Affirm Sexual And Reproductive Health Celebrating 50th Anniversary as Title X Agency Making Healthcare Services, Resources Accessible to Everyone

2024 marks an incredible milestone for Affirm Sexual and Reproductive Health as the nonprofit agency will celebrate 50 years of successful outcomes in making Title X (Ten)-funded family planning services available and accessible to individuals throughout Arizona regardless of where they live or their financial situation.

“Our purpose and the driver of everything we do is to create a future where everyone has the trust, support and information about sexual and reproductive healthcare to choose what’s best for them,” said Affirm CEO Bré Thomas. “To that end, we break down barriers, provide critical education and bust stigmas so that everyone can make decisions about their sexual and reproductive healthcare with confidence and clarity.”

Title X was established with bipartisan Congressional support in 1970, making Title X the only source of federal funding for family planning services. In 1974, under the name Arizona Family Planning Council, Affirm provided technical support and training for Title X grantees. Full services began in 1983 when the Council, guided by a seven-member board of directors, was awarded the full Title X grant. Later, the organization became Arizona Family Health Partnership, then, in 2022, the agency established itself as Affirm. Arizona’s Title X agency is now governed by a 17-member board, and the leadership feels that the name and branding of Affirm better reflects its efforts to coordinate sexual and reproductive services with the Title X grant “and to be inclusive of the diverse populations we provide services to,” Thomas said.

Title X funds Affirm which, in turn, distributes grant dollars to health centers providing low- or no-cost services like birth control, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, counseling and other preventative services. Today, Affirm manages $6.1 million in federal grant funding to more than 50 Title X-funded health centers across Arizona providing services to an average of 35,000 people annually.

Title X clients include the uninsured and underinsured, low-wage earners, youth, Indigenous communities and other groups that have been systemically excluded from receiving care.

“Many of the people served in our Title X health centers might not otherwise be receiving vital healthcare services,” Thomas said.

Affirm’s scope of work has expanded significantly “as we consistently measure gaps in sexual and reproductive healthcare accessibility and affordability, and we design, implement and collaborate to provide medically accurate, effective and diverse options,” Thomas said.

Among the recent highlights:

  • Launching in 2016, a one-stop website for teens, parents and young adults to find information about birth control methods and options as well as a search function to find the nearest Title X-funded health center in Arizona.
  • Implementing and managing the evidence-based Adolescent Champion Model since 2018 to improve healthcare delivery for young adults and empower them to establish lifelong healthy behaviors.
  • Supporting Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs in 2023 in allowing pharmacists the ability to dispense hormonal contraception without a doctor’s prescription to adults in Arizona, and her executive orders the same year limiting abortion prosecution and protecting reproductive freedom for individuals to make decisions about their own bodies without interference from politicians.

Thomas said events are being planned during the year to celebrate the anniversary and to “highlight the impact and success we have been part of for the last five decades.”