Federal Funding Awarded to Expand Access to Sexual + Reproductive Health Services Across Hawai'i
March 30, 2022 – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it has allocated $2.1 million in federal Title X funding to expand access to time-sensitive, essential family planning services across the state of Hawai'i. The federal funding released today is in addition to the $1.5 million awarded earlier this year to begin to address the dire need for family planning services statewide.
For 50 years, Title X has played a critical role in the health care delivery system. The program provides a pathway to a broad range of family planning and preventive health services for millions of patients nationwide. Hawai'i last received Title X funding in 2019.
Since then, there have only been limited state resources dedicated to ensuring access to equitable, high-quality and culturally-responsive sexual and reproductive health care services for patients with low-incomes. It is estimated that more than 65,000 women in Hawai'i are in need of Title X-supported services. The lack of availability of Title X-funded family planning services disproportionately impacts Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, adolescents and rural residents who already face structural and systemic barriers to accessing essential health services.
The Hawai'i Title X service award was granted to Essential Access Health, an organization that has been a Title X grantee since the program was established in 1970. Essential Access re-introduced the program to Hawai'i in January and currently distributes Title X funding to 7 health care organizations that deliver care to patients on O'ahu, Maui, and the Big Island. Hawai'i's diverse statewide Title X provider network – including federally qualified health centers, the University of Hawai'i, and Planned Parenthood – is projected to serve more than 20,000 family planning patients by next March.
Today’s award will allow Essential Access Health to continue rebuilding the Title X provider network in Hawai'i over the next five years. The Title X provider network service region will also grow to include health care services sites on every Hawaiian island.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with an expansive network of qualified providers across the state and the Department of Health to help ensure that everyone in Hawai'i can get the family planning services they want and need, without unnecessary delays or barriers,” said Julie Rabinovitz, Essential Access Health’s President and CEO. “Together we can and will rebuild a family planning safety-net that supports individual and community well-being, expands health access, and meets the individual and unique health needs of patients statewide.”