Community Update - Week of March 6th, 2023
As part of its role in community health, your local health department is committed to ensuring that all Virginians have access to reproductive health services. The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) offices employ a clinical team with doctors, physician assistants, nurses and skilled support staff who work together to provide a range of services to keep both adults and teens healthy.
The RCAHD Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) program aims to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections through education, outreach, and clinical services. STI clinics offer counseling, testing, treatment, and partner referral services for patients at risk of or currently experiencing STIs.
The RCAHD Family Planning program offers clinic services to provide individuals with the ability to decide if they want to have children and if so, how many and how far apart they want to space them.
A broad range of effective medical and educational services are available including:
- Access to many types of birth control methods
- Yearly sexual health exams, including breast exams and Pap smears
- Education about family planning and infertility
All services are confidential. We accept many insurance plans, and for those individuals who do not have insurance, costs for services are based on a sliding scale.
In addition to clinic services, RCAHD staff also work with the local Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative to raise awareness about the importance of reducing teen pregnancies in the community. Teen pregnancies are a public health matter because adolescent mothers are more likely to drop out of school, have post-partum depression, and give birth to infants of low birth weight compared to women who have children later in life.
The goal of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative is to support and empower teens to make the best choices for their own reproductive health. We work with partners who serve youth throughout the Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Highlands to improve communication and create systems to expand access to reproductive health services.
We need your input! To better understand the reproductive health needs and experiences of youth and their caregivers, this spring health department staff are conducting community listening sessions. We want to hear directly from teens and caregivers of teens on what is challenging, and what resources would be helpful.
Evening and weekend listening sessions in small groups will be held through May in both the Roanoke and Alleghany Highlands areas. In exchange for about 90 minutes of your time, participants will be provided with a complimentary dinner and $25 gift card. If you are a teen or caregiver of a teen (parent, grandparent, foster parent, or a coach, teacher, guidance counselor, etc) and would be willing to provide your input, please contact our Maternal and Child Health Coordinator at 540-759-2578.
The Virginia Department of Health’s mission is to serve the community. Visit the VDH website (vdh.virginia.gov) for a variety of health information, from general advice for parents on how to have The Talk with your teen, to specifics such as how to contact your local health department office for an appointment.