Press Releases

Response to Seattle Weekly Article “How Title X Cuts Impact UW Womens’ Health(August 9th, 2018)

“How Title X Cuts Impact UW Women’s Health (published June 20, 2018) extensively discusses our nonprofit clinic 3W Medical for Women, but you failed to get our side of the story. We were contacted once by intern Keiko DeLuca on June 6 through email. On June 7, twice I called what she gave as her direct phone number and left voicemails. She did not reply at all, nor did she follow up with email. The photo showing vehicles and crediting her reveals that she came to the clinic while we were there working, yet she did not come inside to speak with us.

Our website www.3wmedical.org describes our philosophy and services in detail. We are not a “crisis pregnancy center.” We do have a limited scope of outpatient services, none of which require after-hours physician availability. Our medical consultation includes education about abortion and contraception as requested by the patient, but that is a small fraction of what we do.

You quote Dr. Sarah Prager, who has never spoken with any of us. She erroneously says that “3W presents itself as a full spectrum women’s healthcare center.” She also claims “that they have a stated agenda about encouraging women to continue pregnancies.” Nowhere do we say that. See the website: “Our mission is to respectfully provide compassionate evidence-based sexual health services and education necessary to make informed healthcare decisions.” On the About Us page: “3W Medical for Women believes that women are strong, smart and capable of making their own reproductive health decisions.”

The King County Board of Health never ordered 3W to post signs and we do not fit their definition of a crisis pregnancy center any more than ObGyn offices who provide the same services.

3W does not plan to apply for Title X funding. We do not feel that it applies to us because we are not a substitute for federally qualified health centers that provide ongoing established patient care.

Finally, medical providers at 3W are volunteers, including me. All who have volunteered so far are board certified in ObGyn. The implication that we provide misinformation or substandard care is highly offensive. We welcome patients to see for themselves by scheduling a free of charge consultation and exam (for STI or other lab testing, the charges are minimal).

Your readers should know that we are here to help women in need to the best of our ability, no insurance needed. We are happy to answer their questions about appointments if they call or come by.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Well-Woman Exam – The Seattle Times (October 11, 2017)

https://www.seattletimes.com/sponsored/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-well-woman-exam/

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Is King County Health Regulation Enforcement Politically Motivated?

SEATTLE, Washington (August 16, 2017) –The new King County Health Department regulation (BOH 17- 04) is set to go into effect this month, requiring limited service pregnancy centers (LSPC) to notify clients in advertising and in the waiting room that, “This facility is not a health care facility.”

Evidence given in support of the bill was a white paper provided by the progressive feminist group Legal Voice, and a Board of Health staff report which heavily relied on sources from Legal Voice and sister organizations NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. Both reports named organizations as examples of such LSPCs which would fall under this regulation, including the Seattle women’s health clinic 3W Medical for Women, based upon the testimony of an undercover “tester” from Legal Voice.

The Board’s purported interest in passing the regulation was to ensure “that women who might be pregnant are notified” about whether facilities they visit “for ultrasound, pregnancy testing or pregnancy diagnosis or pregnancy options counseling are health care facilities.” Dr. Susan Rutherford, respected local OB/GYN and Medical Director of 3W, agrees that non-medical facilities should be acknowledged as such, but knows that her medical clinic should not be included in such a list. “Given the regulation’s stated purpose, Public Health Seattle and King County should not enforce the rule against 3W,” stated Dr. Rutherford. “Any attempt to impose this rule on 3W would raise serious doubts about whether the Board is pursuing the public interest as it says, or whether it is attempting to punish those who do not offer the medical services promoted by Legal Voice and similar organizations.”

The Board of Health Staff Report specified that some entities may be wrongly identified as LSPCs by organizations “monitoring LSPC-like entities or activities, [and] may provide medical care or health care by health care professionals in the scope of their licenses. Such entities fall within the scope of state regulations and are not the subject of rule and regulation BOH17-04.” Helen Nguyen, Executive Director of 3W Medical, looks forward to confirmation from the Public Health Department that they will follow through on this statement. “We hope to be proven wrong that they are not targeting us for political points.” The regulation goes into effect 30 days after the regulation was passed, utilizing a complaintbased system. It is expected that representatives of Legal Voice and similar organizations will be sent out to 3W and other organizations named in the report, submitting complaints when they encounter a facility that is not posting the sign.

