Today, September 13, 2010, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood opens the doors at its new Albany health care center and administrative offices at 855 Central Avenue. Those looking to make appointments or for directions to the new facility can call (518) 4345678 or go to www.uhpp.org.
The new facility takes up the entire third floor of the three story building, located between CVS and Orange Ford across from the Hannaford Plaza on Central Avenue. UHPP is leasing the space and will share the building with existing tenants Mildred Elley and the Austin Beauty School. In addition to the Albany health center, the facility includes a large conference room, a library, and a "Teen room", as well as administrative and education offices.
"We now have 18,000 square feet of completely renovated space," explained UHPP President/CEO Patricia McGeown, "increasing our capacity by 50%. The expanded space will enable UHPP to see more patients and to educate more young people in a comfortable and client-oriented environment."
McGeown made note of a recent study by The Guttmacher Institute showing that 20,000 women living in Albany County are in need of publicly financed contraceptive services. "While UHPP currently serves more than 8,000 patients in our Albany health center every year," noted McGeown, "demand for our services is rising and it is clear there are many more women and men who need access to the services we provide."
According to Dr. Christine Pluviose, UHPP Vice President for Patient Services, the new center will allow UHPP to increase the number of family planning visits and the number of screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It will provide clients with spacious, comfortable reception areas and private recovery spaces. The center has substantially increased parking and is located on a bus line, which will improve access for patients, staff and volunteers.
UHPP Education Director, Meaghan Carroll, says the high-school students who serve as peer educators for UHPP's S.T.A.R.S. (Seriously Talking About Responsible Sex) program can't wait to see the new dedicated "Teen Room" at the Central Avenue site. "Now the teens will have a space of their own," explained Carroll, "to decorate, to store resources and to use for a variety of educational activities."
The new facility also features a large conference room with capacity for 75 people that can also be subdivided into three smaller rooms. The conference room will be available for rental by local agencies and groups.
Such a relocation and expansion required years of planning and strong fundraising leadership. The Expanding Access* Meeting Needs Capital Campaign has been led by Honorary Co-Chairs Phoebe Powell Bender and Charles M. Liddle and Campaign Committee Chair, Dr. Mary C. Kahl. The Campaign has brought in $1.282 million in individual gifts, pledges and grants to date, with $400,000 still to raise toward the total $1.692 million cost of the move.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP) is a community-based non-profit organization providing advocacy, education and medical services for reproductive health care since 1934. In 2009, over 14,000 patients made 24,975 visits to UHPP health centers located in Albany, Hudson and Troy. UHPP health educators present over 300 education programs reaching over 5,000 youth and young adults. UHPP services are delivered with special concern for the underserved.