• Choices Women’s Medical Center:
  • 147-32 Jamaica Avenue
  • Queens, NY 11435

Outreach, Research, and Education

Choices Is Everywhere!

Its involvement with patients is high and widespread, going way far beyond the delivery of the highest level of health care into the minds, hearts and lives of its patients and the community it serves. As an organization it is committed to treatment, research, educational outreach and bridging societal and cultural gaps through compassionate, concerned and informed health care.

Merle Hoffman and Interns

Merle Hoffman holds hanger that was used in first pro-choice civil disobedience rally at St. Patricks cathedral in New York circa 1989. She is surrounded by students from the Moxie program of Duke University.

Studies

TelAbortion

Choices Women’s Medical Center has recently participated in a research study that has ended May 2017: the TelAbortion Study. The purpose of the study was to evaluate a service through which women can obtain medical abortion pills by mail without coming in person to the clinic and is evaluated via videoconference. The patient obtained an ultrasound and other tests, at facilities near her home, before and after the procedure. The study used the same medication that is used for all medical abortions at Choices.

The purpose of the study was to improve access to abortion services for women who may find it challenging to come to clinics, due to distance, the costs of travel, the need for childcare, lost wages or for other reasons.

Dilapan

Committed to being on the forefront of women’s health care, Choices Women’s Medical Center has participated in national and international research studies throughout its 45-year history. At this time, we are involved in an international study (in conjunction with the Czech Republic, India and Spain) on the use of Dilapan, Dilapan-S/Dilasoft osmotic dilators, which are products used to prepare the cervix prior to a surgical abortion. Professor Janesh Gupta of the University of Birmingham, UK is directing this study in the US, which is oriented toward analyzing the number of hours required for sufficient dilation by the Dilapan product available in the US.

Abortionomics

Condicted by independent researcher Robin H. Pugh Yi, Ph.D., president of Akeso Consulting in Vienna, Virginia, the study is called Abortionomics: When Choice Is a Necessity, The Impact of Recession on Abortion. The analysis was commissioned by Merle Hoffman, founder and president of Choices Women’s Medical Center, after hearing anecdotal information from abortion patients that today’s economic hardships were a large factor in women’s decisions to have abortions. The findings were presented by Hoffman and Pugh Yi at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Jan. 17, 2011.

Community & Educational Outreach

Educating the public about women’s health has always been integral to the mission of Choices Women’s Medical Center. From community centers, to health fairs, high school and colleges, embassies and human services organizations, Choices provides accurate and up-to-date information on a variety of topics and advocacy to underserved communities throughout the five boroughs of New York, Nassau and Suffolk. Our team of Outreach Specialists offers accurate, honest and relevant support services information each time they visit communities. Choices is known for its accurate, interactive and non-judgmental health and sex/sexuality related workshops.

If you are interested in hosting any of these Choices Workshops, please contact our Outreach and Education Team by calling 718-349-9100 ext.119 or emailing Outreach@choicesmedical.com for more information.

Feedback from Health Educator located in Elmhurst, Queens:

“Kelly and her team from Choices Women’s Medical Center are an asset to our school community. I’ve scheduled presentations for Birth Control, Healthy Relationships, and STI’s every semester for the past 4 years. My students truly enjoy Kelly’s visits and the information she presents is invaluable to my students health and lives. A number of my students have taken advantage of the services at Choices Women’s Medical Center because of their professionalism, convenient location and free services. In addition, these presentations do a great job at supplementing NYC health curriculum for 9-12 grades.”

Choices Health Fair
Choices staff interacts with community residents at one of our many health fairs.

Workshops

Birth Control Workshop: What Kinds of Birth Control Are Available and How to Use Them

Will my birth control cause me to gain weight? What is the difference between a male and female condom? What happens if I forget to take one of my birth control pills? What types of long-term birth control are available to me? Each birth control workshop answers these questions and more. Choosing the best birth control is a very personal decision. Every person is different, with different preferences and needs. Our teams of specialists describe in detail the most current birth control options available, with honesty, accuracy and openness. This workshop gives participants useful information about birth control effectiveness, the pros and cons of each type, and helps them decide what method might be right for them. It clears up confusion, misinformation and misconceptions about birth control.

Sexually Trasmitted Infections (STI's) Workshop: What They Are, How to Recognize and Treat Them and Practice Safer Sex

The Choices STI workshop gives detailed information about the most common sexually transmitted infections, how they spread, the importance of testing and prevention. It gives detailed information about safer sex practices that prevent the spread of STIs.

