Thanks for Planned Parenthood funds | Letters

This holiday season, I want to thank the islanders who have stepped forward this year to fill our funding gap so we could continue our services in Friday Harbor. Since 1995, thousands of women, men and teens living in Friday Harbor and surrounding islands have received crucial and affordable reproductive health care from Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood.

Through our cancer screening services, we have saved lives; through our patient education and straight answers to sensitive questions, we have empowered people to make healthy choices; through our contraceptive services, we have enabled people to plan and space their families, enabling them to complete their education and fulfill their dreams; and through our STD testing and treatment services, we have helped islanders protect their fertility for a time of planned pregnancy.

We have done all of this by cobbling together funding from friends in the islands, friends off the islands and through a myriad of other payors such as Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and private insurance. No one has ever been denied care because of inability to pay. It is our hope that we will be able to secure more reliable and sustainable funding, such as what will soon be available through hospital district tax funds, so that we can continue to provide these important services to the often vulnerable people who turn to us for care.

Linda McCarthy

Executive director, Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood