Parkland Health Foundation panel addresses family planning and access to women’s healthcare in Dallas County

Panelists shared insights into the significance of family planning and ways to increase access to care

DALLAS – Parkland Health Foundation hosted a panel focused on the family planning barriers women and girls in Dallas County face and the solutions that will expand access to care. Panelists included Alan Cohen, CEO, Child Poverty Action Lab; Aimee Cunningham, President, The Boone Family Foundation; Nirupama DeSilva, M.D, Medical Director, Family Planning, Parkland Health; and moderator Lauren Blitzer, Executive Director, Leland Fikes Foundation.

Nearly half of women of reproductive age in Dallas do not have access to health insurance to cover the cost of effective birth control methods or the method of their choice. Last year, Parkland provided more than 42,000 family planning visits and 42,746 gynecologic visits to women and girls through its ten community health centers. But with a teen birth rate that is 26 percent higher than the overall rate in Texas and 84 percent higher than the national average, the need for additional access and more comprehensive care has never been greater.

“Last year, Parkland delivered nearly 13,000 babies. As a public hospital system, we know that access to compassionate and comprehensive gynecologic, family planning and contraceptive services is strongly equated with the economic security of women, girls, and our Dallas community, said Michael Horne, EdD, MPP, president and CEO, Parkland Health Foundation.

The panelists discussed gaps within the current landscape of family planning, barriers that women and girls face to accessing contraception, the need for pre-conceptive care and how young people can find factual, science-based sexual and reproductive education. Panelists also discussed critical steps that must be taken to address unintended pregnancies.

To meet the growing need for family planning services in Dallas County, Parkland is planning to hire additional clinical teams to increase access to care and offer appointments at more convenient times for patients, opening a teen clinic at C.V. Roman Health Center and increasing the utilization of contraception immediately postpartum. In partnership with the Child Poverty Action Lab, Parkland recently added a new family planning mobile van with a traveling clinical care team that will bring care to various neighborhoods across Dallas County on a regular basis.

Learn more about supporting Parkland’s family planning initiatives.

About Parkland Health Foundation

Parkland Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to securing substantial financial resources that advance the goals of Parkland Health (Parkland). Parkland’s mission is to advance wellness, relieve suffering, develop and educate. Our vision is to advance health equity through excellence as a public health system. Parkland Health Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that our community has a medical home for a continuum of care from birth to end of life.

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