Soldotna Planned Parenthood center is closing at the end of May

Other Planned Parenthood locations are in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau

By: - May 13, 2022 3:00 am

Planned Parenthood Soldotna Health Center is scheduled to close on May 31. (Photo provided by Planned Parenthood)

After more than 30 years in operation, Planned Parenthood’s Soldotna clinic is closing at the end of May. Patients will be referred to the Anchorage clinic or to the organization’s telemedicine services.

“In terms of just general care, anything that we can provide over telemedicine, we will. Patients would still need to come into our Anchorage site for any physical exam or checkups,” Katie Rodihan said. Rodihan is director of communications for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky.

The Soldotna Health Center provides birth control; emergency contraception; HIV services; men’s health care; women’s health care; transgender hormone therapy; pregnancy testing and services; and STD testing, treatment and vaccines. All services can be accessed via telemedicine, except men’s health care, women’s health care, and the STD care.

Once Soldotna closes, Alaska will have Planned Parenthood clinics in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. The Soldotna clinic does not provide abortions; the other three do.

Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky – which also includes Washington and Idaho – will be closing four other clinics in Idaho and Indiana. Like in Soldotna, they’re closing May 31.

We were definitely taking into consideration what does reproductive care look like in a post-Roe world, and how can we consolidate our operations in some areas and invest in others to make sure that we're able to reach as many patients as possible?

– Katie Rodihan, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai'i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky

Rodihan said the decision to close these clinics have been months in the making and not based on last week’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion leak.

“That said, we’ve known the Supreme Court was going in this direction for a long time now. So, as we’re thinking through our patient needs and our operation needs, we were definitely taking into consideration what does reproductive care look like in a post-Roe world, and how can we consolidate our operations in some areas and invest in others to make sure that we’re able to reach as many patients as possible?” Rodihan said. “The world of reproductive care is shifting drastically right now. And we just want to make sure that we are prepared to remain committed to all of our states in the years to come.”

Closing the clinics will reduce costs. Rodihan said Planned Parenthood can then increase capacity for patient navigators “to help patients in areas without abortion access understand where they need to go, who they need to talk to, where they can get funding to then access abortion care.”

The Soldotna Planned Parenthood employs three staff members. A part-time clinician also comes in twice a week from Anchorage. In an effort to retain trained employees, Rodihan said Planned Parenthood makes an effort to transfer staff when possible.

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Lisa Phu
Lisa Phu

Lisa Phu covers justice, education, and culture for the Alaska Beacon. Previously, she spent eight years as an award-winning journalist, reporting for the Juneau Empire, KTOO Public Media, KSTK, and Wrangell Sentinel. She's also been Public Information Officer for the City and Borough of Juneau, lead facilitator for StoryCorps Alaska based in Utqiagvik, and a teacher in Tanzania and Bhutan. Originally from New York, Lisa is a first generation Chinese American and a mom of two young daughters. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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