Archive for the ‘Patients: News, Stories, and Comments’ Category
Often afraid or fearful of being judged, transgender people frequently delay or avoid routine health care examinations that could prevent more serious or life-threatening health consequences.
To shed light on this little discussed but serious health care challenge, we are presenting the Sundance Grand Jury Winning Documentary, Southern Comfort, at the Carrboro Arts Center this Thursday, May 24th. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting our newly launched transgender services.
Southern Comfort follows the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear that treating a transsexual person would damage their reputations. By the time Eads received treatment, the cancer was too far advanced to save his life. During his final year, Robert fell in love with male-to-female transsexual, Lola Cola, who stars in the film and will attend the Carrboro event to provide Q & A for the audience after the film.
Southern Comfort highlights the discrimination many transgender people encounter when seeking healthcare. An April 2012 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality showed that roughly a quarter of transgender people reported being turned away by health care providers while almost half of transgender men have delayed or avoided preventive health care such as pelvic exams or STI screenings out of fear of being judged.
“Planned Parenthood believes all people deserve high quality, affordable health care,” says Janet Colm, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. “Our goal in providing transgender services is to reduce barriers and help ensure that all people have access to non-judgmental and respectful care.”
The Southern Comfort benefit screening, a partnership between Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, Equality NC, Equality NC’s Trans Policy Task Force, is made possible through the generosity of local supporters. To purchase advanced tickets (suggested donation of $10) or to support our transgender services, see the Planned Parenthood website at www.ppcentralnc.org/lola
“I don’t believe in abortion,” said the abortion patient sitting across from me. “But, I am in a special situation,” she went on to say.
In almost seven years as a health center manager for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina I have witnessed many special situations. There was the woman who told me her husband was a pastor. He was shocked when she became unexpectedly pregnant. She said she believes in a forgiving God and that she and her husband both knew they were making the best decision for them as that time. There was the young, scared 13 year-old rape victim. And there was the young couple, both recently and unexpectedly unemployed, who together, made the decision they felt was best for their family.
In fact, every woman who comes to Planned Parenthood for an abortion is in a special situation. Each is making an informed, conscious choice. Imagine a patient who very much wants to continue a pregnancy, yet requires an abortion because it is medically
Currently, individuals and groups participating in 40 Days for Life are protesting outside our Chapel Hill health center; a center where we provide annual exams, STI screenings, birth control consultations, and all methods of birth control, including vasectomy.
The 40 Days protestors pray to end abortion, so their signs say. At Planned Parenthood we do more than pray. Much of the work we do is intended to reduce the need for abortion. This is one reason Planned Parenthood is working to ensure that all women have access to birth control. Meanwhile, we serve every patient with compassion and non-judgment, as she navigates her own special situation.
-Alex D., Health Center Manager
And so it begins, another 40 Days for Life.
I’ve been preparing for the protestors for weeks: reminding staff of our policies, informing the police department that PPCNC is a protest site, and emotionally preparing myself. Because really, who wouldn’t be shaking with fear when there are 75+ people on your sidewalk who hate you?
As I watched them this morning from the second story window I thought about hate and judgment and also about what a weird job I have working at Planned Parenthood! But mostly about hate and judgment. We all judge. There are things we all hate. It’s our actions that make the difference. I judge parents who cake make-up and hair extensions on their 3 year olds and enter them in pageants. I think it’s gross, but that’s their choice. I will guide my daughters in other directions. And I know my family and friends have judged me for choices I’ve made, but they are mine. I own them and I expect my family and friends
to respect my decisions and to support and love me, especially when one ends up being a mistake.
I think we all have to take a good look out the window of our pretty glass houses and think hard before we throw stones at those we
40 Days for Life claims to be a peaceful, prayerful event to pray to end abortion. There are a hundred different ways they could volunteer their time to help women prevent unwanted pregnancy (maybe my next post will be a list of the 100 ways). When they stand and pray outside Planned Parenthood they are only throwing stones at women who are making choices for themselves
and their families.
-Leigh S., HR & Admin Manager, Security Coordinator for PPCNC
I’ve never paid for condoms because I’ve always gotten them free at Planned Parenthood, but I don’t even want to think how much those would add up to if I actually bought them.
