This week, Planned Parenthood withdrew from federal Title X funding rather than comply with the Trump administration’s “gag rule” prohibiting Title X grantees from providing or referring patients for abortion services. Title X funding is mandated to focus on family planning and related preventive health services for patients who are low-income or uninsured. Two-thirds of patients who benefit from Title X funding are at or below the federal poverty line. Providers have already been forbidden from using federal funds to pay for abortions since 1976.

Planned Parenthood has been a controversial organization to many Americans since its beginnings in 1916. Planned Parenthood began their work when information about family planning and contraception were considered “obscene.” The founders of the first birth control clinic were arrested and convicted for disseminating contraception information. In the 1960s, family planning became a central element of the War on Poverty. Today family

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in the United States. This is the time of year when children and teenagers are heading back to school, toddlers are entering preschools or daycare programs, and many adults are heading into college or continuing their careers. Regardless of the situation, it is important to be aware of the need for getting vaccinated year round.

Vaccines are a vital part of healthcare at all stages of life and offers the best protection available against many potentially devastating illnesses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages parents to follow an immunization schedule for babies and young children, protecting them from 14 life-affecting diseases. Pre-teens and teenagers should begin to innoculate against meningococcal diseases (meningitis or septicemia) and HPV (Human Papillomavirus, which can lead to cancer). Adults should continue to protect themselves with a yearly flu shot, tetanus updates, and later in life the shingles vaccine.

An important element of immunization awareness is to protect our populations through “

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Photo by Matteo Paganelli

July has been Minority Mental Health Month since 2008. Back in May we addressed mental health awareness, but there are factors affecting mental health that are particular to minority communities. People of color, immigrants and their families, LGBTQIA people, and other underrepresented groups face unique struggles in regard to mental illness in the United States.

Everyone has stress and difficult emotions on occasion, and this is completely normal. Mental illness, however, is any condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. It can affect relationships or job performance, and is caused by any number of complex interactions within the human brain. Mental illness can range from anxiety or mood disorders like depression, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, eating disorders, or addictive behaviors. Minority communities are disproportionately affected and experience different levels of care compared to heterosexual/cisgender/white populations. Discrimination and implicit bias from healthcare providers is associated with higher rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide in patients of color.

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July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month. Cleft palate or craniofacial defects affect thousands of infants, children, teens, and adults in the United States each year — 4400 infants are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate and 2650 are born with a cleft palate alone. While some people are born with congenital anomalies, others are burned or otherwise injured in accidents or diagnosed with various diseases that affect the mouth, head, neck, or skin.

Craniofacial defects are conditions present at birth that affect the structure and function of a baby’s head and face. Treatments and services for children with craniofacial defects can vary depending on the severity of the defect, the presence of associated syndromes or other birth defects, as well as the child’s age and other medical or developmental needs. Children with certain craniofacial defects are at a greater risk for physical, learning, developmental, or social challenges. Recent

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The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card is adding a new benefit for patients! The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card can now be used to save 40% on durable medical equipment and diabetic supplies. Our new partnership with My Virtual Doctor allows patients to buy hundreds of items online at a discount when you enter a NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card ID at checkout. You can now use your NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card to save on:

  • Diabetic supplies — needles, syringes, meters, test strips, lancets and more;
  • Splints and braces for ankle, knee, wrist, back;
  • Catheters and incontinence supplies;
  • Bathroom safety supplies — commodes, grab bars, bath benches and more;
  • Compression stockings;
  • Mobility devices such as canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs;
  • Footwear — inserts, socks, slippers;
  • Bladder control pads;
  • and more!

For over 10 years, the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card has been helping patients afford their prescriptions. To date, we have saved patients over $280 million on the price of their medications. The free NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card can be used anywhere in the country at over 65,000 participating pharmacies including all of the major chains, to save up to 80% on the cash price of your prescriptions. There are no income or age restrictions. There is no activation or registration needed and no personal information is taken when using our card.

The only rule is that you can’t combine insurance with the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card. So if you’re

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