UNHS offering expanded reproductive services
A new agreement between Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. and the Arizona Family Health Partnership will open new avenues of reproductive health care for UNHS patients, according to UNHS CEO Michael Jensen.
“Now, with this program, patients who qualify at the 100% Federal Poverty Level may have access to free, or less expensive, birth control pills, condoms and other contraceptive methods like vasectomies and tubal ligations,” Jensen explained. “Patients can also qualify for sexually transmitted infection (STI/STD) testing, prevention education, counseling, limited treatment and referrals; pregnancy testing, counseling and resources; pelvic exams, including pap smears; breast exams; family planning counseling and education; basic infertility screening; emergency contraception; and reproductive health counseling and education. All these are funded under Title X,” Jensen continued. “This is something that has not been available in San Juan County until now. The services have been available but not the funding to pay for them,” Jensen added. “Residents could have had these procedures done and had these services available but they would have had to pay for them out of pocket. Now we have access to Title X funds through this agreement with Arizona Family Health Partnership.”
Arizona Family Health Partnership is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Title X (“ten”) program. Arizona Family Health Partnership may receive additional funding from donors, community foundations and organizations for specific projects, or to broaden the scope of services. Jensen stressed that this new Title X funding will allow UNHS to offer many services for family planning, but it will not be the UNHS version of Planned Parenthood. In fact, he made it clear that Title X cannot fund abortions and there will be no abortions with this new partnership. Congress established Title X (“ten”) with broad bipartisan support, and President Richard Nixon signed the legislation into law in 1970. Title X is the only dedicated source of federal funding for family planning services. Family planning is the process of deciding whether and when to have a child. This includes:
- Decisions about the length of time between each birth, and;
- Decisions about birth control methods that may be used.
Health centers receiving Title X funds are required to provide reproductive health services and related preventive health services to low-income and uninsured individuals, who may otherwise lack access to healthcare.
“It is preventive care. It is not Planned Parenthood,” Jensen explained. “Planned Parenthood is funded with an entirely different pot of money. This is all preventive. It will not fund any abortion-type services. It will also not fund the morning after pill, so no lives are taken. It does help with funding for services that help women who are having a difficult time becoming pregnant, like fertility services.
“Those who are eligible for this Title X funding must qualify at the 100% Federal Poverty Level. This is not about race. Anybody can join the program if they meet the 100% Federal Poverty Level guidelines,” Jensen said. “Those who qualify for the program are billed on a sliding scale just like with clinic visits.”
According to Jensen, UNHS receives funding from the Arizona Family Health Partnership as a sub-grantee of the Title X program, and is now locked into the program for several years. UNHS Providers who work with women’s health are thrilled that there is now funding to help pay for some of these services and procedures, Jensen noted. For more information about this Title X program, or whether you qualify for free or subsidized services, call Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. at the Blanding Family Practice Community Health Center – 435-678-3601, the Montezuma Creek Community Health Center – 435-651-3291, the Monument Valley Community Health Center at 435-727-3000, or the Navajo Mountain Community Health Center – 928-672-2494.