A Step Ahead of East Tennessee hopes to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for women and children in East Tennessee.  We hope to increase positive pregnancy outcomes for both the mother and the child, lower infant mortality, improve family life and decrease Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).  

 

We aim to do this by providing access to unbiased, comprehensive and effective family planning education and access to free long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) including "Well Woman" testing and transportation if required. 

 

We believe that prevention is the key to breaking the cycle that women can fall into when they have to deal with an unintended pregnancy.  We hope to decrease poverty by reducing economic strain and encourage career opportunities before childbirth.  We provide a means for women to plan each child and every step of her life through education and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).

 

 

A Step Ahead Foundation of East Tennessee Programs:

  • Graduate First – Focus to raise awareness of the impact of an unplanned pregnancy on successful graduation and provide reproductive health education about the most effective forms of birth control available from abstinence to long acting, reversible contraception. 

 

  • Breaking Barriers – Help women to identify the challenges of an unintended pregnancy and break the barriers that are created economically and culturally by a subsequent unintended pregnancy.  Program will provide unbiased, comprehensive family planning education and access to free long acting, reversible contraception, pregnancy testing, STI testing as well as free transportation.  

 

  • Empower Women At Risk & Reducing NAS – Will provide in-depth, one on one comprehensive reproductive health education that is focused on preventing unintended pregnancies for women who are focused on their recovery from Opioids or other illegal drugs by providing immediate access to free long acting reversible contraception (LARC) at point of service inside Drug Rehabilitation Center.

Needs

  • According to The Guttmacher Institute in the State of Tennessee - 82% of pregnancies are unplanned. Unplanned pregnancies occur for many reasons;

    • No access to reliable contraceptive methods
    • Failure of current contraception  
    • Not being aware of contraceptive options that are a better fit for their lifestyle  
    • Lack of education of effectiveness of contraceptive method and/or no contraceptive method used. 

    For many, an unplanned pregnancy means difficult choices and changes in their future.

    • 60% of teen moms drop out of high school and never graduate
    • Only 2% of teen mothers finish college by age 30
    • 65% of woman age 19-24 enrolled in college who become pregnant within the first 2 years of college will fail to finish their degree.

     

    While many good programs and social services agencies provide counseling and assistance, very few organizations emphasize birth control, and even fewer community clinics offer the more effective LARC (Hormonal & Non-hormonal IUD and Nexplanon implant) because they are expensive and have policy and regulatory driven barriers. Additionally, few women truly understand the advantages these methods offer