Case Studies

Family Planning

How might we support Baltimore women in designing their family planning strategy?

Project Overview

Baltimore City Health Department’s LARC Access Project was initially conceived as a largely supply-side intervention to assess family planning clinics’ ability to provide long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and provide technical assistance to improve Baltimore’s LARC services. Since the project began in 2015 it has expanded the types of LARCs available in publicly-funded family planning clinics, trained over 500 clinical staff and providers, and contributed to the increase in LARC utilization from 10% to 20% throughout Baltimore City.

Despite these advances, Baltimore City Health Department’s (BCHD) Family Planning Program identified the need to address client demand. As clinical sites improve LARC access, they need to address the prevalence of provider mistrust, birth control myths, and lack of health education that lead women to choose no contraception or use less effective forms of contraception.

In Fall 2018, MICA’s Center for Social Design began working with staff at BCHD and other community stakeholders to better understand the barriers to family planning in Baltimore and develop design prototypes. 

Together, the team developed a Family Planning Toolkit for Baltimore home visitors to help women reflect on their personal experiences and preferences relating to family planning. 

Inside the toolkit:

  • Birth Control Demos: life-size models of the birth control methods so women can interact with and touch all options available to decide what will work best for them.
  • Birth Control Cards: cards highlighting various things that are important to women when choosing a birth control method
  • Birth Control Guide: information on each method to help women decide what method best meets their needs right now.
  • “A Friend of Mine": a  game designed to spark fun and engaging conversation about birth control, family planning, sex, and talking to your doctor.
  • Takeaway Cards: cards to help women take notes about what methods they’re interested in and think about questions to ask their provider.

Awards & Recognition

Articles & Publications

Project Team

Hayelin Choi (GD MFA ‘19), Sarah Dunn (MASD ‘19), Elishabha Eaton, Aylin Onur (MASD ‘19), Vic Liu (GD MA ‘19), Claudia Norena (MASD ‘19), Rachel Serra (MASD ‘17), Amber Summers, Jade Shih (MASD ‘19), Cecilia Yang (MASD ‘19)

Project Advisors

Denise Shanté Brown, Alexandra Eisler, Vanessa Geffrard, LaShay Harvey, Dr. Olnfunke Pickering, Dr. Nishant Shah

Project Leads

Charlotte Hager and Becky Slogeris


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