Planned Parenthood of New York City has its sights set on nearly $15 million worth of projects, marking its first brick-and-mortar expansions of existing sites.
The organization is planning to renovate and expand extension clinics in the Bronx at 349 E. 149th St. and in Brooklyn at 44 Court St. to increase access to sexual and reproductive health care services. The projects are expected to cost about $8.3 million and $6.4 million, respectively, and will be self-funded, Planned Parenthood said in certificate-of-need filings with the state.
“The demand for our service is high, and the need in the community is high,” said Laura McQuade, president and CEO of the organization. “We’re trying to make major investments.”
The clinics provide a wide range of services, including women’s primary care, family planning, abortions and testing for sexually transmitted infections. The average wait time for a non-abortion-related appointment is currently about 25 days, Planned Parenthood said in its filings.
“We’ve got far more demand,” McQuade said, “than we have the current capacity to fill in our brick-and-mortar centers.”
The Bronx project is expected to allow for an increase of about 11,000 annual visits, a 75% jump, according to the filings, while the Brooklyn project is expected to enable an increase of about 8,500 visits per year, a 46% boost.
Neither project is expected to cause an interruption in services. “We can never go dark,” McQuade said.
Construction is expected to start this summer, with completion in 2021 in the Bronx and mid-2020 in Brooklyn.
Planned Parenthood has five sites in New York City, one in each borough. McQuade said the organization is considering the possibility of adding satellite locations in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn and additional mobile health centers.
Increasing access to comprehensive health care continues to be a focus of Planned Parenthood. Just last week the organization and the American Medical Association filed a lawsuit challenging a final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services denying Title X funding to family-planning programs that offer abortion services.
Planned Parenthood and other organizations in the city receive about $7 million in Title X funding. The money provides services to about 150,000 city residents each year, the bulk of whom are young women with a low income and no health insurance.