Meeker McLeod Sibley (MMS) Family Planning Grant is funded through the Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota began offering grant funds in 1978, to assist in providing reproductive health services to those who could not otherwise afford them. Services include annual physicals, contraception, counseling, STI testing and treatment. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are now required to cover the contraception and pre-conception counseling. Grantees provide a variety of services, based on their location and population. Family Planning Services grants are still needed in the state, as not everyone has health insurance to get their needs met.
MMS Family Planning Services focuses on contraceptive counseling, as well as testing and treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). All three counties offer free condoms and counseling, as well as free testing (urine sample) and treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
McLeod Public Health offers STI testing, as well as pregnancy testing, when the nurse does jail health intake and 14 day assessments. Approximately 2-3 tests are done every 2 weeks. Inmates are relieved that we can offer this service, giving them peace of mind. Education about sexual health and pregnancy information is offered, leading to great discussion and a better understanding of sexual health.
MMS Family Planning has developed a partnership with Ridgewater Community College in Hutchinson. MMS has hosted pizza, trivia and BINGO events. A table with information about the family planning program is available to students during the annual Community Health Fair they host. “Welcome Day” at the beginning of the school year, provides another opportunity for students (and parents) to become aware of the program and to obtain educational brochures and other promotional items, including condoms. Both parents and faculty have shared their appreciation for being present and providing the services. Not all students are comfortable taking free condoms while someone is watching, but we have had several moms stop back to take some for their kids.