Click here for March 2016 Progress Report
A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit entity. The organization’s mission is to make sure that all women can get long-term, reversible birth control so they can plan their pregnancies and their futures. We do not tell women when they should get pregnant or how many children they should have. But when a woman is seeking birth control, we want her to know about the most effective (and fully reversible) methods. Those methods are the IUD and the implant. They last three, five, or ten years depending on the method selected.
Take away the barriers of knowledge, cost and transportation, and women can plan their pregnancies and their futures. We tell women about our services, pay for whatever isn’t covered by other means, and provide free transportation to appointments. Everything is handled through our 24-hour call center. 423-265 STEP (7837)
We’re modeled on a program founded in Memphis by Judge Claudia Haltom. In her 17 years on the bench, Haltom saw hundreds of cases of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and delinquency stemming from people who became parents before they felt socially, emotionally, or financially ready. Chattanooga is the first city to replicate the highly successful Memphis model.
Access to the most effective birth control means:
Fewer unplanned pregnancies
Reduction in poverty rates
Higher graduation rates
Lower pre-term births
Lower infant mortality rates
Greater prosperity for all Tennesseans
Becky Barnes, RN
Administrator, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department
Managing Director, Causeway
Development & Communications Officer, Public Education Foundation
Community Health Planner, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department
Program Manager/Outreach & Enrollment/Navigation Erlanger Health System Community Health Centers
Dr. Kathleen Hunt
Pediatrician, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger
Director of Resident Services, Chattanooga Housing Authority
Director, Procurement Operations, Unum
Vice President Commercial Banking, JPMorgan Chase
Manager of Member Education and Advocacy, BlueCross BlueShield
Development, Baylor School
Director of Scholarships, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Dr. Vonda Ware
Women’s Health-OB/GYN, Cherokee Health Systems
President Fran Martini, RN, BSN, MBA
Director, Government Clinical Programs, BlueCross BlueShield
President-Elect Alicia Oliver
Counsel, BlueCross BlueShield
Treasurer Sarah Ross
Assistant Controller, Baylor School
Secretary Tamara Hines
Program Manager, Customer Strategy and Support, External Relations, TVA
A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga eliminates the barriers to the most effective contraception with a simple approach:
We cover only the cost of long-acting, reversible contraceptives, known as LARCs. The are the three-year IUDs (Skyla and Liletta ), five-year IUD (Mirena), the ten-year IUD (ParaGard) and the three-year subdermal implant (Nexplanon).
Why only long-acting? More than half of women with an unintended pregnancy were using contraception, but were using it inconsistently or incorrectly. According to ACOG (The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), LARCs have the highest rates of continuous use and effectiveness among all reversible contraceptives.
Coverage of all costs not paid for by private insurance, TennCare, Title X funding, or other programs
Free transportation to partner clinics by private transportation
We partner with these medical facilities committed to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs):
The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Dept
(Four locations: Third Street, Soddy-Daisy, Birchwood, and Ooltewah)
Cherokee Health Systems
Caring Choice Women’s Center (Erlanger location)
24/7 Call Center for information, to make appointments, and arrange transportation:
In September 2014, A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga began funding long-term, reversible birth control and providing a 24 hour call center and free transportation to appointments. We have since ensured that 400 women received long-acting, reversible birth control and educated 1500 women about IUDs and implants.
“Where were you four babies ago?” – said by a woman upon hearing about A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga from our Community Outreach Manager
“Prevention is the one thing we can all agree on. Everybody wins when women have babies when they feel that they are ready to have them. For me, giving to A Step Ahead [Foundation Chattanooga] was a no-brainer.”
“Why do I give to A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga? Because what you do just makes sense. Do we really want a few hundred dollars to stop a woman from getting birth control that works?
“I’m proud to support a program that will make such a difference in the lives of young women. A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga will help women plan their pregnancies in the context of the goals they want to achieve.” – Ruth S. Holmberg
Question? Want to be a community partner? Have feedback?