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Planned Parenthood is committed to retaining and expanding access to as many patients and communities as possible, but sometimes that means being strategic with resources and health center locations. 
Sometimes that means consolidating health care clinics to streamline care to where it will be the most effective. 
This was the case in Elkhart, Indiana, whose health center has been consolidated with the Mishawaka health center.  
There are many upsides to this consolidation.  
“Since 1932, PPINK has been the leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care in Indiana,” said Rebecca Gibron, Chief Operating Officer for PPINK. "Every day, the health of our patients and the communities we serve is our top priority. We are committed to ensuring that as many people as possible continue to have access to high-quality, affordable health care and information. 

"In a shifting health care landscape nationally and in the states we serve, our board and senior staff are continually assessing operations in order to provide a long-term, sustainable strategy for delivering the best possible services to the people who rely on us. After much evaluation and deliberation, we’ve determined that this transition will allow us to better continue serving the people who depend on Planned Parenthood for health care and information." 

Heather Anderson, Health Center Manager for the Mishawaka clinic, added, “This consolidation cuts out a lot of runaround to different clinics that offer different services.” 
For instance, she explained the consolidation will enable the Mishawaka health center to provide ultrasounds – a requirement to obtaining an abortion thanks to the 18-hour Indiana law -- which will  reduce the burden on other local health care providers, and will help increase abortion access in Indiana. 
It is more convenient for patients that the clinic is open five days a week, as well. 
“People have different days off that might not line up, or they might forget if we have special hours. Being open on regular weekdays makes it easier for patients to access care,” Anderson added.  

Anderson reported that there has been an increase in patient volume since the consolidation, and that most do not consider the loss of the old Elkhart location to be an inconvenience. 

“Mishawaka has seen an increase in patient volume from the Elkhart area. South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart are very close to one another. It is not uncommon for someone to work in Elkhart and live in a surrounding area or vice versa, so they could potentially ‘"be in the area of the clinic"’ on their travels to or from work or for any leisure trip. The Mishawaka clinic is also on the bus line, and there is bus service that travels between the ‘"Michiana"’ area.” 
PPINK and PPGNHI continue to review health center locations and will always look for an opportunity to expand access to reproductive health care whenever and wherever possible. 
You can support keeping the lights on and the doors open at your local Planned Parenthood by donating using this link. 

Tags: health center, health_care