Affirm (AFHP) has recently funded the first healthcare clinics to provide family planning in the Navajo Nation. These sites are open in Page at 467 Vista Ave. and Chilchinbito at the Chilchinbito Chapter House. According to Canyonlands Community Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Latham, DHSc, FNP, “This collaboration with the Affirm brings important healthcare services to a community that has not had access to this level of resources before.”
The clinics are funded by a $450,000 federal grant and offer services that include STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and counseling, contraceptive methods, breast and cervical cancer screening, achieving pregnancy, basic infertility services and preconception health. Abortion services are not part of the program. Clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Services are provided free or on a sliding scale based on income.
Of the clients served, AFHP estimates that more than 70 percent of clients will be at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and more than 20 percent will be teens. AFHP CEO Brenda Thomas said the clinics will likely serve 800 clients in the first year, 1,200 in the second year and 2,000 in year three.
This access to preventative healthcare will impact individuals far beyond the time at which they receive services by giving them the resources to develop and fulfil their reproductive life plan. While the funding and services will directly impact individuals’ short-term decisions, the role of such care centers provides a deeply important message to the Navajo Nation communities: that people have the potential to develop their own goals for their reproductive health, and they are empowered by the education and support to do so. Not only will the clients that AFHP directly serves be influenced by the care, but the mission of these healthcare clinics can shape the community’s perspective on healthy reproductive lives.
For more than 40 years, Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals and others. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. AFHP currently funds 11 delegate agencies across Arizona providing direct services to low-income women, men, families and teens. “Access to adequate healthcare is vital and this grant will open up additional opportunities for members of the Navajo Nation to seek the care they need,” Thomas said.
– Annie, Intern