Why is New Gen at risk for closure?
New Generation Health Center’s survival is threatened due to financial crisis as a result of changing demographics and insurance coverage changes. Before the Affordable Care Act, nearly all of New Gen’s patient visits were compensated by FamilyPact, a program that provides contraceptive services for low income people in California. With the ACA, more patients now have full scope Medi-Cal, which reimburses at a lower rate. Furthermore, due to the successful lowering of teen pregnancy rates in the city, New Gen is no longer eligible for grants specifically related to preventing teen pregnancy. This has been compounded by leadership transitions that have hampered development efforts, and the lack of a dedicated grant-writer and fundraiser. As of June 2017, UCSF will no longer support the yearly deficit that New Gen carries. In addition, the current location of New Gen requires renovation to meet seismic and ADA requirements.
We are asking that members of the San Francisco community and people nationwide to stand with us to save the last full-service reproductive health clinic serving poor Black and Latino youth in San Francisco. Our ultimate goal is to find a permanent solution to keep New Generation open for the long term. New Generation is a unique and trusted clinic that has been a model for teen reproductive healthcare in San Francisco and nationwide, not to mention a critical site for research and education of future providers.
Why does this matter now?
With the increasing use of LARCs, the CDC has named adolescent unintended pregnancy one of the few “winnable battles” in public health. In these turbulent political times, it is crucial to preserve family planning access.
At the same time unintended teen pregnancies in SF have declined, STI rates have increased. Youth and young adults between 15 and 24—the target population of NGHC—make up the majority of new cases and were identified by the SFDPH as a priority. In 2015, 91% of NGHC patients were screened and more than 150 tested positive for Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, rates which match the highest risk in the city.
Both unintended pregnancies and STIs disproportionately affect youth and young adults of color in underserved neighborhoods of San Francisco. While there are other excellent clinics in the city serving youth and young adults of color, NGHC is the only clinic of its kind easily accessible from the neighborhoods with the highest STI and teen pregnancy rates.
UCSF—and the city of San Francisco—are places of tenacity, hope, and innovation. They are places built on the ideals of diversity, inclusion, and equity.