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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — As part of National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17), Planned Parenthood Arizona is highlighting the need for regular wellness exams and preventive health care for women of all ages, and is urging women to make health a priority in their lives, especially important follow-up on abnormal Pap smears.

One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood for care, which isn’t surprising given the fact that many women feel more comfortable being open and honest with their ob/gyn and one-third of women view their ob/gyn as their main source of care.[1] Women also tend to think ob/gyn providers are better than other providers when it comes to understanding their bodies and their concerns as a woman.


 As an organization that so many women depend on for compassionate, nonjudgmental sexual health care, we play a critical role in helping women stay healthy with life-saving cancer screenings, contraception, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and primary care. 


“When it comes to keeping women healthy, preventive screenings can detect life-threatening diseases such as breast and cervical cancers — and early detection and treatment of these diseases saves lives,” said Dr. Laura Dalton, DO, MBA, Director of Family Planning and Primary Care at Planned Parenthood Arizona.  “Well-woman exams help providers learn more about health and family history in order to help a woman stay healthy, and are a chance to make sure that a woman is using the birth control method that best fits her needs.


“A well-woman exam is also an opportunity for patients to ask any question you might not ask someone else — nothing is off-limits and we are experts at providing accurate, nonjudgmental information and advice,” adds Dalton.


The Flagstaff Health Center is among the organizations that have received grants from the Flagstaff Community Foundation and its Collaborators. The health center will use the funding to offer no-cost or reduced cost advanced diagnostic testing, biopsy and treatment for women who have had an abnormal cervical cancer screening test (Pap smear).


We know that for many women in Coconino County, a lack of resources inhibits access to prevention-oriented screening and treatment programs. Second only to breast cancer, cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in the United States. It is easily diagnosed and treated if detected early, which makes this program so vital to Northern Arizona women.


To make an appointment at our Flagstaff Health Center for an annual exam or to inquire about free- or reduced-cost diagnostic testing for abnormal Pap smears, call toll-free 855.207.PLAN (7526).


[1] This comprehensive study, released by Planned Parenthood and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is based on six focus groups as well as a national survey of over a thousand women ages 18-44 conducted in May and July, 2013


Planned Parenthood ArizonaIn the community for 80 years, Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. The organization provides health care, education and outreach services to more than 90,000 Arizonans annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates health center locations statewide in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff. For more information, please visit www.ppaz.org. Or, find us at www.facebook.com/PlannedParenthoodAZ or @PPArizona on Twitter.


Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc.


Cynde Cerf


[email protected]


May 14, 2014