Congratulations to principal investigator Shirley McMillan (clinical nurse specialist with Adult Services); Linda Wise, Deborah Bluestein, and Lisa Malcho (PEP Therapists); and Janet Vogt (Senior Research Associate) for receiving the Women’s Xchange $15K Challenge grant by the Women’s College Research Institute for their research project: ‘Supporting the reproductive health of women with intellectual disabilities: Improving awareness and use of routine gynecological services’. The $15K Challenge awards up to $15,000 to support grassroots research projects that address women’s health issues at the local level.
The goal of the project is to help women with intellectual and developmental disabilities attain a better understanding of their reproductive health and how to maintain it. The team will develop, deliver, and evaluate a ‘Health Women’s Lifestyle’ group focused on women’s reproductive health for Surrey Place Centre clients in the adult program. This group is being developed to support our female clients in accessing the Bay Centre for Birth Control which has recently collaborated with Surrey Place Centre to provide services delivered by female nurses for women with an intellectual disability. Through the new collaboration, our clients will be able to access PAP smears; screening, consultation, and treatment for STIs; and birth control options. The ‘Health Women’s Lifestyle’ group will include a visit to the clinic and the team will develop support materials for participants and educational materials for clinic staff who will be working with our clients.