Marion County Health & Human Services has announced that reproductive health services will not resume as the department begins to reopen its Public Health Clinic, which has been closed since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision follows months of careful assessment that began in 2019 when the county engaged a consultant to evaluate its service offerings in comparison to the needs of the community. The process incorporated input from employees, community partners, and individuals receiving services. The full report can be viewed on the Health & Human Services website.
The assessment found that the number of individuals seeking services from Marion County's Reproductive Health Program had declined in recent years and that adequate alternatives exist to support the needs of the community were the program to close. In recent years, a shift in funding models for these services has led to an increase in access to and availability of primary care providers.
Marion County Health & Human Services will continue to coordinate with providers throughout the county to assist them in partnering with the Oregon Health Authority's Reproductive Health Program and will work to ensure equitable access to care for all of the county's residents.
Marion County's Public Health Division Director, Katrina Rothenberger, said, "As the local public health authority, we take our responsibility to ensure equitable access to high quality healthcare for everyone in our community very seriously. As we begin to move away from direct service, we are eager to focus more of our time on creating change at the systems level."
Immunizations and STD/HIV services will continue at the county's Salem Public Health Clinic located at 3180 Center St. NE and the county will work to assist community members in finding a healthcare provider if they do not already have one.