Meet Carmiya Baskin: PandiaHealth CampusRep and Advocate for The Future of Reproductive Health

PandiaHealth began in 2015 and is the only women-founded and women-led company in the birth control delivery space. Carmiya Baskin is in her third year at UCSB, and is majoring in feminist studies. She is also currently a CampusRep for Pandia at her school.

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How did you first get involved with Pandia? “So I had internships this past summer at the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. Magazine. The CEO and co-founder of PandiaHealth, Dr. Sophia Yen, came in to our space to give a presentation on what the company does and to talk about birth control and women’s reproductive rights. She was very straightforward, which was really refreshing when it comes to talking about women’s bodies. She mentioned the campus representative program and I immediately thought, ‘I want to be a part of this.’”

What are your interests and passions that motivated you to get involved? “My internship was actually research and advocacy, while the Ms. Magazine side was the writing portion. At first I thought I wanted to do journalism, but when Dr. Yen came in to the space and spoke about really focusing on people my age, I knew I wanted to be involved. I wanted to do something personal, and make an impact, even if it was just a small change. There are so many people here who I can reach. I got super into my major and it was like I couldn’t look at anything else the same. College was such a great place to start.”

Image Courtesy of PandiaHealth

How important is it to you to have a team led by women? What did that mean for you when you were looking at getting involved? “It was super important; really cool. Especially considering that my internship this summer was a very feminist space, so trying to leave that was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we doing here?’ It’s really nice to have people who support your beliefs but can also offer differing opinions as well. All these women have different experiences, but we can all understand that this is important. Dr. Yen really opened my eyes to so many different issues.”

What are your responsibilities as a CampusRep? “Our main responsibility is marketing. So just trying to get people to utilize Pandia’s services, doing a lot to reach out on social media; especially since we are targeting people who use birth control and most of those people are younger. I flyer in the Women’s Center and even organize events with the other CampusReps to educate on reproductive health. I try to reach out to press and different media outlets, and I want to start going into certain classes to talk about Pandia as well; basically just encourage involvement.”

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Can you tell me about the role technology plays with Pandia and how the service works? “The company is really unique since it’s actually a delivery service. If you don’t already have one, we have doctors who can write your prescription through an online telemedical consultation. Then we deliver your birth control either to a pharmacy (if you’re worried about privacy or maybe your parents) or right to your doorstep. The delivery itself is free and you can do up to a year’s worth at a time. It’s really nice because some people don’t have the time or the money to continue going back and forth to the doctor’s and the pharmacy. There are different options for whether or not you already have a prescription, if you have insurance; all of that. We offer the pill, the patch, and the ring, so there are those options as well. Technology really plays a huge role too because this entire process is done online.”

How much of what you guys do is education and outreach? “That’s actually mostly done by the CampusReps. Any questions that people have, they’re welcome to ask me. There’s also so much information online and on our website. I always tell people to check out our YouTube videos since they’re such a good, quick resource too.”

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“It’s all about convenience, care, and confidentiality.” - Dr. Sophia Yen. Where does Pandia’s mission come from? What influences the team to invest so much energy into this cause? “The convenience of it is so nice. You don’t need to take time out of your day to pick it up; you never forget. It just comes right to your door. Care is the really big one. These doctors don’t necessarily need to be so invested with us, but I think it’s just so rare to see something like this; especially the fact that it's founded by women. They realize the importance of it and how special it is.”

“I saw teenage pregnancy as preventable.” - Dr. Sophia Yen. How does that influence what you do as a CampusRep; trying to get Pandia out to UCSB students? “So studies have shown that teenage pregnancy is detrimental to not only mental but physical health too. It’s really important to me that women have options; that they’re comfortable and confident, especially when they want to focus on things like their education. Pandia makes birth control easy, which definitely makes it super applicable to busy college students. Even if they just want to stop their period, have painful symptoms, cramping, or soreness. We have emergency contraception too. I try to advocate for there to be no shame, to navigate how to best help these women, and to give them a sense of agency.”

What do you plan on doing after college? Will you stay involved with Pandia? “Great question, totally not stressed out about this at all. [Laughs] But truthfully, I’m not sure what I want to do. I do know for sure that I want to stay involved with intersectional feminism and women’s rights. I’m not sure about Pandia yet; this is only my first year doing it, but I’ve made so many amazing connections and have been able to network with the other CampusReps. I think we’ll always have that bond even if I don’t stay with the company.”

Best tip for people with periods? “Go on birth control if that’s what you want to do. Don’t feel guilty about not wanting to have a period. Make sure you have people supporting you. Definitely watch Netflix and eat ice cream with your girls.”

Anything else you’d like to add? “If you’d like to get involved by being a CampusRep at UCSB or at any campus, email Angela Tolentino ([email protected]), and look up PandiaHealth and what we do. Dr. Yen is absolutely amazing, and Pandia is a great company that I’m so proud to be a part of.” 

For $5 off your doctor's consultation to get your prescription, use CODE: UCSB2018 Follow PandiaHealth on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @PandiaHealth