One of the largest issues currently facing clients at The Healing Place’s Women’s Campus is women’s health concerns. Despite what you often hear in the news, access to women’s healthcare is extremely limited and getting that care can be a difficult process to navigate. Women in need of care have to face long waits and often have to go to multiple locations to get their heath needs met. This is a huge problem for women who are early in their recovery and trying to focus on their sobriety.
The disease of addiction takes a huge toll on the physical body in many ways. It is normal for a woman to come to our program and have no primary care physician. It is also a regular occurrence for women in addiction to not see an OB-GYN doctor for years. This can mean years without a Pap smear, mammogram, or other significant exam. Our clients want to focus on their recovery program, but these are medical issues that must be addressed and that take time.
Right now, our clients have to go off property to clinics around town to get their specific OB-GYN needs met. Many women need to go to multiple clinics if they require multiple services. These barriers to care are large issues for several reasons. Transportation is difficult and can be costly. A bus ticket does not cost a lot of money, but for someone who is not working, having to buy bus fare several times. This process also takes lots of time. Many of our clients leave at 8:30am for their appointment and, because of travel and waiting, they do not get back until the afternoon. These are all issues that can be addressed with increased access to services.
A team of Healing Place staff and volunteer physicians is currently trying to launch an OB-GYN clinic located at Women’s Campus. This group of doctors can do regular Pap smears, cancer screens, and many other OB-GYN procedures right here on campus. This will be free to all clients and will give them an opportunity to be responsible for their health. We are currently working on a grant that will fully fund this clinic and have a team of physicians standing by to offer services.
The clinic will likely run on weekends, which allows the clients to focus on their recovery program during the week. Not having to spend multiple days away from their recovery program will help allow our clients to focus on their recovery while still being responsible for their health. Medical issues can be a major distraction for those in early recovery. This clinic will break down one more barrier to recovery and allow women in this community to get sober.
Posted on August 18, 2015
by Marla Highbaugh filed under