Women’s Health Center of Duluth mission “is to provide and advocate for confidential, affordable family planning and reproductive health care, respectful of personal and cultural diversity.”
The Women’s Health Center Duluth, P.A. (WHC), was established in April 1981 through grants and funding from the McKnight Foundation and Midwest Health Center for Women, to provide medical and reproductive health care services to women and men, and became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1983. The WHC is located in the Building for Women, which is owned in partnership by the Women’s Health Center (WHC), the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and the Program to Aid Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA). A nine-member Medical Board of Directors and a thirteen-member Advisory Council govern WHC. The Executive Director, Laurie Casey, oversees the clinic operations, finances, fundraising, planning and community relations.
WHC was one of the first clinics to provide Medical Abortion services in Minnesota, and one of the lead plaintiffs in the Gomez vs Minnesota Supreme Court case, winning funding for low-income women for abortion services. In addition, WHC was one of the lead plaintiffs in the Minnesota Parental Notification Law, which went to the United States Supreme Court. Since inception, WHC has been women-led and maintains strong relations with local, county and state legislators. WHC, with other women’s organizations, promotes equality for women through advocating for reproductive rights. Reproductive freedomdepends on continuous efforts to educate those making public policy about these issues.
WHC provides complete reproductive services to low-income women and men in Northeastern Minnesota, including pregnancy prevention and testing, gynecological care, options counseling, pregnancy termination, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, treatment and education and breast and cervical cancer screening.
· In addition to our Duluth office, WHC, with funding from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), provides Family Planning Special Project (FPSP) services in rural Carlton, Cook, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis Counties.
· In 1996, WHC founded the Boyz II Dadz Program with funding from the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning, to prevent adolescent pregnancy and promote male responsibilities of parenthood. Recently, changing their name to Fathers And Children Together, or FACT. Due to loss of funding the FACT Program sadly closed its program December 2011.
· The Women’s Health Center contracts with the MDH Sage Screening Program to screen for breast and cervical cancer, including the medically underserved, minorities, the elderly, the poor and those with inadequate insurance.
· From 2009-2011 the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund and the Minnesota Department of Health Community Clinic Fund granted WHC funding that helped provide free STI testing, treatment and education for 609 Minnesota residents. For more information on STI/STD’s, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health Website.
· In 2009 the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund granted WHC funding to provide 90 free I.U.D.’s and/or Implanon birth control methods, including insertion and follow-up costs, for eligible Minnesota residents.
· From 2011-2013 the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund granted WHC funding to provide free I.U.D.’s, Implanon, Plan B, Depo Provera, Nuva Rings and birth control pills to eligible Minnesota residents.