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Homer sexual and reproductive health clinic expands to Kenai

The Homer clinic in August 2021.
Kerry Tasker
/
Courtesy of KBFPC
The Homer clinic in August 2021.

Soldotna lost its branch of Planned Parenthood in May after three decades of local reproductive care from the organization. Today, the nearest Planned Parenthood is three hours away, in Anchorage.

But starting this week, a new low-cost reproductive and sexual health care option is available on the central Kenai Peninsula. Homer-based Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic is piloting a program on the central peninsula that will bring services to Kenai two Fridays each month, starting tomorrow (Nov. 18).

“Really, our remote services initiative as a whole is designed to bring reproductive health services where people need us,” said CEO Claudia Haines. “And that certainly changed a little bit as the Planned Parenthood health center in Soldotna closed last May.”

The Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic has been operating out of Homer since 1983.

It offers sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including breast cancer screenings, birth control consulting, fertility counseling and STI treatment, as well as HIV-prevention services and gender-affirming hormone care. The clinic also offers annual wellness visits for clients and teen health services. With the exception of colposcopy care, it will bring all those same services to Kenai.

Haines said some patients who were previously seeing Planned Parenthood in Soldotna are now seeing specialists remotely, through Planned Parenthood’s telehealth system .

“But we also had been hearing from central peninsula residents that were traveling even to Homer or talking to us about the need for in-person care,” Haines said.

The organization accepts private insurance and Medicaid. Patients who aren’t on insurance will pay what they can, since the clinic gets funding from the Title X Family Planning program. That program sets costs based on income and family size, on a sliding scale.

“Depending where you are on the household income scale, your cost for services may actually be zero,” Haines said.

KBFPC isn’t entirely the same as Planned Parenthood. It doesn’t offer abortion care services, for example.

But Haines said they have a lot of the same goals.

“Really aiming to get reproductive and sexual healthcare access to as many people as possible,” she said.

KBFPC will see patients out of the Kenai Public Health building, on Barnacle Way. The program in Kenai is a pilot, meaning the organization is trying to gauge interest locally over the next six months.

The clinic is booking appointments through the Homer Clinic. You can call 907-235-3436 to book an appointment. For a full list of services available, visit the clinic's website.

Sabine Poux is a producer and reporter for the Brave Little State podcast of Vermont Public. She was formerly news director and evening news host at KDLL in Kenai.

Originally from New York, Sabine has lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont and Kenai.
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