Despite the diversion of a major move, the number of UHPP patients in 2010 increased by 7.8 percent over 2009. The new center has been lauded in the local press for being the “unclinical clinic…designed with warmth, comfort and patient well being in mind.” (Metroland 6/16/11).
Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs Phoebe Powell Bender and Charles M. Liddle, and Campaign Committee Chair Dr. Mary C. Kahl – all three well-known Capital District philanthropists – stood with UHPP's then-President/CEO Patricia McGeown and UHPP Board Chair Geoffrey Moore to announce the public phase of the campaign on July 21, 2010. On September 14, 2010, UHPP proudly opened the new Albany health center and administrative offices at 855 Central Ave. Now completed, the Capital Campaign raised $1,610,435 from grants and local contributors in two years
Left to right: Meaghan Carroll, Phoebe Powell Bender, Charles M. Liddle, Geoffrey Moore, Patricia McGeown, Christine Pluviose, Dr. Mary C. Kahl
The new clinic occupies 18,000 square feet of completely renovated space, increasing capacity by 50%. Expanded space enables UHPP to see more patients and to educate more young people in a comfortable and client-oriented environment.
This updated facility responds to increasing community need. There are high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among young people in the Capital Region, and particularly in the City of Albany. A study by the Guttmacher Institute shows that while UHPP currently serves more than 8,000 patients in its Albany health center every year, an additional 12,000 women living in Albany are in need of free or low cost contraceptive services.
According to Christine Pluviose, MD, UHPP Vice President for Patient Services, "The new UHPP Albany health center is designed to let our patients know just how much we value their decision to come to us - their decision to take personal responsibility for addressing their own health care needs. We celebrate each person who comes through our doors and believe the design, comfort, and expanded capacity of our new center will communicate this message."
Local Albany teens and high school students who serve as peer educators for UHPP's S.T.A.R.S. (Seriously Talking About Responsible Sex) program love the dedicated "Teen Room" at the Central Avenue site, according to UHPP Education Director Meaghan Carroll. Teens used to spend several hours at the Lark Street location each week converting the Board room into a comfortable, teen-friendly waiting room for those coming to the agency's Teen Clinic. "Now the teens have a space of their own – to decorate, to store tools and resources, and to use for a variety of educational activities."
The new center also allows UHPP to increase the number of family planning visits and the number of screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It provides clients with spacious, comfortable reception areas and private recovery spaces. The center has substantially increased parking and is located on a bus route, which improves access for patients, staff and volunteers.