Healthy Relationships Workshop: What Makes A Relationship Healthy and How to Keep it That Way

Are you happy in your relationship? Does your partner treat you as an equal and respect you? Does your partner act jealous and get mad if you want to spend time with others? Relationships can but do not have to be sexual, but they should make you feel comfortable secure and respected. In this workshop Choices Outreach specialists help you explore what makes a relationship healthy, the signs of an unhealthy relationship, and suggest where to go to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing partner abuse or violence within an intimate relationship. Everyone deserves to be in a relationship that is based upon mutual respect, on trust, on honesty, that is supportive and uplifting, that makes you happy, secure and feel safe. This workshop saves lives.

Pregnancy Options Workshop: Abortion, Prenatal Care, Adoption, and Choices' Advocacy for Women's Reproductive Health

Choices Outreach reviews the various pregnancy options available at Choices – including abortion, adoption coordination, and our Prenatal Program that includes access to midwife services. We discuss the history of reproductive healthcare and how Choices has advocated on behalf of women for over 45 years.

“Sex Never Gets Old” Workshop: Healthy Sex, STI Prevention and Treatment for All Ages

Recent studies have revealed a national trend among seniors of more active sex lives and, at the same time, an increase in the number of reported cases of sexually transmitted infections and diseases among those aged 55 and older. Education is the key to slowing the spread of STIs in the senior community. Infections are climbing at an alarming rate, and this Choices’ workshop informs and educates seniors about testing, prevention and treatments. It explains in honest and easy to understand terms that safe sex is vitally important, no matter your age. Each workshop includes Q&A, and is comprehensive, lively, full of humor, refreshingly – and sometimes brutally – honest, and often quite poignant. Choices Women’s Medical Center has launched this new workshop because there is a real need to get no-nonsense sex education to our senior population.

Internships

Introduction

Choices Women’s Medical Center believes that a hands-on experience in a gold standard health care environment is the best way to develop health care professionals for the future. Choices has participated in numerous internship programs since 1971 when it first opened its doors. It offers interns a unique opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgical facility, training on top of the line equipment and working shoulder to shoulder with some of the finest health care professionals in the industry. Since 2011 the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) has awarded Choices Women’s Medical Center its highest level of accreditation. This distinguishes Choices from many other outpatient surgical facilities by ensuring both a safe work environment and the highest quality of care to its patients. If you are an educational organization, school or other intern placement source and are interested in placing interns at Choices, please call 718-349-9100 ext 119 or email outreach@choicesmedical.com.

Choices Medical Center Internships

International Internships

American Medical Opportunities Worldwide Intern Program (AMO)

(AMO) places international students and graduates in 4-week clinical experiences such as clerkships, electives, externships and observerships. AMO understands the goals and aspirations of its interns and uses those goals as the basis of each placement. Hosting international visitors allows organizations to pass on their skills and knowledge to a new generation of health care professionals. AMO’s value lies in the painstaking process they use to match an organization’s requirements and protocols with each of their applicants. To find out more information please visit www.amoworldwide.org.

Medical Students for Choice

Founded by medical students in 1993 as a response to the almost complete deficit of abortion education in their medical training, Medical Students for Choice (a 501©3 non-profit) has filled a unique niche in the abortion rights movement. They work to ensure that medical students and trainees are educated about all aspects of reproductive health care, including abortion.

Currently, MSFC has more than 220 chapters around the world. With abortion training still lacking in medical school curricula, MSFC members organize to change institutional policies and broaden opportunities for all their fellow students to receive family planning education.

Medical Students for Choice supports any medical student or physician in training seeking abortion and family planning education. For more information please visit msfc.org

Domestic Internships

Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI)

Since 2005, BALI has mentored and trained young women of middle, high school and college-age, developing confidence and the critical skills needed to become effective, dynamic, and visionary 21st-century leaders. Annually, Choices outreach team provides educational workshops to the summer program attendees.

Columbia University

For the past several years Choices has been participating in Columbia University’s Internship program, hosting their amazing students and graduates in Choices Gynecology, Surgical, Prenatal and other departments.

