The Pharmacy Access Project

I was lucky enough to be selected for the Ms. Foundation/PETLab from  Fellowship with ACT for Women and Girls. This means I flew from my grad school at Parsons in NYC to Fresno and then traveled to Visalia. I am tasked with creating and designing a digital presence for their Pharmacy Report Card Project (available at  pharmacy.actforwomenandgirls.org or actpharmacyaccess.org).

The goal of the project was to make a platform to expand upon the pharmacy access work of ACT  and help users in the central valley of California know where to go for emergency contraception. California’s central valley is one of the most conservative in the nation, with the highest rate of teen pregnancy. The project empowers youth in the ACT for Women and Girls programs to secret shop the local pharmacies and rate them based on their availability of EC, birth control, condoms, and their friendliness to teens. The shopping experience is then scored and that score is given a “grade” (A,B,C,D, and F). All A rated pharmacies are given the ACT Approved stamp on the website. Moreover, the website encourages users to rate the pharmacies for themselves and those ratings are calculated on each pharmacy page in a star rating. I have also added a color coding system to the map, so that it is easy to see which are the A rated pharmacies. 


The primary audience is youth between the ages of 14-24. Currently they are targeting youth in the Central Valley of CA, but as the site progresses that audience may open up to more communities around the US. This audience will be looking for information about where to purchase contraception and EC, how it works, medially accurate info, and what pharmacies are youth friendly. They may also want to rate their local pharmacy and leave a review about their experience.

The second audience is the professional governmental or NGO audience. This audience will be made up of governmental employees, Nonprofit administrators and youth advocates, as well as pharmacy and medical workers. This audience will be driven to the site to connect with the PA project as a potential partner who wants to use their PA toolkit to do their own local Pharmacy Access rating. Medical and pharmacy professionals will be driven to the site if they receive an emailed review about there pharmacy. They will also find tips for making their medical and pharmacy environments more teen friendly.


The project was built on Wordpress and CartoDB with custom MySQL. API, html, and css integration. The design and development process was a long one, because I focused on user centered design practices to create it. I had three onsite visits which included three rounds of focus groups and two rounds of user tests with the local youth throughout the process. The finishing design iterations were conducted remotely with phone calls and Skype.  Learn more about the process on the Project Tumblr or in my PDF Report