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A women's health clinic will open this year in Davis County, funded by grant money and operated by the county health department as a pilot program. Approval for the clinic was given Tuesday morning by the county health board.

County nursing administrator Mary Meredith said Davis is one of the few counties in Utah that doesn't have a women's health clinic and there is demand for it, especially among low-income women.The county had one until the early 1980s when federal funding dried up, Meredith told the board Tuesday morning. There is some state grant money available now, at least to get the clinic started, she said.

"We get phone calls every week from women, concerning health questions, and now we have to refer them to clinics in Ogden or Salt Lake," Meredith said. "But for some of these women transportation is a problem and that referral doesn't help them."

The clinic will offer services such as pap smear, breast examinations, family planning, and other health services related to women's needs, Meredith said.

It will be staffed by a nurse practitioner on the health department staff and will contract with an obstetrician/gynecologist for referrals, she said.

Answering a query from the board, Meredith said the clinic will follow state laws on providing family planning information. No birth control information will be given to clients under 18 unless it's with parental consent, she said.

The clinic will probably operate one afternoon a week at first, depending on demand, Meredith said, and will initially be based in the health department's Farmington headquarters. It could expand into other communities if the demand is there, she said.

Using the nurse practitioner already on the department's staff along with state grants for the contract physician and equipment, the clinic will probably be self-supporting using a fee schedule pegged to the income of the users, Meredith said.