The Columbia University Internship Program is coordinated by the University’s Center for Career Education. It helps students and alumni develop key competencies necessary to make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to achieve their career goals. The Center establishes connections and facilitates interaction among undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni, employers, and organizations to generate opportunities that help students pursue their personal and professional objectives.

Duke University

The Moxie Project is a civic engagement experience sponsored by DukeEngage that fosters social justice leadership in a select group of Duke undergraduates. The program provides students with an opportunity to observe and practice social change within a partner organization dedicated to supporting women and girls in the New York City area; partners include the National Domestic Worker’s Alliance, Legal Momentum, Girls for Gender Equity, and, this year, Choices. Eight undergraduates will work 35 hours a week with partner organizations to learn about and work for reproductive rights, immigration issues, labor rights, violence against women policy initiatives and much more. Through an intensive eight-weeks of academic seminars, professional development and applied learning experiences against the backdrop of New York’s rich activist past and present, students will understand how their leadership efforts fit into a long history of women’s activism and emerge with confidence to become a part of that history. Follow their journey through the Moxie Blog. This year’s cohort will start their journey in early June.

Feedback from Duke Intern, Kelly A., Summer 2016:

“Yassas Choices! It has only been two and a half weeks since I was with you all, but already so much is changing! I’m now finishing up a medical shadowing program for pre-medical students in Athens, Greece and will soon be returning to the States to begin the school year. I’ve learned a lot from shadowing doctors in a country whose healthcare system is underfunded and under-resourced, and it’s made me so thankful for how fortunate we are in America to have excellent healthcare.

Even though it hasn’t been long, I’ve missed the Choices family so much! I especially miss seeing the same friendly faces everyday and the incredible passion that Choices has its patients. I felt truly blessed to be working on such commendable projects this summer, including TransCare and Primary Care. Already, the experience and knowledge I gained while working at Choices have allowed me to interact with people in a way that I was unable to before. I learned so much about women’s healthcare, differing patient populations and the importance of exhibiting compassion when treating patients.

My incredible experience as a Choices intern would not have been possible however, without the time, patience, and work of several individuals. Firstly, I thank Ms. Hoffman for her trust in me and her amazingly supportive attitude. She pushed me to think about women’s healthcare in new ways, and her leadership was a constant inspiration to me. I also thank Kelly M. for putting up with me every single day. She was both a boss and a friend to me, and her constant company made my summer ten times better than it would’ve ever been without her. She taught me everything I now know about marketing, outreach, and the administrative side of healthcare.

Duke University

Lastly, I thank everyone else at Choices, whether in Administrative, GYN, AB, the Call Center, Housekeeping, the Front Desk, and every other department for their kind and informative interactions with me. I found a home and so many friends during my time at your facility, and for that I am ever thankful. I hope to visit soon and see all the amazing things that you’ve accomplished while I’ve been away!”

Jamaica Hospital

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is committed to maintaining the highest standards of scholarship and teaching, and delivering excellent and compassionate medical care to all they serve. These goals are reflected in every aspect of the training experience offered to trainees.

Because training is central to their mission, every effort is made to provide hands-on clinical experience, as well as didactic teaching. They encourage and support scholarly activity, including research and opportunities which are an integral part of teaching programs.

Jamaica Hospital’s various Graduate Medical Education programs provide Residents with many opportunities to showcase their educational research projects including rotations at Choices Women’s Medical Center. To learn more visit www.jamaicahospital.org.

Queens College

The Internship Program at Queens College helps to integrate classroom learning with work experience. Its Office of Career Development & Internships facilitates student placement, follow-ups, and the final evaluation process, and develops and maintains a database of internship requirements and terms in a variety of fields to facilitate positive internship experiences.  Some Queens College internships are credit-bearing courses that teach students how to transition from the school world to the work world, while others can be paid, stipend, or unpaid.

Maya RajavelMaya Rajavel, Undergraduate Student Intern at Choices

Watching others at Choices has taught me a lot about how to communicate with people in a kind and effective manner and provide quality service. The staff at Choices always puts patient experience first and works hard to ensure that their patients’ medical needs are met professionally and confidentially. These are skills that I will carry for the rest of my life as I continue to strive towards becoming a doctor.

Medical Students for Choice

Founded by medical students in 1993 as a response to the almost complete deficit of abortion education in their medical training, Medical Students for Choice (a 501©3 non-profit) has filled a unique niche in the abortion rights movement. They work to ensure that medical students and trainees are educated about all aspects of reproductive health care, including abortion.

