The Morgan County Health Department is doing something for women’s health that no other county health department in the state is doing right now. Back in October, the department went through a significant change in operations. MCHD Office Manager Meredith Vogel-Thomas says it puts women ‘s reproductive health on the cutting edge in Morgan County: “Back in October, our Family Planning Program underwent a huge revolution. We joined forces with SIU, and we are now offering our family planning program four days a week instead of just one. It happened to coincide with the State of Illinois withdrew from federal Title X funding. We weren’t really sure what the outlook for the program was going to be. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Office of Women’s Health have promised funding for 2 years, so our program is still available to women regardless of their ability to pay. We are here to help serve you. We are the very first clinic in the state to integrate a family planning program with a federally qualified healthcare center. We are really pioneering the way to protect women’s health and to provide service.”
Thomas says that they now can provide a full list of services from their staff. “If you are interested in contraception, we do offer that. If you also just have questions about contraception, please come see us. If you have questions about ‘Why does my body do that or feel that way?’; we have nurses that are trained specifically to have those conversations about tough stuff. We talk about everything with our clients from having safe sex practices to making sure that they are in safe relationships. We are a safe place. We are really proud of our program. We are fighting tooth and nail to keep it going, so that we can continue to offer true comprehensive healthcare to the women who come see us.”
Thomas says it ensures that the county health department has a provider available for women’s services and it cuts down on the week-long wait times and lengthy appointment times for some women who need to go to the health department for services. Thomas says the cutting edge service will serve more women of the county more effectively. For more information click on the ‘Family Planning’ tab on morganhd.com.