At The Brigid Alliance, our dedicated team of client service coordinators spend every day helping people travel long distances to abortion care. Our coordinators serve as a single point of contact for abortion-seekers, arranging and covering the costs of travel, food, lodging, child care, and more, bringing reassurance and dignity to every interaction they have with our clients.
But coordinators are much more than travel agents. They also have a deep expertise in collaborating with other partners in the abortion access space and in-depth knowledge of the regions around our partner clinics. They provide clients with a sense of security and safety that they wouldn’t have otherwise, and provide continuity of care and emotional support at every stage of the journey. They are experienced case managers who are specifically trained in offering client-centered care in an inclusive, respectful way that relies on trauma-informed language and perspectives.
Since the Dobbs decision, the workload has increased and evolved in new ways. Partner organizations in states with restrictions or bans have been forced to scale back their services. And the surging need for people to travel for care has resulted in many clinics scheduling farther into the future, which requires individuals to delay their procedures, sometimes risking their health. The Brigid Alliance coordinators navigate all of these obstacles with poise to provide confidence and comfort for our clients.
We wanted to provide some insight into the critical role that client service coordinators fulfill at The Brigid Alliance. Below, we break down a typical “day in the life” of a coordinator – knowing, of course, that since every client and journey are unique, every day looks a little bit different. To support this work, click here to make a donation to The Brigid Alliance.
We’ll call this coordinator “Olivia” – a full-time coordinator based on the West coast. Take a look at how Olivia and the rest of the team works together to get people to abortion care – whatever it takes.
9:30am PT – Team Check-In
The team checks in, a standing call led by The Brigid Alliance’s Director of Client Services, Mariely. Today the agenda includes an update on a new state-level restriction and talking through what it will mean for people seeking abortions from that state. Next, a coordinator helping a client with a medical issue shares the details of the case and Olivia chimes in with experience from a past case. The call ends with a personal check-in with team members airing their frustrations about all the barriers our clients face and reassuring one another that they are in this together.
10:30am – Supporting Client Through Missed Connection
Olivia receives a call from a client traveling across multiple states to get to a partner health center. The client is frantic, her flight has been delayed and she missed her connection. Olivia reassures the client and books a new flight.
11:00am – Confirmation Calls
Olivia pops in her ear buds and ticks through a list of calls:
- She checks in with a local abortion fund covering the cost of a client’s procedure and confirms that The Brigid Alliance can cover all other practical costs – travel, food, lodging, and child care.
- She calls a Spanish-speaking client to talk through how to pick up a bus ticket, where the client needs to go when, and what kind of ID might be required along the way.
- She texts another client to remind them of their appointment next week and to check in to make sure they have everything they need to make the journey. The client texts back that they haven’t yet gotten time off work and are worried about it. Olivia replies to keep her posted and reassures the client that they will figure something out.
- She calls a partner health center to reconfirm another client’s appointment for the following day.
1:30 pm – Researching Transportation
Olivia circles back to a client who lives in a very rural area without access to Uber or Lyft services. She scouts around for local cab companies that would pick someone up for the 2-3 hour trip for her client. The reality is that for some clients, their journey to access abortion care may be the longest trip they’ve ever taken. Some have never left the state or flow on a plane, and some need information on how to navigate or use travel apps. The Brigid Alliance coordinators often step in to give our clients relief and reassurance.
2:00pm – Rescheduling an Appointment
The client who missed her flight earlier in the day calls to update Olivia that she’s boarding her new flight, but it’s delayed and she will miss her appointment. Olivia calls the health center to shift the appointment and calls the hotel to secure late check-in and to extend the stay by a night. She texts the client to call her when she lands so they can figure out an additional meal stipend.
4:00pm – Coordination
Olivia checks in with a regional practical support organization with a new case. They talk through the travel and other logistical costs the case will require and agree that Olivia will focus on booking travel and her counterpart at the abortion fund will secure a hotel. They agree to check in again the following day.
5:00pm – Reaching Out
Olivia texts a client traveling the next day. She hasn’t heard back from the client in a couple of days, but knows the client has young children and a busy work schedule. Before logging off for the day, she marks her calendar to follow up again the next day to reconfirm travel arrangements with the client.
Our client services team is the backbone of The Brigid Alliance. When you support The Brigid Alliance, you support this team and the many challenges they tackle each day. Thank you for trusting in us to work toward a future where abortion care is borderless, burden-free, and accessible to all. Click here to make a donation.