Nurse practitioner offers services in Granby
February 18, 2009
Granby’s Planned Parenthood has extended its care with a nurse practitioner based in Grand County.
Originally from Iowa, Nurse Practitioner Brandy Mitchell recently joined the nonprofit clinic with a graduate nursing degree from the University of Washington.
Residing in Tabernash, she is providing physical exams and health assessments two half-days a week at Granby’s Planned Parenthood.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced degrees, allowing them to practice medicine in ways similar to a primary care physician, sharing the ability to treat patients and provide prescriptions. An overseeing doctor to the local clinic presides in Denver.
One of Mitchell’s first nursing positions was at a Planned Parenthood in Denver, she said, and later she worked for six years with Denver Public Health, specializing in sexually transmitted disease diagnoses.
The Granby Planned Parenthood has seen a 3 percent increase in clientele from year-to-year, according to Planned Parenthood Health Center Manager Aimee Quadri.
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The clinic is one of a handful of Planned Parenthoods remaining in Colorado that offers health-care services on a sliding scale.
“In a community that doesn’t have a lot of options for health care, it’s absolutely necessary it has a clinic that is affordable,” said Quadri. The clinic also accepts private insurance and Medicaid.
Known for its reproductive health care services including pap smears, breast exams, menopausal care, STD testing and treatments, a 10-minute HIV test, contraception services and counseling, the local Planned Parenthood does not conduct abortions, but offers a wide spectrum of female care. Prenatal care is offered at the clinic by visiting midwives.
The majority of patients she’s seen, according to Mitchell, are of ages 30 years and older, and about 8 percent of Granby’s Planned Parenthood patients are men. “I’m very comfortable seeing men for STD screenings or checks,” she said.
Statewide, wellness and preventative care have accounted for about 93 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services, with 7 percent attributed to abortions, according to a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman in Denver.
“I think a lot of people are misinformed,” Mitchell said. “They think folks at Planned Parenthood are pro-teen sex, and that’s not what Planned Parenthood is really about. It’s about education and prevention.”
Besides seeing and treating patients, Mitchell, a mother of two, hopes to provide men and women the educational tools they need to help them make “informed decisions about their reproductive health.”
Such education, she said, can decrease rates of unwanted pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases.
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