Grinnell residents and college students affected by the closing of Central Iowa Family Planning (CIFP) clinic in Grinnell have an alternative for reproductive healthcare. Primary Health Care (PHC) will provide family planning services for low-income and uninsured residents for a six-county area, including Marshall and Poweshiek Counties. Primary Health Care is located at 412 E. Church Street in Marshalltown.
Collaboration between Grinnell College, Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC), and Claudia Beckwith, ARNP, former staff member at the Central Iowa Family Planning clinic, worked with PHC to offer access for local residents and college students. Appointments can be made by calling the Marshalltown Primary Health Care Clinic at 641-753-4021.
Patients should inform the receptionist that they are a Grinnell Family Planning patient. Grinnell College will fund transportation costs to ensure access for residents who don’t have transportation to Marshalltown. Transportation will be available the first and third Saturday of each month, departing from Drake Community Library, beginning Saturday, April 1. Individuals must schedule an appointment to schedule transportation.
Dedicated appointments will be available from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for the Grinnell shuttle patients. If patients have their own transportation, they can schedule during the week with Cindy Cruikshank, ARNP, or with Beckwith on the first or third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Our short-term plan is to work with Primary Health Care clinic in Marshalltown for reproductive health services. They are a Title X contract clinic that can offer services at a reduced rate to low-income and uninsured individuals,” says Doris Rindels, GRMC vice president. “As our group discussed the former Central Iowa Family Planning clinic, we addressed the need for discreet, confidential reproductive health services at low costs. This solution will get individuals to a Title X-funded clinic. Our long-term goal is to reopen a family planning clinic in Grinnell; however, we are a long way from that solution yet.”
Primary Health Care clinics are nonprofit community health centers dedicated to serving those that experience barriers to receiving care. They have established clinics and services in Ames, Des Moines, and Marshalltown. Costs are assessed on a sliding fee scale to 250 percent of poverty.
“Reproductive health services are essential to a thriving community,” says Kelly Huntsman, PHC CEO. “PHC is pleased to be in position to partner with the community of Grinnell to provide Title X reproductive healthcare to area residents and students.”
PHC services include those previously provided at the CIFP, such as annual reproductive health exams – female and male; contraceptive management – all methods available, including long-acting reversible contraceptives; sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment; reproductive life planning; problems related to sexual health, such as yeast infections and urinary tract infections; and pregnancy testing.
Laura Ferguson, MD, Family Medicine, and Grinnell College trustee, supports this short-term solution to ensure that our community does not see an increase in sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
“The Title X program serves individuals who may not come to a primary care clinic,” says Ferguson. “The family practice clinics and physicians in the GRMC service area already provide family planning, contraceptive, disease diagnosis, and treatment options. The family planning grant fills a critical gap in the county to fund these services.”
Residents and students may call Primary Health Care at 641-753-4021 to schedule an appointment and request transportation.