By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — TICONDEROGA — The Planned Parenthood reproductive services health clinic in Ticonderoga will shut down near the end of the month due to declining usage.
Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson operates the clinic at 171 Lake George Ave., and Director of Communications Linda Scharf said its last day will be Tuesday, Aug. 27.
OPEN ONLY ONE DAY
“After careful evaluation, we have decided to close our Ticonderoga health center,” Scharf said in a news release.
“This decision enables Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson to focus on the continued upgrading of our other health centers, to ensure we can continue to offer the highest level of patient care.”
The clinic in Ticonderoga had 321 patients last year, she said in an interview.
“It has been lightly declining every year. We’d gone down to one day a week. It was difficult to maintain staff and services one day a week.”
She said a nurse and staff from their Granville reproductive health services clinic came to Ticonderoga to operate the local center.
Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson also runs a clinic at 135 Warren St. in Glens Falls that Ticonderoga patients can use.
“We care deeply about the health of our patients,” Scharf said in the release.
“Our priority is to transition patients to one of our other locations, or to a different provider, to ensure they get the prescriptions and health services they need without interruption.”
Patients of the Ticonderoga clinic can also use the health centers operated by Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York in Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh.
Planned Parenthood of the North Country is also considering opening a reproductive clinic in Essex County, Scharf said.
“We are confident that Planned Parenthood of the North Country will offer the professional facility, range of hours and services patients deserve. However, until that occurs, we invite patients to continue receiving quality health care at our Glens Falls center.”
She said patient’s electronic medical records are already available at all Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson centers to ease the transition. Patients may call 792-0994, Ext. 202, for assistance, and there’s also an online patient portal.
Patients were all sent a letter listing their options, Scharf said.
“Additionally, we’re providing patients with a list of local providers who are currently accepting new patients and a medical-records release form, if they choose to transfer to a different provider,” she said.
“We want them to have uninterrupted health care. We’ve been very proud to be their health-care provider.”
OPENED IN 1972
The Ticonderoga clinic offered U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods and counseling; breast and cervical cancer screening; pregnancy testing and counseling; screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections; HIV testing; and other patient education and physician referrals.
Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson’s Ticonderoga clinic has been located in the Old Pad Factory in Ticonderoga since 1972.
Scharf said it was one of the first health centers they opened after Title X of the federal Family Health Planning Act was signed into law in 1970, creating funding for reproductive and preventive health services for low-income women and men.
According to the Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson website, the clinics in Granville and Herkimer closed July 3.
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