Family Planning Program Earns Trust of Lifelong Patient

February 23, 2015

Earning the long-term loyalty and trust of patients can be a rare occurrence in today’s health care landscape. With a widening health market, it’s not often you find consumers who have made one particular health provider a part of their lifetime support system.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Family Planning team in Jonesboro, Georgia did just that while working with Sonita Mayes, a mother and loyal client of DPH for more than a decade.

Since her teenage years, Mayes has worked alongside the dedicated providers in DPH’s Family Planning program to address a diverse range of her health and wellness needs – everything from routine check-ups and health education to reproductive planning and annual breast cancer screenings.

“They were always so caring and willing to go above and beyond to help with anything I needed,” Mayes said. “I have been going to the Clayton County Board of Health since I was 19. I am now 31 with a 5-year-old daughter.”

DPH’s Family Planning program provides services and information that empower women with the tools and knowledge needed to make informed health decisions. Working collaboratively with its clients, the Family Planning program offers Georgia women comprehensive health consultations, support in reproductive planning and evaluation of birth control options, among many other services.  

As a young adult, Mayes did not have health insurance and turned to DPH to find health support and counseling services.  Mayes’ interactions with DPH began with a routine health examination, but soon turned into a collaborative, long-term relationship that demonstrated the passion DPH providers had for the important work they do throughout the state of Georgia every day.

“The staff is always so pleasant and up-to-date on the latest health care information,” she said. “With their knowledge and guidance, we work together to determine the best services I should pursue to support my health needs.”

As a mother of a 5-year-old daughter, Mayes decided to make an important decision that she only wanted one child.  To support this life decision, the providers in DPH’s women’s health program coordinated one-on-one counseling services to help her understand the various birth control options.

Each year, family planning services across the nation help prevent nearly 2 million unintended pregnancies that are often reported as unwanted or mistimed, according to the Department of Health and Human’s Services’ (HHS). Through its Healthy People 2020 objectives, HHS is working to reduce the proportion of pregnancies conceived within 18 months of a previous birth and increase intended pregnancies through effective reproductive health planning and women’s health services.

“I had a problem trying to figure out what birth control was good for my body, she said. “After a process of elimination we found something that works and enables me to sustain my health goals. Technology is constantly changing and new medications are being introduced daily, so the knowledge they’ve provided was truly invaluable.”

Although Mayes has considered working with private providers, she prefers to maintain her health services with DPH, citing their admirable dedication, level of professionalism and understanding of her personal health needs. 

“I felt that private providers sometimes have a rushed presence and it feels like everyone is a number,” she said. “When working with DPH, I appreciate how they thoroughly review health information to help me feel comfortable and knowledgeable about my decisions.”  

Mayes continues to praise her team of providers at DPH’s Family Planning program for the support they’ve provided over last 10 years and intends to remain one of their most recognized patients. Understanding the value of a long-term health care partner, Mayes encourages other women in Georgia connect with DPH health providers in their own communities that are invested in seeing them live healthy, fulfilling lives.

“In order to ensure you can be the best person you want to be, health has to be a priority in your life,” she said. “I encourage all women to seek support from their local health department. The professionals are always willing to explain every possible option you have and walk you through your health decisions step by step. I’m grateful to have found my health team with DPH and I’m sure other women will benefit from their support as well.”

To learn more about DPH’s Family Planning program and women’s health services available throughout Georgia, visit www.dph.georgia.gov/family-planning.

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