When a person struggles with a substance use disorder (SUD), the deterioration of their physical health is often the most recognizable and perhaps most severe consequence. In addition to the immediate effects of substance use on an individual’s health, substance use disorders can lead people to circumstances where they are unable to access routine medical care, such as annual physicals, and basic OBGYN care is often neglected.
To help women with substance use disorders obtain the essential care that they otherwise would not have received, Dr. Judith Cothran, a key leader in the Chicago medical community, has joined the Haymarket Center medical team.
“Sometimes, women who use illicit substances tend to have neglected their OBGYN health,” Dr. Cothran explained. “Our approach is fairly comprehensive in response to the difficulties they have faced. For example, most of what we do is scan for STIs, provide pap smears and contraceptive care, and provide cancer screenings.”
Dr. Cothran has a longstanding reputation for providing care to the most vulnerable and marginalized. Prior to joining Haymarket, Dr. Cothran provided basic OBGYN care to the South Side communities of Roseland and Englewood. Additionally, Dr. Cothran has joined her medical colleagues from Loyola University in trips to the Central American country of Belize to assist local healthcare providers in expanding their services and obtaining new medical supplies.
“I feel a sense of service doing the work that I do here at Haymarket,” Dr. Cothran explained. “Many colleagues of mine work in busy practices, and I’m not interested in that in this point of my career. What I want to do instead is focus on taking care of those who have been underserved and neglected, and Haymarket fits that mission profile and serves women who have been neglected.”