After 40 years of service, the non-profit Okanogan Family Planning closed its doors this winter. With this closure, many Okanogan county residents were left unserved by affordable, accessible family planning resources, and the Room One-based Twisp Family Planning Clinic became their only local alternative option. The Okanogan Clinic frequently served those who do not qualify for Medicaid or similar benefits because of their documentation status, many of whom have limited English language abilities. Now, these residents of Brewster, Bridgeport and Tonasket must drive all the way to Twisp or Chelan to access family planning services—where a State funding source, Ciudese, offers them sliding scale fee.
Open one day a week, the Twisp clinic has seen a significant change in demand for services since the Okanogan office closure. Lori Valentine, a Room One Client Advocate and former receptionist at the Twisp Clinic, noted that previous Okanogan clients are establishing care here to continue to access reliable and long-term forms of birth control and other critical health services like cancer screenings. Reflecting Room One’s one-stop shop model, new clients always have the opportunity to connect with other Room One programs and resources.
Yet, the need for accessible family planning services throughout the county is still a priority. Our clinic’s sponsor, Family Planning of North Central Washington, plans to open an Omak-based clinic to provide local services this spring.
With your support, Room One remains dedicated to providing and advocating for essential family planning services for all county residents.