Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York recently lost $95,000 in Teenage Services Act funding from the state, which eliminated that program to assist pregnant and parenting teenagers.
Martha E. Stahl, vice president of external affairs, said the cut was to help the state with high Medicaid costs. In order to participate in the program, pregnant or parenting teenagers had to at least be eligible to receive Medicaid.
For us, these programs were pretty self-supporting, and it was very successful, but that was the only funding to support it, she said. It was a Medicaid program, and we could bill Medicaid for that.
Now there is no specific Planned Parenthood program for pregnant and parenting teenagers, but some participants of the Teenage Services Act program have qualified to transfer to the agencys Community Health Worker Program.
Both programs provide case management, but the community program serves a wider range of people. According to the state Department of Health, its Community Health Worker Program is targeted to specific communities with high rates of infant mortality, out-of-wedlock births, late or no prenatal care, teen pregnancies and births, and births to low-income women.
In 2010, the Teenage Services Act program had 73 patients, and the Community Health Worker Program had 117 patients.
Both have the intended outcome to increase the number of healthy births and to get clients in those programs to be self sufficient, Mrs. Stahl said.
No former Teenage Services Act program client was left in the dark, she said, as some phased out of the program just in time.
The now-defunct program worked with clients on setting goals, getting their education, finding employment, keeping prenatal-care appointments and establishing family planning initiatives as it introduced them to the health-care system.