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DHS news release

Dec. 22, 2006

General contact: Bonnie Widerburg, 971-673-1282
Program contact: Katherine Bradley, 971-673-0233

Federal approval received for Oregon's family planning program

Oregon has received approval from the federal government to renew the state's family planning expansion waiver, officials announced today.

"This is a highly effective program that not only helps the people it serves, but benefits all Oregonians," said Bruce Goldberg, M.D., director of the Oregon Department of Human Services. "The waiver is vital to Oregon's ability to bring family planning services to low-income residents who otherwise could not afford them."

More than 101,000 Oregonians, both women and men, receive family planning services each year, noted Katherine Bradley, administrator of family health programs in the DHS Public Health Division.

"The family planning program provides information and services so that women become pregnant when they and their families are prepared for a child," said Bradley. "And, services go well beyond merely dispensing contraceptives or providing access to care. Clients receive reproductive health education and counseling, as well as health services that include physical exams and cancer screenings."

Bill Sheppard, President of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, said that FPEP has been so successful that Oregon recently was recognized as one of the top states in the country serving women in need of family planning services. In fact, he said, "FPEP is one of the most cost-effective public health services that Oregon provides."

The waiver request was first submitted to the federal government in 1999 to expand family planning services to Oregonians above the poverty level. This will be its second renewal. The waiver will allow Oregon to continue offering family planning services to people who earn up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, or $37,000 for a family of four.

The program has strong federal support; every dollar Oregon invests is matched with nine additional dollars from the federal government, Bradley noted.

Family planning is one of many public health programs within DHS that focus on prevention and helping people manage their health so they can be as productive and healthy as possible.

Family planning services are available through all county health departments, all Planned Parenthood offices, some university student health centers and many federally qualified health clinics. Information about the DHS family planning program can be found on the DHS Public Health Division Web site.