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Planned Parenthood to Open Full-Service Health Center This Summer

Only location in Marin for Planned Parenthood center will be on H Street in San Rafael's West End; Mill Valley location to close.

Local leaders and Planned Parenthood staff and supporters gathered Monday in San Rafael’s West End for a sneak peek of a new Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific health center set to open this summer.

The soon-to-be full-service facility, at 2 H Street, may create déjà vu for some community members. The 6,632-square-foot building housed a Planned Parenthood clinic in the past.

When the San Rafael facility opens its doors (organizers are hoping for early June), the two-year-old Mill Valley Planned Parenthood will be closing, as much of the staff will be moving to the significantly larger San Rafael building.

The San Rafael center will have a staff of 10 to 15 people, including the assistant medical director for the Concord-based Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific and a Marin County health educator. It’s one of the five new centers Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific has opened in the last two years, taking over clinics last run by an ex-Planned Parenthood affiliate, Golden Gate Community Health.  

“It’s more than twice the square footage of the Mill Valley center,” said Mill Valley Planned Parenthood Center Director Stacey Stein, adding that the new facility is conducive to offering a full range of services, including a new Marin educator position. Stein will become director of the San Rafael center after it opens. 

Construction is underway on the roughly $1 million remodel and organizers are in the middle of fundraising to cover those costs and the $2.2 million spent on purchasing the property.

Thus far, roughly $800,000 has been raised. 

“Many clients use our services as their first and only health care,” said Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific President and CEO Heather Estes. “We’re delighted to reopen here and provide an important safety net and reproductive health center for Marin.” 

Speaking to a group of supporters inside the under-construction building’s conference room, Estes said that Planned Parenthood has had a presence in Marin since 1930, when it started in Mill Valley as the Marin Maternal Health Association. Later, when mentioning that the new center will offer all ranges of contraception, she joked “Thankfully, there are some new ones that were developed since the 1930s” and the room burst into laughter. 

“The center will fill a gap in this county in the ability to provide the full complete range of services that women need in their healthcare,” said Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, adding that she’s hoping to have the Board of Supervisors consider using some of the county’s general fund to help with the project.

The renovations at the building will include moving the main entrance to be adjacent to the parking lot and doubling the size of the facility’s lab.

The new center will include:

  • A full range of services in English and Spanish
  • HIV testing
  • Abortion services
  • Abnormal pap smear treatment
  • All ranges of contraception
  • Education programs for teens and parents

The central Marin makes sense for a Planned Parenthood center, Stein said. The facility is close to the transit center, Novato and the Canal district as well as Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific partner organizations that include the Novato-based Marin Community Foundation and San Rafael-based Huckleberry Youth Programs and the Center for Domestic Peace.

“We’re just thrilled Planned Parenthood is here to provide needed and valuable services to the community,” said San Rafael Chamber Business Development Manager Leonard Weingarten.

The Mill Valley Planned Parenthood, which opened roughly two years ago, offers HIV testing, abortion services, birth control and emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and services, STD testing and treatment and other services, according to its website.

Golden Gate Community Health, which lost its Planned Parenthood in September 2011 amid financial and administrative problems, closed its clinic on H Street as well as five other clinics in the Bay Area in March 2011, around the same time the new Planned Parenthood clinic opened in Mill Valley.

When the clinics closed, Golden Gate Community Health officials cited a lack of funding. Officials with the organization filed for bankruptcy in February 2011.

When the San Rafael last closed, it ago had served approximately 12,000 clients a year, more than 90 percent of whom received a government subsidy for their health care because they are low income.

To make donations or help with the fundraising effort for the project e-mail sstreet@pp-sp.org or call 821-1282.

