Phil Ulibarri, Public Information Officer
Washoe County District Health Department
February 29, 2008
In response to misinformation about the Washoe County District Health Department's (WCDHD's) Family Planning Program that has been circulating throughout the community, District Health Officer Mary Anderson, MD, MPH, provides the following statement:
"Like all County departments, the WCDHD has been asked to decrease expenditures to meet strict budget reduction targets for the coming year. However, there currently are no plans to close our Family Planning Program, which provides comprehensive family planning services to individuals of childbearing age on a sliding scale fee schedule. In fact, the need for these services is significant. During calendar year 2007, we served a combined total of 4,014 clients during 9,383 visits at our Family Planning Clinic and Teen Health Mall located at the District Health Department and our sub-contracted clinic at Incline Village. Fifty-two percent of our clients were at the poverty level and 90 percent were uninsured. Our program is the only one in Washoe County assisting clients regardless of their ability to pay.
"Second, it is our intent to continue using the Title X funds we receive to provide family planning services. Our program currently receives about 51 percent of its funding from Washoe County and 49 percent from the federal government. In concert with overall County budget reduction efforts, our goal over the next three years is to transition program funding to be more in line with regional norms by depending less on local dollars and relying more on federal Title X subsidization.
"Finally, we do not perform or pay for abortion services. Federal law prohibits us from using federal monies to pay for abortions, and no Title X clinic can pay for pregnancy termination services.
"In keeping with the WCDHD's mission of protecting and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens of Washoe County through promoting health and preventing disease, we want to ensure that, through our Family Planning Program, we provide a safety net for those who need it most."