Currently, MSFC has more than 220 chapters around the world. With abortion training still lacking in medical school curricula, MSFC members organize to change institutional policies and broaden opportunities for all their fellow students to receive family planning education.

Medical Students for Choice supports any medical student or physician in training seeking abortion and family planning education. For more information please visit msfc.org.

York College

York College’s Community Health Education Program and Choices Women’s Medical Center have collaborated to provide interns extensive supervised field experience within Choices Outreach, Education, and Marketing Department.

The Community Health Education program at York College is designed to prepare the student to be a specialist skilled in planning and implementing programs that enhance health awareness. This multidisciplinary program facilitates the involvement of individuals, communities, and community-based organizations to promote well-being, improved health status and positive health behaviors.

The Community Health Education program’s goal – to prepare health education specialists – is implemented through the program’s curriculum and internship experiences which reflect the standards of the American Association of Health Education (AAHE) and National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC). These standards and competencies address content, assessment needs, planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs, educational strategies, being a resource person, and communication and advocacy.

Dr. Alexandria WellsIntroducing Dr. Alexandria Wells

Dr. Alexandria Wells is a third-year OB/GYN resident at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center who recently completed a rotation with Choices as a Clinical Intern. We had the opportunity and honor to speak with Dr. Wells about her experience here and wanted to share it with you.

Dr. Wells already was familiar with Choices from having lived in the neighborhood for many years and presently working in nearby Jamaica Hospital’s Prenatal Department.

Choices’ relationship with Jamaica Hospital includes using them for emergency backup if needed, and for specialty GYN surgical procedures that Choices physicians perform. Jamaica Hospital is also one of the Hospitals that Choices pre- natal patients choose to give birth in.

Dr. Wells said her passion for working in women’s reproductive rights began years earlier when she was completing Medical School at Howard University in Washington, DC. The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, she decided to join the Women’s March in D.C. for women’s rights. She said, “I put on my white coat and went into the streets for my family, my patients, and myself. That night as part of my Medical School training, I participated in the delivery of a baby girl. And I decided at the day’s end to go into reproductive health work.”

Dr. Wells became interested in medicine even earlier when she was in the 4th or 5th grade. She recalls, “My grandfather had died and my grandmother had been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). This piqued my interest in medicine.”

Has there been anything surprising or especially meaningful about your experience at Choices?

“I think the counseling sessions were especially impactful for me. When you’re able to sit with the social workers as they talk to patients you learn about why these women are there, what they’ve gone through in their lives that brings them to Choices. You learn why access to safe abortion is so important, so women can make the best decisions and change the trajectory of their lives.

“Sometimes people think that abortion is taken lightly by women who have one. That is absolutely not the case. Perhaps they’ve been raped or pushed into sexual maturity against their will. Perhaps they’ve been recently incarcerated. For whatever reason, they see this choice as in the best interests for their future.”

“Because Choices sees so many patients as an outpatient clinic, more than a hospital or other health facility, working here gives you a lot of experience. You become more comfortable with the medical procedures, especially 2nd trimester terminations. Being at Choices is a great way for medical Residents [doctors completing their training] to learn this. And to learn how to consciously integrate reproductive health and abortion into their overall practice.”

You have said you are also concerned about health disparities that exist today. Could you say a few words about this?

“We’ve known that this has existed for some time. I think there has been more focus on this recently – that the medical community must act to combat systemic racism that is built into the medical system. It is a particular problem for Black women. I have seen the effects firsthand of unequal treatment on maternal mortality. There is also a need to combat fear and distrust of the medical system that exists among Black people. If you’re afraid of going to the doctor you won’t be able to get the care you need.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to young people of color about going into the medical field and becoming doctors?

“Medicine is a very rewarding field. I have no reservations about it or urging others to take it up. It is not easy, however, and you need persistence. You will hear ‘no’ more often ‘yes’ applying to medical school. Along the way people will try to dissuade you. It is really important to stay focused on who you’re doing this for. If you focus on the patients and why you are doing this, you won’t be led astray.”

Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share?

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here at Choices and learn from them. I also appreciate the work they do for the community they’re in. Choices needs to be supported.”

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Our team of board-certified medical professionals and support staff offer safe, trusted, comprehensive care and services at the highest level. Our state-of-the-art facility is located in the heart of Jamaica Queens, NY.

Schedule an appointment with Choices today.

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