MDG's reproductive health clinic offers top-notch care

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In an effort to improve reproductive health care for Hill’s service members, the 75th Healthcare Operations Squadron recently stood up the base’s first-ever walk in contraceptive clinic.

“We have been able to greatly improve access to care for contraceptive needs,” said Maj. Cassie Foss, Medical Services Flight commander. “Response to the walk in clinic has been very positive.”

Foss said studies have long shown there is a tremendous benefit to not having a delay in reproductive services and care. Hill’s clinic sees an average of 20 patients per month during walk-in service times, where previously patients could be waiting up to 1-2 weeks to be seen.

The clinic offers a variety of services for birth control needs that vary from emergency contraception, and short and long acting contraceptive options. The clinic has two women's health nurse practitioners, and are both trained on providing the long-acting reversible contraception devices, such as the implantable birth control rod and intrauterine devices.

“The ability to place and remove LARCs during walk in services has been very beneficial as patients are not having to wait for a future appointment,” Foss said. “Add this service to the in-clinic pregnancy test we can perform, and it has cut patient wait time down tremendously.”

Improving reproductive health care has been a priority for the Department of Defense. In an October 2022 memorandum, the Secretary of Defense directed the DoD to take a series of actions to ensure service members and their families are able to access non-covered reproductive health care. Several policies were recently announced regarding reproductive health, including command notification of pregnancy, administrative absence for non-covered reproductive health care, and travel allowances for non-covered reproductive health care.

The DoD policy on command notification of pregnancy provides service members the time and flexibility to make private health care decisions while accounting for the responsibility placed on commanders to meet operational requirements and protect the health and safety of those in their care. This policy standardizes and extends the timeframe for service members to inform their commanders about a pregnancy, generally allowing up to 20 weeks of pregnancy to notify their commanders of their pregnancy status, with limited exceptions to account for specific military duties, occupational health hazards, and medical conditions.

The policy for administrative absence for non-covered reproductive health care provides service members the ability to request an administrative absence from their normal duty station to access non-covered reproductive health care without being charged leave.  Service members may be granted an administrative absence to access non-covered reproductive health care.

Travel and transportation allowances may be authorized for service members and dependents to travel to access non-covered reproductive health care when access to non-covered reproductive health care services is not available within the local area of the member’s duty station.

“Having increased access to reproductive services has been such a positive change, I am excited to see the changes being made DOD wide,” Foss said.

Hill’s walk in contraception clinic is open Tuesdays from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Women's Health clinic. No appointment is necessary and patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. To review the contraceptive methods available for patients and for additional information visit