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Steven Norwin February 27, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Sounds like the amenities are going to be much better than the $1,200 a month PLUS deductible that I pay for my health insurance. Who do I call to get on this "Full Service Health Center" State of the Art Program?
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 06:00 PM
This is ridiculous to fundraise for an organization that receives over $540 million dollars from our US government! They are not FREE, they receive medi-cal funding, Family PACT funding, and many other sources of income to do abortions, give out birth control and other nefarious activities. They are NOT a new service; they are a service that is actually NOT needed in Marin County. There are other excellent medical facilities and since the population is under 250,000 people many of whom are "graying" and insured, we are duplicating services that are not even needed. We do NOT need to support PP. Our taxes already support them!
Devin February 27, 2013 at 06:23 PM
This is great! I am so glad this is happening! I have no insurance, and they have helped me numerous times with birth control, and exams. Yay! :)
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 08:03 PM
They are not free devin!!
Devin February 27, 2013 at 08:06 PM
I have never payed a dime at PP...what do you mean it isn't free?
Devin February 27, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Hahaha. Ok. I get what you mean by "free" now. You are upset that they receive funding. Giving me birth control is a "nefarious" activity? Ok. I work two jobs. I am busy and I am still young. I don't want to get pregnant and bring a child into the world when I am not ready. That my dear would be "nefarious". I am not going to speak any more about this because people like you will never get it. I am just glad more people think like me around here....and that is why I still get the service. :)
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 08:11 PM
They are signing you up for state funding when you get their services. They received over $540 million from federal and state funding. Aka tax money
DavethePragmatist February 27, 2013 at 08:59 PM
@Beth - PP provides health services to cover many that otherwise cannot get health services, which in turn saves YOU money by not having everyone always have to go to the emergency room or have medical needs for otherwise preventable issues. And, if you are so worried about people using :"your tax payments" in ways you disagree with, perhaps we can speak about the services you use, that MY taxes pay for and that I might disagree with. How about that?
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 09:16 PM
I have health insurance so I don't think you pay for anything of mine Dave. There are other places that provide free or low cost health services and do not get large amounts of money from the government. PP is the largest abortion provider in the nation and will once again be doing that in Marin.
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 09:19 PM
PP doesn't provide much outside of the services surrounding one area. They do not do mammograms despite the false advertising that they do. What other health services do they do? I can't go there with flu, sore throat, broken leg, headaches, cancer, etc.
Devin February 27, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Last year, I had a pap done there. They found cells that looked cancerous. NOBODY BUT PP would help me without charging me a HUGE amount of money. They did multiple biopsies, they counseled me through it all, and to this day I still go every six months for more biopsies to check if it has turned into cancer. Without them, if it did turn into cancer....what would I do? I work two jobs at 24 hours a week at each job. That is 48 hours a week I work. I don't get one bit of health coverage.
Devin February 27, 2013 at 09:33 PM
I wouldn't be able to get my biopsies without them.
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 09:35 PM
I'm glad you received help devin when you faced a very scary situ. I imagine its HPV causing this but of course you would know. Just stay on top of it all But there are other places that would have helped you as well. It doesn't matter. At least you are taken care of.
Devin February 27, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Nope. It is not HPV. I also received my HPV vaccine from there when I was younger. I am a very responsible young lady. :)
Beth Stein February 27, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Good news.
Travis Howard February 28, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Keep in mind that the Pregnancy Resource Center is located in Downtown Novato as well.
4thgenerationnovatonative February 28, 2013 at 05:58 PM
" I imagine its HPV causing this but of course you would know." Oh Beth, your mind goes automatically to some pretty dark places and you make assumptions based on prejudice. Maybe you should think about that instead of spewing caustic remarks regarding something you know nothing about. Devin, I apologize to you for this slight on behalf of the narrow-minded people in our community.
4thgenerationnovatonative February 28, 2013 at 09:00 PM
The same tax money that helps to pay for medical services also pays for things like roads and schools etc. I think Dave's point was that perhaps he might disagree with using tax dollars for those purposes. Did you go to school? Do you use the roads, bridges etc to get from one place to another? Do yourself a favor and expand your thinking. I think you would be a happier, more pleasant human being if you did.
Beth Stein March 03, 2013 at 07:37 PM
What does this clinic do Travis??
Beth Stein March 03, 2013 at 07:39 PM
I don't see how 4th generation thinks I'm narrow minded. Do you know that HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer? I was just conversing with devin and did tell her that it was good news that she got help and it isn't HPV.
Beth Stein March 03, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Plus I based my comments about PP on funding information. If Marinites recall the reason San Rafael got closed before was because they misappropriated funds. This was in Marin IJ and other locals newspapers. It even was picked up by NY Times! Now they are asking for funds and are fund raising again. Hmmm. Not dark place of my mind and thousands of others don't believe PP is this altruistic organization helping women.
Beth Stein March 03, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Www.prcmarin.org is the place that Travis mentioned. They are a long term Marin community based clinic serving families who are usually without insurance. Check their website. A lot of good information. Thanks Travis for reminding us that other places serve freely
Travis Howard March 07, 2013 at 09:46 PM
You're welcome :)

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