Owen King & Kelly Braffet – Women's Health 101: Writers Support Planned Parenthood
Auction Ends: Jul 15, 2017 10:00 PM EDT
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Feeling hopeless? Helpless? Frustrated and furious at the way women's health care is under attack?

So are we.

So we decided to get some of our writer friends together to raise some money for an organization that is very close to our hearts: Planned Parenthood of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

What: Books. Good books. Books which - let's be honest - you wanted to read anyway. But these books . . . these books are special. In honor of Planned Parenthood's 101st year of operation, we've asked our authors to do a little something special on page 101. Cartoons, writing tips, behind-the-scenes thoughts: nowhere else but at WH101. (there are a few exceptions - noted in the item descriptions.)

Where: right here.

When: Bidding opens at 9 AM on July 2, 2017, and closes at 10 PM on July 15, 2017.

How: Make yourself an account. Grab your credit card. Bid. Get an awesome book. Make a difference.

About PPMHV:

Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley provided services through 19,500 patients visits in 2016 in Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. The majority of services we provide include well-woman gynecological exams including cervical cancer screenings, clinical breast exams, birth control, testing and treatment for STD’s and HIV testing. We also have a referral network to refer for cancer treatment, prenatal care and adoption.

We provide age appropriate sexuality education in 50% of the school districts in the mid-Hudson Valley.

We have hired women and men from the African American and Hispanic communities to conduct neighborhood outreach into communities of color, where health disparities are dramatically different than those of their white neighbors. They inform their neighbors of the need for cervical cancer screenings and clinical breast exams as key to preventing the high mortality rates for those diseases in those communities, and share information about Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley services and the subsidies we might be able to apply based on their income. Since this program began in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie, we have seen a 500% increase in the number of women seeking reproductive healthcare with us for the very first time in their lives. In order to best serve them, all of our health centers have bilingual staff.

Our reimbursement comes from billing Medicaid and insurances. Reimbursements, however, do not cover the escalating costs of healthcare delivery and technology upgrades. We are dependent on our donors to bridge this gap in order to serve this very high risk population.

One of the things we will be raising money for this year is to create greater access in the most rural areas by implementing telemedicine in some of our health centers so that even if a provider is not available on a particular day, a telemedicine visit for their testing and treatment needs can be accomplished by linking to a provider in another center.

In addition, we are expanding to provide a greater range of primary care including access to behavioral health services.

The people we serve are among the most vulnerable in the mid-Hudson Valley. 85% of our patients are at or below 150% of the poverty level – approximately $36,000 a year for a family of 4. Their socio-economic status predisposes them to stress and depression that come with struggling to provide for a family. This is one of the reasons we are screening for depression and providing linkages to mental health services.

Almost 60% of them tell us we are the only healthcare they may access in any given year. And 60% of them are insured through Medicaid. 24% pay through Commercial Insurance, and 14% Self Pay. We also have access to a family planning grant administered by New York State that helps us slide the fee for income eligible individuals.

Age cohorts served:

- 25-39 yrs 54%
- 18-24 yrs 32%
- Under 18 2%

The majority of patients, as you see, are not teens, but women who use us as their primary healthcare provider during their childbearing years.

Many thanks to all the writers who donated books, and also to the following:

Koren Zailckas, for putting us in touch with amazing people

Jennifer Castle, for putting us in touch with more amazing people

Amanda Spielman, for the amazing graphics

Planned Parenthood of Mid-Hudson Valley, for everything they do, every day

and, of course, to You.