Planned Parenthood offers needed services to south suburban residents

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The commentary below represents the ideas, observations and opinions of the author.

On Jan. 11, 2018, Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) opened its doors in Flossmoor and I couldn’t be more proud of the dedicated staff working there. For more than 100 years Planned Parenthood has been providing quality reproductive health care to anyone who needs it, and now Flossmoor residents have the opportunity to experience that care in their own neighborhood.
 
Last year, PPIL served more than 65,000 patients across the state, 1,200 of those patients were southern Cook County residents despite not having a health center there. Patients come to Planned Parenthood for a variety of reproductive health care services like birth control, STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings, abortion care, HIV testing and prevention, and so much more. 
 
In preparation for opening the Flossmoor Health Center we created a Community Health Advisory Committee (CHAC) made up of southern Cook County residents, including many from Homewood-Flossmoor, so we could learn about the county and its needs. The CHAC is made up of 21 community members including a psychiatric nurse practitioner, city clerk and park commissioner, high school principal, domestic violence non-profit staff, OB-GYN and a high school student. When putting this committee together it was important to make sure a variety of voices were represented; I am extremely pleased of the work the CHAC has been doing in collaboration with PPIL.  
 
Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and guests, and with growing attacks on women’s health care it is necessary to take certain precautions. As always, PPIL ensures that all federal, state and local laws and ordinances are followed when opening a new location and in the day-to-day operations.
 
One in five women nationwide trusts Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives for safe, high quality and compassionate health care. We are excited to be a part of the Flossmoor community and look forward to continuing to be there for anyone, no matter what their circumstances and health care needs. 
 
Jennifer Welch
PPIL president and CEO

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