State Budget Cut Forces Planned Parenthood to Close Health Center in Fond du Lac after 36 Years of Service
Today Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced it will close its family planning health center in Fond du Lac on September 25. This is the fifth health center Planned Parenthood has been forced to close as a direct consequence of the state Legislature’s and Governor Walker’s elimination of funding supporting patient care at Planned Parenthood in the last budget cycle. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin worked to minimize the impact of the significant budget cuts on patients, but the mounting costs of uncompensated health care contributed to the decision to close. The closure of the Fond du Lac health center will result in the a loss of 7,448 health care services for approximately 1,104 patients who relied on lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, annual exams, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, HIV screening, and referrals to a network of community resources. Planned Parenthood will maintain health care services in 22 health centers across the state. Patients impacted by the closure will be referred to Planned Parenthood health centers in Oshkosh and West Bend for continued care.
“For 36 years Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has proudly served over 1,104 women each year in the Fond du Lac community,” said Teri Huyck, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “This is a loss for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for regular cancer screenings, birth control, health exams and confidential STD testing and treatment. Continued patient care is our top priority. Health center staff are working with the affected patients to identify health care alternatives to minimize the impact of these closures.”
Nearly 165,000 Wisconsin women who are in need of publicly supported reproductive & sexual health services go without needed health care. Despite this unmet need, during the last budget cycle, Governor Walker ended state funding for women who receive health care at Planned Parenthood. This, coupled with the governor’s rejection of federal funds to expand health care coverage and the drastic rollback of BadgerCare coverage, has increased the need for affordable health care options. These politically motivated actions will have a significant impact on women seeking affordable health care.
“Having cared for the women in Fond du Lac I can tell you this will be a terrible loss for the community,” said Jody Krahn, Planned Parenthood Nurse Practitioner. “Planned Parenthood has provided confidential care to all women in need regardless of their ability to pay. In addition to breast and cervical cancer screenings and birth control, we caught and referred patients for unmanaged and undiagnosed chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. For many of the women we saw, we were their only health care provider and their gateway to other resources.”
“For 78 years Planned Parenthood has been here for women during some of the most important moments of their lives- so anytime a closure takes place it impacts us deeply,” continued Huyck. “We all want strong, healthy families. At Planned Parenthood we continue to work every day to support healthy families by making sure women receive the high quality affordable health care they need to keep them safe, healthy and strong in 22 health centers across Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood remains unwavering in our belief that all people deserve access to high quality and affordable health care. As the state’s largest non-profit reproductive health care provider, we will continue to be here for our patients to provide affordable and quality health care and to advocate on their behalf to keep them safe, healthy and strong – no matter what.”
If you are a patient at our Fond du Lac health center, please call 1-800-230-PLAN for more details about your health care options.