Home April 2012 Surprising Array of Services

Surprising Array of Services

One of the most trusted brands in Orange County, as voted by the Values Institute and OC Metro, is a brand that has courted controversy on a national level but yet has still remained true to its mission.  That brand is Planned Parenthood.
Approximately one in four women will go to this organization during the course of her lifetime, and it’s not necessarily for the reason that most people would think.  For women who cannot afford it, the women’s wellness checks, STD testing, cancer screenings and prenatal care are crucial to maintaining one’s health.
At Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, the organization also provides nutritional services, including WIC (Women, Infants and ChildrenProgram, a federally-funded health and nutrition program), as well as aiding in fertility treatments.
“It surprises a lot of people how many services that we provide,” said Stephanie Kight, senior vice president of community affairs.
The organization, which opened its doors in Orange County in 1965, currently operates six facilities throughout the area, five of which are full-service health centers open seven days a week.  The sixth is a surgical center that provides the latest in contraception and in cancer prevention, including loop electrosurgical excision procedures (LEEP), which are essential in preventing the spread of cervical cancer.
A lot of essential services that the surgical and health centers are able to provide to women throughout Orange County have come from generous donors over the years.  These people, whether through donations from their own pocket or planned giving, have understood the mission of Planned Parenthood, which is to prevent pregnancy and to further women’s health by providing everything they need in order to sustain themselves and their children.  And they complete this mission by working with quality people.
“The people who work in our health centers are professional doctors and health care providers,” Kight said, adding that they were no different from professionals in any other local hospital.  “There are doctors and nurses who work every day because this is the work they want to do.”
In recent months, Planned Parenthood has been under attack by politicians and other organizations for being a legal provider of abortions, but Ann Moreno, communications manager for Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, said that it is only seven percent of what the organization provides.  The majority of the services are for well woman exams and family planning.
The services provided by the organization save countless lives through cancer screenings, offering mammograms to women who may not be able to afford them normally.  For many people, this may not be something they would normally associate with Planned Parenthood.
“I wasn’t aware of the cancer services when I came to work here,” Moreno said.  She added that Planned Parenthood of Orange County and San Bernardino, despite recent national issues with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, has maintained a great relationship with the organization for more than 10 years and has helped outreach to communities that may not understand the dangers of breast cancer.
One of the most important parts of Planned Parenthood of Orange County and San Bernardino is its Generations program, which is determined to make sure that people understand planned giving and how they can keep the organization alive for future generations of men and women.
“If someone has reached a point in life where he or she wants to make a legacy gift, and that our services are there for women, we can talk about what’s best for that person’s financial situation,” Kight said.
For planned giving, Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties offers four different types: a bequest through a will or living trust, a gift from one’s IRA account, donations from a private foundation or donor advised fund or giving retirement funds, insurance policies or bank/brokerage accounts.
Since times are rough, Planned Parenthood is now even more important than ever before.  With women facing job losses and financial difficulties, the services provided are crucial.
“In this difficult in economic environment, we are ever more critical for women to provide the health care that they need,” Kight said.  And whether that’s for preventing pregnancy, cancer screenings, nutritional information or even a well woman exam, it’s always important to have somewhere to go.
For more information on planned giving to Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, visit the website at www.plannedparenthoodgenerations.org.

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