I’ve never had a partner chip in for the cost. Ever. So you’re welcome, every dude who’s never had to pay for half an abortion or child support. You’re welcome, taxpayers who didn’t have to subsidize the costs of birthing and caring for a baby I can’t afford. You’re welcome, hypothetical kid I would have probably been a terrible parent to.How much have you spent? [check out the calculator from mother jones] Did your partner(s) help pay? Post it.
(P.S. If you’re looking for the most effective and cost-effective long term birth control, consider an Paragard (non-hormonal) or Mirena (hormonal) IUD.)
A study published this month in the Obstetrics & Gynecology Journal concludes that text messaging is effective in helping women continue oral contraceptives.
Participants receiving the intervention were more likely to continue oral contraception than control participants at 6 months (odds ratio 1.44, 95% confidence interval 1.03–2.00) in analyses adjusted for age, race or ethnicity, age at coitarche, pregnancy history, and OCP experience.
CONCLUSION: The use of daily educational text messages improves OCP continuation at 6 months over routine care alone.
We’re happy to see the research supporting this method. We began providing text message reminders as a free service to our patients in 2010. You can sign up for daily reminders by texting PillPixy to 74700. If you’d prefer a more anonymous text, we can send you reminders to drink water. Text WaterPixy to 74700.
We also offer the service in Spanish:
Apúntate hoy para recibir un mensaje de texto diario en tu teléfono: envía el texto HadaMadrina al 74700
O si prefieres un texto menos explícito, podemos recordarte que bebas agua: envía el texto HadaAgua al 74700.
If you have any questions about Pill Pixy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of year again.
But for me the season also means Customer Satisfaction Surveys! This week I’ve been working on the surveys distributed in November and early December. With some computing still left to do, here’s what I can say, Our patients love us, I mean, LOVE us.
Have you ever left your doctor’s office thinking, “That was awesome.” or ”Simply a Dream!” ? Or “Everyone here is so super nice, don’t change a thing” ? If you haven’t, then maybe you should come check out Planned Parenthood.
A quick look at some of our early results
- our average family planning patient is in and out the door in 1 hour 5 minutes
- more than half of our walk-in patients are seen within 15 minutes.
- over 96% of patients would describe the care they received as “GREAT”
- 99% say they will recommend us to a friend.
If you have a story you’d like to share with us, feel free to add a comment. I’ll end with this quote from a patient seen this month in Chapel Hill, “My visit was perfect. The IUD Queen is the BEST doctor in town!”
I love this: What’s Your Story, Let’s Talk. The online flipbook, which was published in conjunction with Let’s Talk Month, shares eighteen people’s stories of learning about sex and “the talk” with parents and kids. Some of the stories will make you cringe and others will have you rolling (check out Reshma’s story about her aunt.)
Want to share your six answers? Put them in the comments and win a Planned Parenthood t-shirt.
I learned about sex
Talking with my parent(s) about sexuality
Talking with my kid(s) about sexuality
My most awkard parent moment
My best parent moment
The last time I talked about sex and sexuality was
As you may know from your own experience or from what you read in What’s Your Story, parents and kids don’t always have an easy time of it when it comes to talking about sex.
We’re Here to help! Join us as we celebrate Let’s Talk Month by holding a FREE class for Parents called Talking with Your Teen. Click the title for the 411 on the class.
From the very beginning of the legislature’s effort to defund us, we have fought to continue to provide life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, breast exams, and prevention and treatment of STDs to those who rely on us for care.
For more than a decade, we’ve participated in state and federal programs to provide uninsured and low-income North Carolinians basic sexual health care. Up until July 1st, we were under multi-year contracts with the state to provide these health services and a peer education program in Fayetteville.
As you know, we’ve filed a lawsuit against the state and had our injunction hearing on August 10th. We are confident that we will win the lawsuit and very hopeful for an injunction that will restore the funding while the lawsuit is settled.
Because of our Board of Directors’ commitment to our patients, we are serving clients without interruption as we await the court’s decision on our request for an injunction. One of patients wrote a wonderful two page letter thanking us. Here are a few excerpts:
“I’m a 36 year old single mother of 4 children. I’m currently unemployed and I lost my medicaid because I receive more than $650 of unemployment a month. I found out my excruciating pelvic pain and heavy menstrual cycles with blood clotting were coming from fibroid tumors and cysts in my uterus. My ob/gyn told me we could try Depo-Provera. After my fourth 12 week injection my pain was minimum and my cycles ended. I used to miss work the first two days of my cycle because I flowed so heavy and was in so much pain I stayed in bed balled up in a knot..”
