This week we’re profiling the amazing women doing great work to improve sexual and reproductive health in our region!
Superheroes of SRH: Kerrie Connor
Sexual and Reproductive Health Nurse
Gateway Health Clinic 35 – Wangaratta
- How are you working to improve sexual and reproductive health?
I work as a sexual and reproductive health nurse at Gateway Health’s Clinic 35 in Wangaratta where I provide a range of clinical services that women living in rural and regional areas haven’t been able to access easily. We offer women a confidential and safe setting to discuss sexual health concerns and receive specialist sexual and reproductive health care that is timely and affordable. Services provided include contraception choices, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, STIs, HIV and cervical screening, unplanned pregnancy choices counselling, Implanon insertion/removal and medical termination of pregnancy.
- What do you love most about your work?
I love meeting diverse people living in the Ovens and King valleys I’ve worked in for 18 years and being able to offer a health service that is appreciated. I like to make sure women are treated with respect, without stigma and to provide effective health care to meet each woman’s needs. It’s great to receive very positive feedback from women about Clinic 35 services and our allied pharmacy.
- Why is your work important?
Before Clinic 35 was available, women living in North East Victoria couldn’t access these comprehensive services in our region. Many women had to travel long distances and spend additional money to receive the sexual and reproductive health care and services Clinic 35 now provides. We want all our services to be accessible, affordable and supportive for rural women. It’s about equity, no matter where you live.
- What do you think are the biggest sexual and reproductive health issues facing women that you work with?
Access is still a problem for rural women, particularly those living in more isolated areas of North East Victoria where it’s still challenging with distance, transport services and travel time. Finding their way to the services can still be difficult for women, with diversions and misinformation from health practitioners and others. Accurate information around access and services is slowly getting out to women but it’s important for all health professionals to be aware of Clinic 35 sexual and reproductive health services available in Wangaratta and Wodonga.
More information: Gateway Health Clinic 35