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The Telegram
  • Planned Parenthood to close Herkimer center

  • For six decades women, men and teens in the Mohawk Valley have trusted Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson to provide quality health care and education services, however, as the needs of patients begin to change the health care provider has announced that on July 3 it will close the Planned Parenthood Herkimer Health Care Center at 401 E. German St. to better meet the growing needs of its patients.

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  • For six decades women, men and teens in the Mohawk Valley have trusted Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson to provide quality health care and education services, however, as the needs of patients begin to change the health care provider has announced that on July 3 it will close the Planned Parenthood Herkimer Health Care Center at 401 E. German St. to better meet the growing needs of its patients.
    A statement released by Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson said, “After careful evaluation we have decided to close our Herkimer Health Care Center as this decision enables PPMH to focus on the continued upgrading of our health centers in the area to ensure we can continue to offer the highest level of patient care. It will also help PPMH meet the growing and diverse needs of women and families in the area by providing more services, extended hours for appointments and walk-in hours at our other facilities.”
    Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Drisgula said the change is something that will not hinder but help patients.
    “We’ve been operating with the same number of clinics for a long time and although our footprint has remained the same, we’re feeling a rapid change in the health care landscape. By making these changes we will have a fewer number of clinics to manage, while offering a wider range of services for patients,” he said.
    Through the transition Planned Parenthood invites patients to continue to receive health care services at its area locations, including the Utica center at 1424 Genesee St.
    Recently, the Utica center completed a $2.5 million reconstruction that modernized and expanded the facility and parking lot, and improved privacy and security.
    Planned Parenthood Director of Communications Linda Scharf said the Utica center has the capacity to welcome new and transferring patients.
    “The Utica office offers extended hours and more services, and this is something that is attractive to patients. Those people who live in Herkimer, but work in the Utica area, will find it more convenient,” she said.
    Currently, the Herkimer clinic provides basic services of family planning, HIV counseling and testing and male services. The Utica clinic offers these services as well as medication, abortions and surgical abortions, ultrasound, colposcopy, cryosurgery, the loop electrosurgical excision procedure and on-site educators that work directly with patients.
    “Utica offers longer hours as well as a broader range of service,” said Drisgula.
    “In Herkimer we’ve seen a number of patients choosing to go to Utica. Twenty-five percent of Herkimer area patients have been going to the Utica clinic rather than continuing to visit the Herkimer clinic,” he added.
    In 2012, the Herkimer health center received 1,100 patient visits and in 2011, the Utica clinic received 6,533. Of those patients about 250 were from Herkimer County.
    Page 2 of 2 - “With the renovated clinic the Utica office will have the capacity to accept even more patients than it has in the past,” said Drisgula.
    Although the Herkimer clinic will close its doors the staff might not be left behind.
    “We have a great staff in Herkimer and we’re hoping we can find placement for the staff at the Utica office or other Planned Parenthood locations. Our staff has offered spectacular services in Herkimer for several years and we don’t want to loose them. It’s our hope that our patients turn to Utica as alternative site,” said Drisgula.
    Planned Parenthood has many partnerships with other medical providers and will continue to refer patients to the provider that will best meet their health care needs.
    “Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson is grateful to the community for its support and determination to ensure that high quality health care is accessible to all,” said Scharf.
    She added Planned Parenthood would continue to provide educational services in Herkimer County as well as advocacy for reproductive rights.
    For more information, visit planonit.org or call 800-230-PLAN (7526).

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