Learn more about 3W Medical and how to support their healthcare services at 3wmedical.org.

Contact:
Susan Rutherford MD                       Helen Nguyen

Medical Director                                Executive Director
susanr@3wmedical.org                    helenn@3wmedical.org
(206) 588-0311                                   (206) 588-0311

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3W Medical’s Extensive Services Labeled Limited

SEATTLE, Washington (August 3, 2017) –A recent regulation passed by the King County Board of Health requires limited service pregnancy centers (LSPC) to notify in advertisements and in waiting rooms the sentence, “This facility is not a health care facility.” 3W Medical for Women, a new women’s medical clinic in the University District, was inaccurately named in an accompanying document as one of several King County LSPCs that must comply with the regulation.

The Board of Health regulation cited the need for all women to “have access to comprehensive family planning and reproductive health care services” as the reason why the regulation was necessary, saying that the lack of this notification poses a threat to the public health (BOH17-04 Section 1A and 1B).

“The message that the Board of Health is sending is that providing “comprehensive” services requires including abortion and contraception. They forget that many highly regarded physicians do not perform or refer for abortion and/or decline to place contraceptive devices. There are lots of places patients can go for those services, but what’s often needed in the standard medical system now is a place where patients can go in depth with their questions,” explained Dr. Susan Rutherford, Medical Director and President of 3W Medical for Women. “When was the last time you had an hour-long appointment with your doctor? We make the time to fully discuss all options and to answer our patients’ questions in a way that exceeds what is possible in other clinic.”

The regulation defined a limited service pregnancy center as “a facility that is not a health care facility and whose primary purpose is to provide either pregnancy options counseling or pregnancy tests, or both…” (BOH17-04, Section 5D). Not only is 3W a legitimate health care facility, but its primary purpose is not pregnancy options counseling or pregnancy testing. According to the 3W’s website, 3wmedical.org, the clinic’s mission is “to respectfully provide compassionate evidence-based sexual health services and education necessary to make informed healthcare decisions.” Also listed on the site is a list of available services which covers a wide range of women’s gynecologic needs such as well woman exams and STI/STD testing and treatment, in addition to pregnancy testing and obstetric ultrasound.

Other organizations listed as LSPCs are often known for providing support to pregnant or parenting mothers in need of parenting classes and material assistance such as diapers and baby clothes. Those that provide medical services make pregnancy testing and early ultrasound their priority, which is quite different from the wide array of services provided by 3W. “We have been inaccurately labeled as a pregnancy center. We are in a different category. We are a medical clinic, not a limited service pregnancy center,” said Helen Nguyen, 3W Executive Director. Visit the 3W Medical Website to view their services or to make an appointment today at 3wmedical.org. Contact: Susan Rutherford MD Helen Nguyen Medical Director Executive Director susanr@3wmedical.org helenn@3wmedical.org (206) 588-0311 (206) 588-0311

Contact:
Susan Rutherford MD                       Helen Nguyen

Medical Director                                Executive Director
susanr@3wmedical.org                    helenn@3wmedical.org
(206) 588-0311                                   (206) 588-0311

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3W Medical for Women Clinic Denies Board of Health Signage

SEATTLE, Washington (July 26, 2017) –Last week, the King County Board of Health passed BOH17-04, a regulation requiring limited service pregnancy centers (LSPC) to notify clients in advertising and in the waiting room that, “This facility is not a health care facility.”

Legal Voice, a progressive feminist organization, provided a report in support of the bill, which inaccurately named 3W as one of several King County limited service pregnancy centers, implying that 3W would be required to post the sign as well. 3W meets Washington State’s definition of a health care facility as any facility “associated with delivery of inpatient or outpatient health care service”

(RCW 70.37.020).

