Condoms available to PCMR employees
February 21, 2012
When the Summit County Health Department approached Park City resorts hoping to promote safe sex practices, nursing director Carolyn Rose had no idea if anyone would go for it. After all, she was trying to persuade Summit County’s image-conscious tourism industry to distribute free condoms to employees.
One resort did take up her offer, Park City Mountain Resort. Condoms with information packets about pregnancy and STDs have been available to PCMR staff since December in staff areas.
Rose started the program after stumbling across Summit County health statistics she said troubled her. Summit County not only had the highest abortion rate in Utah, but abortions seemed to spike during specific times of the year.
"When I saw the county had the highest rates in state of Utah, I didn’t quite want to believe that," Rose said. "I dug into data, talked to the abortion clinics in Salt Lake City and discovered that we do have more abortions during the winter months than other months."
Rose was moved to action.
"I just didn’t like the abortion rates I saw and wanted to intervene," Rose said. "I just thought ‘I’m going to approach the ski resorts and see."
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After looking at the health department data, PCMR communications director Krista Perry said she could understand how the influx of people in the area during the winter would have influenced numbers and the role resorts could play in stemming the numbers.
"A large percentage of team members are away from home for first time," Perry said. "People come to work in Park City for the lifestyle, but we want to do what we can to protect our employee base. That’s why we decided to do this."
Since December, Rose has dropped off more than 600 condoms at the resort, a fact she hopes means people are being safer and perhaps even distributing condoms to friends.
"I think the biggest thing for us is being discreet," Perry said. "They can take the condoms at their own willingness, and that’s because we wanted people to feel comfortable if they do take them."
Rose hopes the impact at the end of the season will be fewer women seeking abortions and more using safer sex practices overall.
"I’m hoping girls don’t have to seek out abortions as an answer as a method of birth control," Rose said. "Mentally and physically, it can be really hard on them."
Perry said staff health concerns are extremely important to the resort.
"After looking at the data, we felt this was the right thing for us to do," Perry said. "It’s in discreet locations where it can be picked up only by team members."
"We’ve seen a lot of positive reaction from our team members," she added.