Middlebury Center focused on primary care

MIDDLEBURY –– Planned Parenthood is a national reproductive health care provider, which is divided into regional affiliates. The Middlebury Health Center is one of 10 sites that comprise Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE).
Planned Parenthood provides a variety of reproductive health services to men and women, explained Jill Krowinski, director of Vermont public affairs for PPNNE.
“We provide a wide range of primary and preventive health care,” she said. “We do cervical cancer screenings, breast cancer exams, STI testing and treatment, HIV testing, HPV immunizations, pregnancy tests, cholesterol screening and abortion services at select sites. We provide a wide range of birth control including emergency contraception. Ninety-eight percent of what we do is primary and preventative care and 2 percent is abortions.”
Vermont Planned Parenthood Health Centers provide many of these services on a regular basis and numerous patients depend on them.
“Health Centers in Vermont served over 17,000 patients and had over 25,000 visits in 2011,” said Krowinski. “We performed 23,400 STI tests, 3,300 cervical cancer screening, and 4,500 breast exams. In 2011, at our Middlebury Health Center, we saw 900 patients and had 1,400 (visits).”
In 2011, the Middlebury Health Center provided 276 Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer, 876 sexually transmitted infection tests and 202 pregnancy tests. Most of the Middlebury center’s patients are in their teens and 20s.
PPNNE’s annual budget is ­­­about $18 million. In 2011, 55 percent of PPNNE’s funding came from its patients, with 21 percent from donations and 16 percent from local, state and federal grants.
Many of PPNNE’s patients require some form of government funding to afford the primary and preventive services they need. Fifty percent of the Middlebury Health Center’s patients have incomes below $16,335 and therefore qualify for federal aid.
Title X, an approximately $320 million government program designed to fund reproductive health and family planning services, provides a bulk of that funding to patients at Planned Parenthood sites across the country.
“Title X serves more than five million low-income individuals at more than 4,500 health centers every year,” said Krowninski. “Title X in Vermont has over 7,000 patients. If their insurance doesn’t provide coverage for reproductive health, Title X will.”
Many PPNNE patients are on Medicaid, a government-run insurance program, and pay for their services through that.

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