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Letter to the Editor by Scott Sattler, MD

A great sadness that Six Rivers Planned Parenthood was left out of health fair
Letters to the Editor
Posted: 03/03/2010 01:15:13 AM PST

A great sadness that Six Rivers Planned Parenthood was left out of health fair

I visited the St. Joseph Health System's Health and Resource Fair on Feb. 6th, and was struck by a great sadness. For the first time in 25 years, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood was not allowed to participate. Bishop Walsh of Santa Rosa disinvited them.

The Health Department created the fair in the 1980s to publicize various health-related services. General Hospital took over in the mid-1990s. When St. Joseph purchased General in 2000, the fair passed to their control. Appropriately, the SJHS's core value of justice specifically addresses support “for systems and structures that are attuned to the needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged and that promote a sense of community among all persons.”

SRPP provides much needed services to the people of Humboldt, especially to the vulnerable and disadvantaged. They unhesitatingly accept Medi-Cal and FamilyPACT. They work extensively toward the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. They provide low cost pap smears, pregnancy testing, HIV testing and counseling, mid-life menopausal services and screening for breast, cervical and testicular cancers. They hold parent/child workshops to increase family communication skills. They provide low-cost birth control to thousands of Humboldt men and women annually, and they provide these services countywide. It disturbs me that Health Fair access to this vital community resource has
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been disallowed.

It is not easy being a human. We are all called upon to help each other, regardless of our specific religious beliefs, to rise above the distinctions and differences that divide us in order to serve the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. The health system dropped the ball, and the community is the poorer for it. There is cause for sadness.

Scott Sattler, MD

Eureka

Published: 03.03.10| Updated: 03.10.10

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Times-Standard

 

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