Justine Wu, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, recently concluded her two-year term as chair of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) Board of Directors. The ARHP, according to their mission statement, “transforms and improves sexual and reproductive health care and access through health professional training and advocacy.”
ARHP is a professional organization that provides clinical education programs and activities to the diverse spectrum of professionals in reproductive health. ARHP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and is a certified provider of accredited education by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Wu notes, “The ARHP team and our members form a professional home for me like no other. We’re a heterogeneous group that represents the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social science, and policy, bound together by the same commitment to and passion for improving sexual and reproductive health care.”
As Chair of ARHP, Wu steered the organization towards leading-edge concepts and practices in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care delivery and policy. Her experiences as a family physician played a major role in how she directed the organization, including her efforts to develop clinical education and policy recommendations that promote sexual and reproductive health as a necessary component of primary care.
“SRH is not an “add on” to health care. It is an ESSENTIAL part of primary care. Research consistently shows large and positive improvements in overall health and well-being when people have their SRH needs addressed,” says Wu.
As a family physician, Wu sees a diversity of patients who often experience their sexual and reproductive health through the context of other medical conditions and social experiences. Dr. Wu incorporated her unique clinical and research perspectives in ARHP’s portfolio of trainings and networking events. For example, she led a plenary discussion at the 2016 National Forum on Family Planning (FFP) on providing reproductive care for transgender and gender minority patients. During her tenure, the ARHP began providing member training and educational resources on cervical cancer screenings for transgender men and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) therapy for transgender women. In 2017, Wu led another FFP conference plenary on reproductive care practices for women with disabilities, and under her direction, the ARHP offered training on contraception and pregnancy management for patients with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
Under her leadership, the ARHP organization has been an increasingly steady voice of advocacy in reproductive health policy. Wu notes that, “through October 2017, ARHP has participated in 28 coalitions across the healthcare spectrum, and added our name to 50 “sign-on” letters sent to members of Congress, congressional committees, and federal agencies expressing our views on critical policy issues, and ensuring our voices were heard. Probably because of the challenging times SRH is facing, our activity has increased significantly over that of 2016.”
Wu’s leadership in the field of sexual and reproductive health is sure to continue, and in 2018, she will begin her role as ARHP's immediate past chair. For more information about the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, visit their website: http://www.arhp.org/ and catch Dr. Wu in their Leading Voices video