“We will not be posting the sign because we are a health care facility. The regulation has been falsely applied to us in the report compiled by Legal Voice,” stated Helen Nguyen, Executive Director of 3W Medical for Women. 3W is a health care facility operating under the direction and supervision of Dr. Susan Rutherford, an experienced and respected OB/GYN. All services are provided by licensed health care providers and the organization is governed by a board of licensed health care professionals, a structure which goes above and beyond most health care organizations.

3W Medical for Women has been providing women’s sexual health services in the University District since April, and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients. A recent patient had this to say about her experience:

With the rising health care costs, and my needed medical appointments, I was trying to figure out how to pay for everything. I was well overdue on my women’s wellness checkup because I couldn’t afford all the medical appointments I needed all I once. I decided to do some research into some more affordable doctors who were offering women’s medical care. I went on Google and found 3W Medical. I made an appointment to see them. Dr. Rutherford performed my gynecological exam. She was gentle, thorough, and was present in listening to me and my concerns.  -Michelle L., 3W Patient

3W leadership and the King County Board of Health however do agree on one thing: “We do believe that non-health care facilities should identify themselves as such. We are committed to honesty and transparency, which are essential to good patient care. I am adamant that we will not be posting this sign.  With my medical credentials, we would be lying to our patients to do so,” said Dr. Susan Rutherford, CEO and Medical Director.

Visit 3W’s website, 3wmedical.org, today and learn more about the many health care services that are being provided to the Seattle community free of charge or at nominal cost.

Contact:
Susan Rutherford MD                       Helen Nguyen

Medical Director                                Executive Director
susanr@3wmedical.org                    helenn@3wmedical.org
(206) 588-0311                                   (206) 588-0311

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3W Medical for Women Clinic Falsely Identified

SEATTLE, Washington (July 21, 2017) – With a vote of 11 to 1, the King County Board of Health passed BOH17-04, a regulation that would require limited service pregnancy centers (LSPC) in King County to post and disseminate to clients on site, in any print and digital advertising materials including Internet web sites the sentence: “This facility is not a health care facility.”

Susan Rutherford MD, a board-certified OB/GYN with 39 years of health care experience, is the Medical Director of a new ambulatory healthcare facility located in the University District area named 3W Medical for Women. This professional clinic has been falsely identified as a limited service pregnancy center. Needless to say, Dr. Rutherford and the other medical professionals involved with 3W Medical for Women are not pleased.

“This is outrageous. 3W is a legitimate healthcare facility as defined by Washington State law RCW 70.37.020. In addition, 3W does not fit within the definition of a limited service pregnancy center as outlined in BOH17-04.”

3W Medical for Women is not a limited service pregnancy center and is a healthcare facility.  All medical consultations and exams at 3W Medical for Women are exclusively provided by licensed healthcare professionals under the direction and supervision of Dr. Rutherford as Medical Director.

BOH17-04 defines a “limited service pregnancy center” as a facility that is not a health care facility and whose primary purpose is to provide either pregnancy options counseling or pregnancy tests or both, for a fee or as a free or low-cost service.  The mission of 3W is “to respectfully provide compassionate, evidence-based sexual health services and education necessary to make informed healthcare decisions.”

Helen Nguyen, 3W Executive Director, says “The majority of our services are unrelated to pregnancy and include well woman annual exams with breast and pelvic exams and PAP smears, problem gynecology evaluations and referrals, STI/STD testing and treatment for both women and men, and individualized consultation about fertility management and family planning. Pregnancy services include pregnancy tests, ultrasound, office prenatal care bridging to their obstetric care elsewhere, support services with referrals, and if desired pregnancy options consultation or second opinions in the same manner as in an ObGyn office.”

“We agree that the public has the right to know if a facility is a legitimate health care facility,” says Dr. Rutherford. “However, it is malicious bullying to force an authentic health care facility to misrepresent themselves and deny that they are a health care facility when in reality they are.”

Contact:

Susan Rutherford MD                       Helen Nguyen

Medical Director                                Executive Director
susanr@3wmedical.org                    helenn@3wmedical.org
(206) 588-0311 ext. 304                   (206) 588-0311  ext. 302