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Galesburg clinic to offer LGBTQ+ health services with Central Illinois Friends

Stethoscope and pen in doctor robe pocket. Concept Of The Global Healthcare, Medicine And Insurance
Sergey Tinyakov/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Stethoscope and pen in doctor robe pocket. Concept Of The Global Healthcare, Medicine And Insurance

Galesburg’s non-profit sexual health clinic Family Planning Services of Western Illinois is teaming up with a Peoria clinic aimed at supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Central Illinois Friends is a non-profit based in Peoria. They help those living with HIV. They also are a sexual health clinic that offers services such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for transgender people looking to transition.

Family Planning Services has been in Galesburg since 1976. They have been expanding recently, and are looking to provide more services to the LGBTQ+ community here in Galesburg.

“The reasons we exist are exactly the same,” said Deric Kimler, executive director of Central Illinois Friends. “It makes complete sense to merge.”

Central Illinois Friends will bring hormone replacement therapy and HIV/AIDS care to Family Planning in Galesburg.

In return, Family Planning will expand the birth control and Plan B options Peoria Friends can offer.

According to Kimler, because the organizations have slightly different nonprofit statuses, they will be able to fill the gaps for each other and serve everyone who comes into both clinics.

“It’s a no-brainer to us, it is only going to make a more holistic and easier access option for Galesburg and the western counties of Illinois,” said Kimler.

Dez Stenger is the secretary of Galesburg’s PFLAG chapter.

She said these services will be “breakthrough help” for the community.

“It would be massively helpful to those here, not just because of the HIV/AIDS, but also the HRT,” she said. “It’s a desert out here for resources and help for that kind of thing.”

Stenger said people used to be able to go to the Planned Parenthood in Peoria for hormone replacement therapy. But they lost that option when the clinic closed after it was firebombed earlier this year.

Family Planning Services and Peoria Friends aim to start offering these services in Galesburg in July.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Eleanor Lindenmayer is a journalism major at Knox College.