Local doctor donates vasectomy fees to non-profit groups

A local physician has contributed approximately $15,000 to local charities by collecting donations from the recipients of no-scalpel vasectomies performed at his Moab clinic. Through his program, Dr. Don Marquardt of the Moab Immediate Care and X-Ray Center, 267 N. Main Street, has made donations to 15 local non-profit groups, officials with the center said in a news release last week.

“Dr. [Don] Marquardt has embraced the local non-profit causes. This is his way of giving back to the community and we certainly appreciate it,” said Kimberly Schappert, of the Moab Trails Alliance, one of the non-profit groups that benefited from Marquardt’s donations.

Through the program, the vasectomy recipient donates $250 (for families earning less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines) or $500 that is given to a local charitable cause and Marquardt performs the vasectomy, which is valued at $500, at no charge, according to the news release. A $50 pre-vasectomy consultation fee is required for those participating in this program.

Marquardt described his efforts as a “win-win-win situation.” “[T]he patient and his family get the most reliable and safest birth control method available…; the charity gets much needed funds for its ongoing good works…; the community benefits from increased local involvement,” he said in the news release.

“While most the patients are local residents who pay cash, there are participants who want to support Moab non-profits who will travel from out of state for the procedure. There are also patients with private insurance who want to support Moab non-profits, and sometimes the insurance company will reimburse even more, which is a plus for the local charity,” Marquardt said in the news release. “Either way, MICX is happy to work with patients and families who are certain that they have reached the desirable end of their fertility.”

Marquardt said the program was established “to provide the benefits equally to families who may not be fully compensated for their hard work in the community.”

As Emily Niehaus, executive director of Community Rebuilds, said, “[Grants from the Free Vasectomy Program]… to Community Rebuilds’ Education Program is spent twice: first – supporting our interns, and second – building affordable housing for low-income families in Moab.”

Other non-profit groups that have benefited from the program include Seekhaven, St. Francis’ Medical Translation Service, Humane Society of Moab, Grand County Search and Rescue, Youth Garden Project, Four Corners Mental Health, Canyonlands Field Institute and Living Rivers.

Organizations that would like to register for the program should contact the office at 435-259-5277 from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays.

There are limited appointments remaining this fall, but the program will continue next spring after Marquardt returns from performing no-scalpel vasectomies for the Alaska Native Health Systems, according to the news release.