Bayer and Direct Relief Work To Address Health Disparities, Expand Access to Family Planning Services through Community Awards Program

More than 23,000 individuals seeking family planning resources received support through services, training, education, and grants at health clinics across the country

WHIPPANY, N.J.--()--In celebration of International Women’s Day, the humanitarian organization Direct Relief today announced the impact of their 2021 community award program along with the latest round of funding to women’s healthcare organizations. The community award program is focused on expanding access to family planning services and contraception by addressing health disparities and pressing community needs in the US.

In 2020, Direct Relief identified four health clinics – including Adagio Health (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Maternal and Family Health Services (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (Indianapolis, Ind.), and Planned Parenthood Great Plains (Little Rock, Ark.) – that were awarded funding made possible by Bayer. The funding reached more than 23,100 women through services, training, education, grants, and community outreach. The clinics implemented programs that addressed the most pressing needs in their communities, such as providing transportation to clinics, increasing virtual and telehealth options for reproductive healthcare, and offering culturally grounded and/or Spanish language education materials for women.

In addition, a second round of grant recipients were recently awarded funding to support community organizations - including Health Alliance for the Uninsured (HAU), (Oklahoma), Plan A Health, (Mississippi) and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Kentucky. These projects will address unmet needs in their communities through enhanced services like expanded resources, increasing mobile health unit footprints and utilizing digital media to provide education.

The community awards program is aligned with Bayer’s We’re for Her mission, which reflects Bayer’s commitment to the reproductive health of all women — from products and education to championing access to contraceptives. By striving to ensure access to modern healthcare through innovation in products and services, and by investing in programs dedicated to women’s health education, awareness, and medical training, we support women’s ability to make educated choices about their future.

This community initiative supported health clinics to create and expand programming to meet unique local needs, which provided thousands of women with tools and information about their options to aid in making important, informed, and powerful decisions about their healthcare,” said Yesmean Wahdan, MD, US Medical Affairs, Women’s Healthcare. “We believe that women shouldn’t be celebrated just one day a year and our collaboration with Direct Relief extends important resources to help women throughout the year. This collaboration has been particularly important during the global pandemic, when healthcare and family planning services have been disrupted and become harder to access for some women. We are proud of this effort that reflects Bayer’s commitment to ensure assess and education for all “hers” across the country regardless of their personal situation.”

“Reproductive health providers in the United States always work heroically through challenging circumstances to serve patients, and International Women’s Day is the perfect time to recommit and renew support for them,” said Paulina Ospina, Direct Relief's Associate Director of Maternal and Child Health. “Building on the success of last year’s awards, Direct Relief is deeply thankful to Bayer for its continued investment in reproductive health and to the health providers that go above and beyond for their patients, today and every day.”

The community awards program is a three-year partnership with Direct Relief that helps address access through the donation of intrauterine devices (IUDs) by Bayer, grants administered by Direct Relief to health clinics around the country, and educational materials to healthcare facilities. The program is also aligned with Bayer’s goal to provide 100 million women across the world with access to contraception by 2030.

About Women’s Healthcare at Bayer

Bayer is a recognized leader in women’s healthcare, with a long-standing commitment to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. Bayer offers a wide range of effective short- and long-acting birth control methods as well as therapies for menopause management and gynecological diseases. Bayer is also focusing on innovative options to address the unmet medical needs of women worldwide. Today, Bayer’s research and development efforts focus on finding new treatment options for menopause as well as gynecological diseases and includes several compounds in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development. Together, these projects reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to alter the way that gynecological diseases are treated. Additionally, Bayer intends to provide 100 million women in low-and-middle income countries by 2030 with access to family planning by funding multi-stakeholder aid programs and by ensuring the supply of affordable modern contraceptives. This is part of the comprehensive sustainability measures and commitments from 2020 onwards and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability, and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 41.4 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 4.9 billion euros. For more information, go to

About Direct Relief

A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, please visit

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Jennifer May


Jennifer May