This fall, Family Planning of Clallam County becomes a part of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.
Both agencies’ board members approved the change with the three centers in Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks coming under the Planned Parenthood banner.
Family Planning conducted a strategic planning process to assess the future of the organization and found its mission and values were so closely aligned with Planned Parenthood that joining was the best course of action.
“This action will ensure that the women, men and teens of Clallam County have continued access to the same great services they’ve been receiving from (Family Planning) and we can economize by stretching administrative resources offered by (Planned Parenthood),” said Jack Slowriver, executive director of Family Planning of Clallam County.
“Our decision is motivated by a deep commitment to ensure that vital reproductive health care and education remain affordable and enhanced in our community,” she said.
The change is attributed to the economic and environmental trends among nonprofit health organizations evaluating how their services can be sustained while serving the community as best possible.
The Sequim Family Planning of Clallam County clinic will become Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest sometime in October. Jack Slowriver, executive director of Family Planning of Clallam County, said the two agencies’ missions were the same and that the change will be a good thing.
“We’re delighted to partner with Family Planning of Clallam County, a much-beloved and vital community health provider,” said Chris Charbonneau, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.
“The long-term benefit of this decision will be a more comprehensive and effective delivery of affordable high-quality reproductive health care to more people in our communities.”
Once the change is made in October, Family Planning will cease to exist but no employees at the three centers will lose their jobs as a result, Slowriver said.
She expects the three centers to maintain the same level of service or expand.
Planned Parenthood will conduct an assessment of community partners and services to make sure Family Planning is providing care that most meets the needs of Clallam County residents.
“I think it’s going to be a positive change for our organization,” Slowriver said.
“People of Clallam County are going to continue to be served well.”
A majority of their and Planned Parenthood’s services focus on prevention, such as education on contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment.
Slowriver said Family Planning has education programs in every school district in the county.
They also provide information and resources for health education, healthy relationships, suicide education prevention and more.
The curriculum won’t be changing, Slowriver said.
“Planned Parenthood does believe abstinence is the 100-percent way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.”
Slowriver emphasized harm prevention, in that if someone does choose to be sexually active then they should be as safe as possible. They provide information to make the best-educated decision, she said.
Planned Parenthood has served Washington since 1935 and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the region’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate with 28 health centers in Alaska, Idaho and Western Washington.
Prior to the change, Family Planning received a $10,000 competitive community response grant from the Women’s Funding Alliance of Seattle.
It’s part of the alliance’s “Honoring Women’s Health,” a project that helps improve the health and well-being of rural, underserved and low-income women in Clallam County.
Slowriver said monies help bring in a mobile mammography unit to screen for breast cancer in Clallam County for the Lower Elwha and Makah tribes, and bay communities.
The unit visits the Lower Elwha community on Sept. 30.
Slowriver said the project helps eliminate barriers to screening. Breast cancer rates among American Indians are much higher than those of other groups.
Family Planning is also a recipient of an unrestricted operating grant where workplaces give from their paychecks or credit card. The alliance partnered with regionally based employers to lead workplace-giving campaigns.
Through these campaigns, the alliance raises funds that are allocated as unrestricted operating grants when a charity is selected as a recipient of an employee’s matched or unmatched employee-giving funds.
Read more on the Women’s Funding Alliance at www.wfalliance.org.