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15th MDG increases women’s access to care

Lt. Col. Colleen Neemann, 15th Healthcare Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight commander, demonstrates many birth control options, such as a birth control ring, at the 15th MDG at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 6, 2021. The contraceptive clinic aims to educate on all types of contraceptive methods and answer any questions beneficiaries may have. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

Lt. Col. Colleen Neemann, 15th Healthcare Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight commander, demonstrates many birth control options, such as a birth control ring, at the 15th MDG at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 6, 2021. The contraceptive clinic aims to educate on all types of contraceptive methods and answer any questions beneficiaries may have. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

Lt. Col. Colleen Neemann, 15th Healthcare Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight commander, demonstrates several birth options, such as an intrauterine device, at the 15th MDG’s contraceptive clinic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 6, 2021. The contraceptive clinic opened June 7 to service beneficiaries and provide same-day procedures without a referral. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

Lt. Col. Colleen Neemann, 15th Healthcare Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight commander, demonstrates several birth options, such as an intrauterine device, at the 15th MDG’s contraceptive clinic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 6, 2021. The contraceptive clinic opened June 7 to service beneficiaries and provide same-day procedures without a referral. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

The 15th Medical Group opened the doors to its first-ever contraceptive clinic June 7 aimed at easing access to and educating female beneficiaries on contraceptives.

The 15th MDG’s contraceptive clinic removes the need to meet with a primary care manager for a women’s health referral and instead provides a direct route to contraceptive care.

“We are looking for it to improve access to care so women don't feel like a burden when trying to gain access to contraception,” said Lt. Col. Colleen Neemann, 15th Healthcare Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight commander. “We want to provide contraception care based on each individual member’s health needs and the goals of their family.”

The clinic provides prescriptions, education on the contraceptive types, and offers same-day procedures for more invasive methods such as birth control implants or intrauterine devices for all beneficiaries 14 years and older.

One of the goals of the contraceptive clinic is to equip beneficiaries with the knowledge to empower them with the ability to choose the method to meet their goals.

As of 2017, the Defense Health Agency reported that the rate of women who have unintended pregnancies in the military is 50% higher than the general population in the U.S.

“A problem is that some women just don’t know which birth control is best for them or they think it is just for preventing pregnancy, when it can really help with menstruation cycles too,” said Caroline Glover, 15th HCOS women’s health practitioner. “Some women just don't know what is available and this happens on the provider’s end if they are not specialized.”

The contraceptive clinic is open every Monday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Sky Warrior Clinic on the first floor of the 15th MDG. Appointments are not necessary.