Planned Parenthood Expands to Meet New Demand | Greene County
HUDSON – Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood’s Hudson Health Center, 804 Columbia St., is increasing its hours of operation to provide services four days a week.
The facility will be open Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in addition to their Tuesday-Thursday hours.
The Hudson Health Center was expanded to two days a week in December 2016 and then to three days a week in July 2018 at the former 190 Fairview Ave., location, which opened in 1980, said the chief of the Katherine S. Bruno experience.
The center moved to the Columbia Street site in January 2019.
The facility serves customers in Ulster, Greene and Columbia counties, she said.
“Patient demand has caused this increase,” Bruno said.
The Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood subsidiary includes the Albany, Troy and Hudson sites. The affiliate provides education and health care to more than 15,000 people each year according to Bruno.
The affiliate employs around 70 people and has not suffered any layoffs related to a pandemic, Bruno said. The Hudson Center has eight employees.
Volunteers were more present at the centre’s former location on Fairview Avenue because there were many protesters, said Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood president and CEO Chelly Hegan.
The escorts would make sure that patients were not treated badly by the protesters, Hegan said. The Hudson Center does not currently have a patient escort.
There are still protesters in the Hudson Center, but that’s not a problem, Hegan said.
“I wouldn’t say that’s a problem at all,” she said. “I think there will be protesters, that’s kind of the very nature of things, but they’re not aggressive and they’re really not a problem for us or our patients.
It is difficult to offer volunteer opportunities during the pandemic, she said.
Help from the Dyson Foundation, Columbia County Emergency Response Fund, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. Foundation, and community supporters helped extend the hours, Bruno said.
The Dyson Foundation gave Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood $ 50,000 in 2018 and an additional $ 50,000 in 2020 for the general running costs of the Hudson Health Center, according to the foundation’s website.
The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation donated $ 15,000 to Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood from the Columbia County Emergency Response Fund, which they announced on April 10.
The purpose of the grant was “to continue to provide free or sliding-scale health care to its predominantly young, low-income, Medicaid-insured patients through telemedicine and safe in-person services,” according to the announcement.
The community foundation encompasses family and personal foundations, so the support has come from people whose funds flow through the foundation, Hegan said.
Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. does not have information about their support on their website and did not respond to a request for comment.
Hegan declined to share the proceeds from the Hudson River Bank & Trust Co., but said the bank donated to the campaign to build the new Hudson center.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood also received a grant from the Bank of Greene County in March 2020.
“The UPPS is an important part of the rural health care delivery system in the communities we serve, and it is irreplaceable in the lives of those who seek services we provide that no one else does.” , Hegan said. “Even in a pandemic, the critical and urgent care we provide is essential for our patients. We are excited to grow to meet these needs. “
Upper Hudson Affiliate Offers Birth Control; emergency contraception; HIV testing and drugs; Pap tests; treatment of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal infections, painful or heavy periods; breast exams and referrals for mammograms; menopause care; pregnancy tests; miscarriage care; abortion services and aftercare; sex affirming health care, including puberty suppression and hormone therapy; mental health and wellness counseling; and education programs and resources, according to the Planned Parenthood website.
“Access to abortion for sure is a huge problem,” Hegan said of the services offered by Planned Parenthood that people have a hard time finding elsewhere. “There aren’t any other abortion providers in Columbia County other than us and it’s a really hard service to find.”
It is also timely, she added.
Hegan also said she did not know of other providers in the county who offer transgender hormone therapy services.
“Certainly not others with declining fees if you don’t have insurance,” she said.
More than half of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood clients live below the poverty line, according to Bruno. Statewide, 57% of patients for Planned Parenthood are using Medicaid.
The Hudson site began offering transgender services in 2017.
In general, reproductive health care can be difficult to access, especially treating sexually transmitted infections in a safe and non-judgmental space, she said.
“And we certainly are for our patients,” Hegan added.
Almost a third of visits to the three Upper Hudson sites are through telehealth appointments, Bruno said. Telehealth visits are made from the Albany and Troy sites, according to the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood website. But the supplier could be located in Hudson, Troy, Albany or elsewhere, Hegan said. “That’s where the patient is that matters,” Hegan said.
All services are available in person, Bruno said. Birth control consultations and refills, wellness and behavior counseling, screenings for sexually transmitted infections, follow-up procedures, treatment for urinary tract infections and anti-HIV medications are available through to telehealth, she said. Screenings for sexually transmitted infections can result in in-person visits, she said.
“We have seen regular patient visits for annual preventive care and birth control,” said Carolyn Harrison, director of Hudson Health Center.
There has been no increase in demand for a specific type of service during the pandemic, Hegan said. The types of visits have remained stable, she said. There was a decrease in the number of people accessing care largely in April and early May, but by June patients were using telehealth, Hegan said.
“In June and July, the overall number of our visits really stabilized,” she said, adding that the number of patients was declining in Albany and Troy. “Demand in Hudson continues to grow, so it’s been pretty stable.”
Columbia Memorial Health spokesperson Bill Van Slyke declined to comment on the role Planned Parenthood plays in the county’s health care system.