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The first thing you should know about my health center in Flossmoor, Illinois: It’s incredibly busy. All the time. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’m a nurse practitioner here at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. I want to take you through a typical day here to help you see just how much your support matters to patients. 

First, simply showing up to work means weaving through protesters outside the health center. They try to stop everyone who approaches the doors — even me! — but our awesome volunteer escorts make sure everyone gets into the center safely. 

Once I’m inside, the whole mood shifts. Inside these walls, everything is about showing up for patients in every way we can. It’s a sanctuary of support and care, without judgment. 

We kick off each day with a morning huddle, where our medical staff reviews the patients we’ll be seeing that day. Are they new patients, or here for a follow-up visit? Are they traveling for abortion or gender-affirming care because of bans where they live? Will specialists need to be brought in for any complications? How can we provide the best possible support for each patient? 

On general appointment days, people come in for birth control, STI screenings, Pap tests, or with concerns like pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding. On procedure days, we focus on providing abortion care. 

Every patient who comes in has a unique story — and I’m proud that our team cares about the whole patient. We’re focused on their health care needs, but we also take the time to listen and understand their financial circumstances, the way their home life or relationship affects their care, the individual and personal situation they’re in. It's all about the care.

That’s why I love working at Planned Parenthood, and why I’m so grateful for our supporters. Together, we can make sure that every single person who walks through our doors gets the care that's right for them — with dignity and compassion, no matter what.

It’s true here at my health center in Flossmoor, and in every one of the nearly 600 Planned Parenthood health centers in communities all across the United States.

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Tags: Personal Story