Superheroes of SRH: Maria Loupetis and Jane Howden

Community Health Nurses, EACH

Jane Howden & Maria Loupetis

1. How are you working to improve sexual and reproductive health?

The Women’s Clinic at EACH provides affordable, safe and confidential services to all women by women. It uses accredited interpreters whenever required, has free nurse led clinics and bulk billing GPs specialising in women’s health.

We provide clinical services and education relating to all forms of sexual and reproductive health, including; affordable contraception and family planning, screening (cervical, breast, STIs), referral pathways, immunisations, pregnancy, fertility advice, treatment and support.

EACH has recently received funding by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to expand its sexual and reproductive health services, working as a women’s reproductive hub for the Outer East of Melbourne- This also means we will soon be providing information, clinical services and support to women who opt for medical termination of pregnancy (MTOP).

2. What do you love most about your work?

Being part of a supportive and experienced team that can provide women with the information and support they need relating to sexual and productive health.

It has been great to hear many women expressing their appreciation for providing an affordable and accessible service that specialises in women’s health in this area of Melbourne.

Working with key stakeholders and organisations in the community to provide outreach community education on sexual and reproductive health- tailored to their specific needs.

Working with key stakeholders and women who are often experiencing the greatest inequities in health and are often under screened.

Being able to provide women with longer appointment times which can be difficult to find.

3. Why is your work so important?

We are often working with women experiencing the greatest inequities in health. Our service is able to provide them with the support, information and treatment that can empower them to make decisions to improve their sexual and reproductive health.

There are often barriers for many women being able to access services in this area of health and wellbeing. By providing female only practitioners, interpreters, community outreach education, long appointment times, bulk billing, free nurse led clinics and working with other organisations- we can try assist women to overcome some of these barriers.

4. What do you think are the biggest sexual and reproductive health issues facing the women that you work with?

Awareness and knowledge of safe and affordable contraception.

Women who are under screened, this can include women who are overdue for their cervical screening test, breast screen or untreated STIs.

More information:

Women’s Clinic at EACH Ringwood

World Contraception Day