Neighborhood Health Center (NHC) is dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of our neighbors, by providing all neighbors with equal access to quality care, education, and support.
Sometimes that means taking our services on the road – such as at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.
NHC has been working with Coffee Creek since 2016, providing sexual health education and contraception options and services. These services are offered as part of the state’s Smart Start program, which gives inmates the tools and resources for a smoother transition into society upon their release.
Sexual Health Program Educator Vikki Villarreal works with Nurse Practitioner Tove Silver to provide resources and services to help inmates feel more ready for their transition.
Vikki offers educational classes on birth control options and community resources, preparing inmates to meet with Tove who can provide them with birth control including IUDs, Nexplanon implants, Depo-Provera injections, and birth control pills.
The COVID-19 pandemic halted Vikki’s ability to visit Coffee Creek and meet with transitioning inmates. However, in June of 2023, Vikki will resume her educational services at Coffee Creek for the first time since March 2020.
“I can vouch for the fact that patients love Vikki’s class,” says Tove. “She has a reputation for being an excellent educator and also ridiculously funny at the same time. Having witnessed it myself, it’s like watching birth control standup comedy.”
Smart Start began in 2002 as a partnership between the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC), and Washington County Health and Human Services to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies for people previously incarcerated.
The program is also offered at eight male prisons in Oregon and has increased its attendance every year since its introduction. It’s truly a testament to collaborative care.