DALLAS -- More than a dozen health care providers with HHM Health are now certified to insert a birth-control implant into patients' arms -- a procedure available to Dallas County residents at any of the nonprofit organization's clinic sites.
Over the past few months, HHM has experienced an influx of patients -- especially after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, spokeswoman Krista Ferrara said.
"We care about these patients, and we want them to come in and feel safe to have those conversations," Ferrera said, adding that a few patients have come into the clinic thinking birth control is illegal.
Recent training using fake arms led to 15 HHM health care providers -- including nurses, physician assistants and doctors -- being certified to insert Nexplanon, a thin rod placed under the skin of a patient's upper arm that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy.
The certifications allow the providers to perform the procedures at their own clinics, rather than sending patients to one of HHM's two clinics in Lake Highlands and northeast Dallas, locations where they may need to arrange transportation.
The implant lasts for up to three years and can be removed before then.
"It is a good option for those who don't want to come back for refills for the oral pills, and they know they don't want to have a baby in the next three years," Ferrera said.
HHM is offer the implants and other contraceptive methods -- birth control pills, hormonal IUDs, vaginal rings, copper IUDs and contraceptive injections -- free to Dallas County residents who are uninsured or underinsured.
"We're saving a lot of these people that probably need it, because if they're uninsured, they probably don't have a job or they may be on the poverty line," Ferrera said. "These are the people that actually do need it to stay safe and be able to family plan when they want another kid."
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