On June 1, the Aberdeen Community Health Center operated by Horizon Health Care became the family planning clinic for Aberdeen.
Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, and Catherine D. Friesen, CNP, are currently seeing family planning patients. Horizon offers care to its patients regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance status. A sliding payment scale is offered based on an income assessment. Confidential services are also available to family planning patients, meaning they are able to receive services if cost, insurance coverage or confidentiality is a concern.
When the state reached out to Horizon about taking over the family planning services in Aberdeen, Horizon Nurse Manager Lindsey Heath said it was an easy decision to make.
“It was an easy transition to say yes and have Aberdeen become the family planning clinic,” Heath said. “It increased access to those services, which was great.”
The Family Planning clinic previously in the Aberdeen community provided family planning services; however, a provider was only on site in Aberdeen one to two days per month. The nursing and front-desk staff were there every day and could provide some patient services, but conducting annual physicals, administering birth control and writing prescriptions needed a medical provider. Horizon was uniquely positioned to take on the family planning role, Heath said, because the organization already had eight family planning locations. Medical providers were on site in Aberdeen every day allowing increased access for patients needing family planning consultations and annual medical exams. Horizon was able to secure additional grant funding to take on the new patients.
The basic family planning services provided include annual physicals, pap smears, pregnancy checks, contraceptive care, birth control, STD checks and the CHC can provide basic infertility counseling, Health said. Providers will counsel and educate patients on their options if experiencing infertility. Mammography services and breast health screenings are not covered under the family planning program but are covered by the Department of Health’s All Women Count program.
“We want the community to know we’re here to provide services,” Heath said. “It was a great thing for the community to know that Horizon is here for you. If you need us, just give us a call.”