By Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The phones started ringing Tuesday at San Francisco's Planned Parenthood clinic for the first time since early September.
The city has been without a full-service Planned Parenthood clinic since the Planned Parenthood Federation of America stripped the nearly 90-year-old Golden Gate Planned Parenthood - the local organization that served San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo and Alameda counties - of its affiliation over fiscal problems.
The glass for the reception desk has yet to be installed and the sign on the building was hung Monday. The staff is making appointments for patients to be seen starting next week. The clinic will be open part time until the full-time licensing process is complete.
The new center on Valencia Street is part of a new chapter following a difficult time for the women's health organization in the Bay Area.
Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, which is headquartered in Concord, took over Golden Gate's former territories of San Francisco, Marin, Mendocino and Sonoma counties. It opened a new clinic in Santa Rosa on Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in San Jose scooped up the rest of Golden Gate's areas by taking over Alameda and San Mateo counties.
"We're really excited that there are now expanded Planned Parenthood health center services available," said Heather Saunders Estes, president and chief executive officer of the Planned Parenthood affiliate that covers San Francisco and 16 other counties. "Our goal is to make it possible for everyone who wants to come to a Planned Parenthood health center in these counties, and we are making significant steps toward that with the opening of the center on Valencia."
The former Golden Gate Planned Parenthood reorganized as Golden Gate Community Health and has kept its San Francisco center open on Eddy Street but closed its Rohnert Park location in October.
Neither the San Francisco nor the Santa Rosa Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion services now, but both centers expect to start performing abortions sometime next month.
While less than 2 percent of Planned Parenthood patient visits involve abortions, Estes said she understands why the organization, which has been a target of by anti-abortion protests, is so closely associated with abortion rights.
"We've taken major leadership in political advocacy around reproductive health and that includes abortion services," she said, adding that the new clinics have the same security protections of all Planned Parenthood sites.
Estes said Shasta Pacific's primary goal is to get full-service Planned Parenthood clinics in all of the four new counties it serves. In addition to the San Francisco and Santa Rosa sites, Planned Parenthood is set to open a clinic next month in Mill Valley and is scouting for sites in Ukiah in Mendocino County.
Estes said additional San Francisco locations may be opened if needed. Good Samaritan Family Resource Center also houses a part-time satellite Planned Parenthood clinic, which used to be run by Golden Gate.
The need for women's health services is acute, particularly in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, because of severe cutbacks in county medical services. The Santa Rosa clinic predicted 150 to 200 patient visits for December but had nearly 400 appointments, said Erin Harr Yee, senior director of client services for the affiliate.
Planned Parenthood reopens in S.F.
Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific accepts Medi-Cal and other state-funded programs, Healthy San Francisco, limited private coverage, and payments on a sliding fee scale.
Location: 1650 Valencia St., San Francisco
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon. and Thurs., 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tues.
Contact: (415) 821-1282
E-mail Victoria Colliver at email@example.com.
This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
January 19, 2011