May 8, 2019

Abortion, Birth Control, Health Care, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, Title X

It’s National Nurses Week! That means it’s time to celebrate the compassionate, dedicated, and expert nurse practitioners who work at Maine Family Planning’s 18 clinics statewide.

Our NPs are the backbone of our health care organization. They provide birth control, wellness exams, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, HIV prophylaxis, and some aspects of abortion care to the thousands of Mainers who come through our doors. They are the experts in sexual and reproductive health care, staying up-to-date on the latest in family planning standards.

Above all, they provide compassionate care in their communities. They are trusted sources of medically accurate information. They care about their patients, and it shows.

MFP isn’t alone in highlighting the important work of our providers. Just in the past week, one of our nurses practitioners received an exciting award at the annual National Abortion Federation (NAF) conference. Another NP was featured in The Pioneer Times, a newspaper covering Houlton and the surrounding areas.

“Work That I Believe In”

We’re proud to congratulate Belfast Family Planning NP Julie Jenkins, BSN, MSN, SAFE-A, WHNP-BC, on her acceptance of NAF’s Clinicians in Abortion Care Leadership Award. Julie works tirelessly to advance reproductive health access in Maine. She is the named plaintiff in our lawsuit to overturn Maine’s outdated ban on advance practice clinicians providing abortion care, Jenkins v. Almy. At Belfast Family Planning, Julie provides all aspects of in-clinic care during telemedicine abortion appointments. She also offers gender-affirming care through our Open Door transgender health program.

“This is work that I believe in and it is work that my family believed in,” Julie told the audience at NAF. “Some of you may remember my stepfather, Parker Harris, who passed away in 2003. Prior to that he was an OB-GYN who, before the inception of the Mabel Wadsworth clinic in Bangor, provided all of the publicly accessible abortions in northern and mid-Maine. He was a huge supporter of the Mabel Wadsworth and Maine Family Planning abortion programs and served as medical director for both. I count myself so lucky to have had him as a role model.” 

Julie also took a moment to thank MFP’s clinic support staff, “who are often the unsung heroes of abortion care.”

“A Lot Has Changed”

Meanwhile, The Pioneer Times featured Houlton Family Planning NP Heather Curran in its latest issue. In the article, “Maine Family Planning offers affordable care options,” Heather talks about how family planning care evolved over the decades and now encompasses a wide range of critical services. In addition to offering many methods of birth control, Heather provides STD testing and treatment and other preventive care to patients of all ages. Our sliding fee scale and Maine’s recent Medicaid expansion help ensure that these services remain affordable and accessible for all Mainers.

Click here to book an appointment at MFP’s Houlton clinic, one of three MFP sites in Aroostook County. (The other two are in Fort Kent and Presque Isle.)

Three cheers for Julie, Heather, and the rest of our amazing nurses!