and that number climbs to between 60 to 70 percent for the younger enlisted population.

    “Ideally, people want to choose when the timing is right for them to start their family, so this clinic makes it a way for them to stay medically ready,” said Lt. Karri Washbon, BHC Norfolk’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology division officer. “Then when they choose to start their family, they have that option as well.”

    The clinic’s same-day services offer birth control prescriptions and refills, Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) insertion and IUD string checks, Nexplanon, Depo Provera, contraception counseling, and emergency contraception/Plan B.

    Patients wanting a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC), such as an IUD or Nexplanon, need to be abstinent for two weeks.

    “This is a great opportunity for women to be able to come in, get educated, go over all of their options, and then assist them with choosing the option that is best for them, and it’s readily available for them,” Washbon said. “That’s what we are here for. We are here for our patients.”

    Though the focus is on female service members, any TRICARE beneficiary can come in and receive birth control and contraception counseling. Men are welcome to come in for condoms and to ask questions as well.

    “We’ve had mostly positive feedback from patients, they are very happy with the service, being able to come in and just get their birth control,” added Hamlett. “I would say at least 90% of our feedback has been positive for this clinic.”

    The Walk-in Contraception Clinic is now open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 to 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

    As the U. S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, including its nine branch clinics located throughout the Hampton Roads area, additionally offers premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen for future roles in healing and wellness.



    Date Taken: 07.31.2018
    Date Posted: 08.02.2018 07:41
    Story ID: 286884
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 

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