By the Central Michigan District Health Department 

OSCEOLA COUNTY — The Family Planning Program at Central Michigan District Health Department provides birth control services to men and women of all ages who want to prevent unwanted pregnancies, regardless of their income.

Four certified Nurse Practitioners see clients in each of our offices. This federally funded program provides many positive health benefits for all men, women and teens seen in our clinics. We also bill most insurance companies for those with coverage and we accept donations to help support these important services. Clients should check with their insurance company to see what services are covered at the local health department.

The program stresses education and counseling to help lower health risks and increase healthy behaviors. The main goal of the program is to reduce unplanned pregnancies, which has proven to be successful. There also is proof to show that after being in the program, women who choose to get pregnant have a lower chance of having problems. Abortions are not provided through the Family Planning Program.

Anyone who wishes to receive family planning services are seen on a confidential basis. While services are available to anyone, most of our clients are teens and low-income men and women. People with low income can receive their services at a reduced or no cost. No one is denied services because of their inability to pay. Family planning fees are charged on a sliding fee scale to any person living within our six-county district based on their income level.

With teen pregnancy rates on the rise, it is time to focus even more on preventing teen pregnancies. CMDHD encourages teens to talk to their parents about their sexual behaviors and beliefs. Even though parental involvement is not required, we believe that it is extremely important for parents to know that we encourage teens to talk to their parents or an adult they trust about the consequences that follow risky behaviors. Believe it or not, your kids want to know what you think.

According to stayteen.org,

  • Teens say parents are the No. 1 influence on them when it comes to dating and relationships.
  • When it comes to healthy relationships, teens say it’s all about trust. Teens say that honesty is the second most important factor in a healthy relationship.
  • Almost one in six teens say they don’t know anyone who serves as an example of a healthy relationship.

The Family Planning Program at CMDHD has caring nurse practitioners and registered nurses working in our offices. Services include:

  • Annual (physical) exams including tests for sexually transmitted infections,
  • A full range of birth control information, including abstinence education,
  • A variety of birth control methods including birth control pills, injections, rings, IUD’s, implants, condoms, natural family planning and emergency contraception,
  • Pregnancy testing, counseling and referrals,
  • Screening for referrals for breast and cervical cancer and other health issues,
  • Referrals for HIV and AIDS testing,
  • Client education and counseling and community education, and
  • Follow-up and referrals for social and medical issues.

Other options we offer our clients include providing their reproductive health care visit and the ability to send prescriptions to your local pharmacy. Parents and other adults are encouraged to call or come and visit our clinics for a tour. This is available even if your teen is not sexually active or using the health department’s family planning services. We encourage community members, parents, clergy, teachers and teens to join our Family Planning Advisory Board, which meets twice a year to discuss the family planning needs in our communities.