AccessMatters develops, implements, and evaluates programs that make a sustained community impact. Through our deep community connections, we provide effective supportive services to teens and adults in need, specializing in high-risk and hard-to-reach populations.
Our community based programs utilize evidence based approaches to address a range of health disparities and include: HIV and STD prevention and testing; teen pregnancy prevention and education; case management, insurance and benefit enrollment assistance, school-based health resource centers, LGBT health disparities, and breast and cervical cancer screening.
Our unique position within the sexual and reproductive health care community allows us to not only have a real-time understanding of the needs of our communities, but also anticipate those needs. This vantage point allows us to respond with programs that improve individuals’ quality of life, support them through difficult or dramatic life changes, and assist them in strengthening health promoting behaviors.
Through our unique abilities to engage and empower even the hardest-to-reach populations, we are closing the gap between those with access to sexual and reproductive health and those without.
Family Planning Program
AccessMatters supports a network of over 20 partner organizations that operate more than 60 health centers in five counties, serving over 100,000 men, women, and teens annually. AccessMatters’ family planning program also supports the provision of services to youth who receive services through AccessMatters’ Health Resource Center program. AccessMatters’ Hotline refers over 3,000 callers to health centers and other services each year.
AccessMatters’ comprehensive network of health centers includes specialty to primary care clinics providing sexual and reproductive health services. This vast spectrum of health care providers — from leading academic institutions to community organizations — enables AccessMatters to support access to confidential, quality care for people in their settings of choice, with tailored counseling and a focus on eliminating barriers to getting care. AccessMatters’ network health centers have flexible hours, including nights and weekends, and are accessible via public transportation. AccessMatters’ network health centers serve everyone—regardless of ability to pay or insurance status.
AccessMatters has a proud history of providing comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services to individuals, families, and communities through our network of partner organizations. As a critical part of the region’s healthcare safety net, serving individuals from low-income families and other hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations is a high priority for AccessMatters. A hallmark of the AccessMatters’ service delivery model is to support integration of complimentary services such as HIV prevention, teen focused programs, health coverage enrollment assistance, maternal health, and pediatrics.
For more information about the Family Planning Program contact AccessMatters’ Hotline at (215) 985-3300, or the Director of the Family Planning Program at (215) 985-2608.
HIV Services Program
AccessMatters HIV care is provided in collaboration with a network of 7 Philadelphia area agencies and is a nationally recognized program. Primarily funded through the federal Ryan White Part D program, our services focus on providing HIV clinical and supportive services for women, infants, children, youth and families affected by HIV disease. With the addition of multiple HIV prevention funding streams, AccessMatters has fashioned community focused initiatives that include African American women and men, as well as men who have sex with men, reaching high risk communities and HIV positive individuals in evidenced-based HIV prevention interventions. Through the provision of HIV primary care and medical case management this program provides care to over 2,000 persons and HIV testing and prevention services to over 800 people annually.
Community-Based Health Services
AccessMatters is known locally for its community engagement and health promotion work to improve health outcomes for HIV affected women and families, HIV positive consumers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Community-based services include screening for HIV/STD and pregnancy with an active linkage to care component. AccessMatters continuously monitors areas with high rates of sexual health disparities and deploys its community-based HIV and STD testing services into those areas. Through its community-based programming, AccessMatters is recognized for its success in locating individuals with chronic health conditions (e.g. HIV disease) who have been lost to care and reconnecting them to services. AccessMatters community health workers are also trained as Affordable Care Act (ACA) Certified Applications Counselors and educate consumers about eligibility for health coverage and assist them with accessing coverage through the Marketplace.
AccessMatters administers the HealthyWoman Program in Southeastern Pennsylvania providing screening and diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancer, and referrals to treatment for underinsured and uninsured women age 40 and older. Women under age 40 may be eligible for HealthyWoman if they require diagnostic testing. AccessMatters contracts with 20 health agencies operating clinical sites to provide screening services over 3,000 women annually. Women diagnosed with cancer through this program are referred to medical coverage programs to help ensure they receive timely cancer treatment services. The HealthyWoman Program is a Pennsylvania Department of Health program and is made possible, in part, by funding form the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
I MATTER Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
AccessMatters previously ran a CDC funded teen pregnancy prevention program, called I MATTER that worked to reduce teen birth rates in West and Southwest Philadelphia. The I MATTER Program engaged parents, youth, and community partners to improve the lives of youth and families by giving them the tools to lead healthy lives and prevent teen pregnancy. The I MATTER Program worked to ensure that teens have access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information and services to encourage healthy decision making.
Through a multi-tiered approach, the I MATTER Program empowered youth through youth leadership activities, and provides resources including “Askable Adult Matters” trainings to providers and community members. “Askable Adult Matters” trainings are designed to help youth-serving professionals become more approachable and knowledgeable when referring youth for sexual and reproductive health care.
School-Based Health Resource Centers
In partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Department of Health, and Chester Upland School District, the AccessMatters’ Health Resource Center Program provides confidential school-based places where students can receive counseling and education, condoms, and referrals to community-based providers for sexual and reproductive health services. Health Resource Center services are coordinated with a local AccessMatters’ network provider and staffed by an experienced counselor, social worker or health educator.
Health Resource Centers help young people make responsible choices to stay safe and healthy; support young people’s overall health and well-being; and play an important role in preventing school dropout. Over 8,000 counseling sessions are provided in 13 high schools in Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Over 500 students receive referrals for health services at an AccessMatters’ network provider.