“I was a patient at Duke Ob/Gyn before my insurance was terminated. I had an appointment for my annual pap smear and my Depo-Provera injection. [The financial coordinator ] informed me I would have to pay $300 for my injection and $300-$400 for the pap smear. I told her I could not afford it and she referred me to Planned Parenthood. I called Planned Parenthood as soon as I left Duke and… could not believe how fast I was able to get an appointment.”
“I really needed this appointment because if I had missed my injection of Depo-Provera I would fall right back into the excruciating pain, heave menstrual cycles with clotting, and my fibroid tumors and cyst would grow back bigger.. causing me tremendous pain.”
“To my surprise I qualified and I was able to receive Title X funds which covered my visit at 100%. I was so happy to receives the services and be granted with this special program that I cried because I was filled with joy and I knew I honestly couldn’t afford to pay for my services. I graciously donated $50 to help out someone else in need like me.”
This patient is just one of the patients we’ve seen since the ban. They each have a story and they all depend on us to find a way to be here for them. Women, like her, are counting on us.
We’re here for every person, every family, and every community.
Planned Parenthood released the following statement in response to today’s vote to overide the Governor’s veto of HB854.
Today’s vote reveals that some legislators care more about scoring political points than they do about protecting women’s rights and health. They are so extreme that they refused to even allow exceptions for rape, incest, or when something has gone terribly wrong with the pregnancy. We urge all North Carolinians who value reproductive rights and health to remember this vote in November of next year.
Planned Parenthood will take all necessary steps to reduce the negative impact this intrusive legislation will have on our patients. We will continue to provide compassionate, non-judgemental health services to women who need them.
press contact: Paige Johnson, 919-618-3899
to support Planned Parenthood: donate
Yesterday the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its recommendation (more than a year in the making) that prescription birth control should be covered by health insurance with no cost-sharing for patients.
As we’ve written before this is thanks to the Affordable Care Act (aka health care reform) which requires preventative services for women to be fully covered by insurance companies with no co-pays. The recommendations of the independent IOM cited eight women’s health care services that should be fully covered including annual “well-woman” visits, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and, of course, prescription birth control
This is great news for the more than 98 percent of sexually active women who will use some form of birth control during their childbearing years. Bad news for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and others who hold women and their ability to control their own bodies in the same low regard.
It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, this recommendation is attracting controversy. As reported by NPR the Conference of Catholic Bishops (widely noted as medical experts on women’s health…) stated that “”to prevent pregnancy is not to prevent a disease.”
The IOM flatly rejected this claim that birth control is not primary, preventative health care by pointing out that spacing pregnancy and births has advantages for women, babies and families. They went on to say, “Women with unintended pregnancies are more likely to receive delayed or no prenatal care and to smoke, consume alcohol, be depressed, and experience domestic violence during pregnancy, the panel wrote. “Unintended pregnancy also increases the risk of babies being born preterm or at a low birth weight, both of which raise their chances of health and developmental problems.”
Rock on IOM. But who, or what, are you anyway? A lot of people are probably asking that same question so here’s the Cliff Notes version—the Institute of Medicine is an independent, non-profit organization that is made up of medical professionals which “serves as an advisor to the nation to improve health.” The IOM is often called upon by Congress or other governmental entities (in this case it was the Department of Health and Human Services) to make recommendations on health and health care policy that is unbiased and informed by the best research and medical science available.
In short: boring name, VERY prestigious group. You can read their women’s preventative service report brief here. Make sure to check out the last page to learn about the people who actually made up the panel that released these recommendations. I hope it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings when I say they have slightly more women’s health expertise than the Catholic Bishops.
So where does that leave us? The IOM studied this issue and made recommendations at the request of DHHS and Kathleen Sebelius who will now get to make her own recommendation based on (or not, if she so chooses) the IOM analysis. Ultimately, the final say is up to the Obama administration who can then choose to accept or reject the recommendation of DHHS.
The bottom line is that we’re a lot closer than we were to birth control with no co-pays and that’s great news considering that 50 percent of pregnancies in the US are unintended and that high cost of contraceptives is frequently the reason women cite for not using it.
BUT don’t run down to the pharmacy demanding a free pack quite yet! There is still a long road ahead and we need your help to get there! Sign our petition to let DHHS and the Obama administration know that Birth Control Matters to millions of women and that it matters to YOU!