The Ravalli County Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject continued funding for Title X Family Planning services on Friday, September 6th. We are extremely disappointed in the decision of the Commissioners to end this program. Family Planning provided an invaluable service to our community for over forty years. The impact of this decision is incomprehensible.
Ravalli County Family Planning provided services to over 400 clients in the last fiscal year. The vast majority of these clients have income levels at or below poverty level. Many of our clients are employed, but are low income and have no access to medical insurance. Services lost include routine birth control at low or no cost, screening and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections, follow-up for high-risk Pap screening results, referral for abnormal findings on clinical breast exams, domestic violence screening, and pregnancy and prenatal counseling. Routine adolescent counseling (including the importance of family involvement, sexual coercion, and abstinence) will not be available.
We would like to thank Commissioners Greg Chilcott and JR Iman for their continued support of the Title X program in Ravalli County. We also thank our local clinical partners, County Board of Health, and community service agencies that have worked with us to provide needed services to an underserved portion of our population for many years. Finally, we thank our past and present clients for their trust and support.
Judy Griffin, RN, BSN, Director
Ravalli County Public Health Department