Category Archives: Health Care

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends ~ The Value of Community Partners

You may already know that Maine’s family planning providers are experts in sexual and reproductive health. Yet, you may be surprised to find out we do so much more than birth control and pap tests.

  • We provide testing and treatment for STDs, breast and cervical exams for women of all ages, and preconception services for those planning to get pregnant.
  • You can come to us with urgent issues, like urinary tract infections, yeast infections, emergency contraception, or if you just need to grab some condoms before the weekend.
  • We see patients of any gender, any age – and everything we do is confidential and     affordable.
  • At our Belfast location, we offer primary care services.
  • In Downeast Maine, the FPA provides additional family support services.

While family planning services are pretty broad in scope, we can’t always provide every service our patients need. That’s why we partner with other organizations and providers in local communities. Continue reading

Meet Leanne ~ A Family Planning Staff Profile

Leanne Clark, Site Administrative Coordinator, Waterville and Skowhegan Family Planning

If you call the family planning health centers in Waterville and Skowhegan, Leanne Clark is probably the voice you’ll hear on the phone. As Site Administrative Coordinator for these two FPA locations, Leanne is usually the first person to make contact with patients who call or come through the door.

I had lunch with Leanne at a nearby Waterville restaurant and we chatted about her family planning work. Here’s what we talked about.

You’ve been employed by family planning for just over 10 years. How did you get into this work?

I was graduating from Thomas College with my associates degree and moving out of my parents’ house. I needed a job, quick. I heard about this job at KVCAP Family Planning and I applied.  I never intended to stay with family planning so long; this was the job I was supposed to have until I got my real job.

Why did that change? Continue reading

Good News ~ Bad News: Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Another year has drawn to a close and we’ve got a brand new year ahead of us. It’s the perfect time to take stock of where we’re been and where we’re headed in the world of reproductive health and rights in the U.S. and here in Maine.

Here’s a piece of good news from 2013: a major study published this year showed that intrauterine devices (IUDs) are safe for teens and there’s no reason to deny them this option. This is a great affirmation of the work of the FPA, where we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of patients getting IUDs and other long-acting, reversible contraceptives at our health centers.

Increased use of IUDs is one of the major reasons for this other bit of good news from the past year: across the country, teen pregnancy rates reached historic lows (again!).

And that’s great! Because access to family planning contraceptive services is linked to all sorts of positive outcomes, including higher incomes later in life.

All of this makes us wonder why, despite the proven value of birth control, certain groups of people keep trying to prevent access to contraceptive care for women and teens.

Consider the following… Continue reading

Family Planning Matters! Five Reasons to Watch & Share This New Video

What a week it’s been!

Unable to come to an agreement on the budget, the U.S. government shutdown for the first time since 1995.

Despite opposition from conservatives, the new Health Insurance Marketplace opened and millions of uninsured Americans visited healthcare.gov to learn how they might get insurance coverage.

And the Guttmacher Institute released a terrific new video about the importance of Federal Title X Funding for Family Planning services.

Here are five reasons why I believe this new video is very much worth watching all the way through and sharing widely.
Continue reading

Obamacare and You — Understanding the Affordable Care Act

Visit Healthcare.gov for answers

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The law creates major changes in how health insurance coverage works in the U.S. and who has access to insurance coverage.

The law is complex and has many different components that are being rolled out over the course of four years… and beyond.

Here at the FPA, we’re working to stay up-to-date and to fully understand the ACA so we can pass that information along to our patients, friends and supporters.

Like these important changes for women: Continue reading

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation: SCOTUS Edition

The Supreme Court of the United States is officially on summer vacation, after issuing a number of rulings (and non-rulings), that have social, economic and health implications for Mainers and for the country. A few of these are of particular interest to the Reproductive Justice movement.

So what happened this week, and what does it mean? Continue reading

Increasing Health Coverage for Maine Women & Families

Understanding the many different components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be a daunting task. This week, I’d like to share some important information about federal funds for expanding health coverage.

Thankfully, the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Maine Equal Justice Partners have thoroughly researched this topic and recently published a report on the impact for Maine of accepting federal dollars for health coverage.

The report concludes that:

Maine has an opportunity to cover more people and save millions of dollars currently spent to treat uninsured people in emergency rooms. We can do this by accepting federal dollars to provide health coverage to approximately 69,500 uninsured Mainers. This decision is in the hands of Maine’s legislature and governor. It will have important consequences for Maine’s economy and people.

I encourage you to read the full report. In the meantime, here are some of the main points. Continue reading

My Mom, the Abortion Care Nurse

Our guest blogger reflects on having a mother who works as an abortion care nurse.

My mother didn’t always provide abortion care.

For decades, she was a nurse at the local hospital, providing care in both the Pediatric and Labor & Delivery units.  She dressed in kid-friendly scrubs, covered with happy cartoon animals and bright splashes of color. She would often bring home crayon drawings that her young patients made for her.

At home, my mom maintained an extensive collection of first aid goodies. Anytime there was a bee-sting, bloody knee, tummy bug or sore throat, my dad would exclaim “Call the nurse!”– and there would be my mom, with her tool box of ointments, syrups, bandages, and instruments to really, truly make it better.  That woman would make you a gingerale-slushy and a couch-bed that could make any flu bearable.

This woman was a soother of sick kids, a comfort to new moms and a support to families in true need of help and encouragement.  She loved working with those kids and she adored caring for newborns and their moms.  When she left her job at the hospital and, just a few years later, began working as an abortion care nurse, I wondered.  Huh, I thought– what a stark contrast to what she was doing before. But I was wrong. Continue reading

It’s August 1st — Is Your Birth Control Co-Pay History?

photo credit: www.wearewomenmarch.net

August 1, 2012 — The date is significant for women and their families throughout the United States.

Today, an important provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect.

As of today all new private health insurance plans must cover women’s preventive health services without a co-pay.

What preventive services does this include? Continue reading

Where’s the Controversy in Saving Lives?

This week, On the Front Lines offers readers an international perspective on family planning.

On Wednesday, July 11th, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. Department for International Development hosted the London Summit on Family Planning, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.N. Population Fund.

The Summit’s main objectives are to renew global commitments to family planning, make preventive reproductive health initiatives a top priority, increase access to contraceptives and diminish barriers to family planning services for women and girls in the world’s poorest countries. Continue reading