HUDSON — Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is looking for public support launching its new capital campaign while the nonprofit builds a new health center on Columbia Street in an attempt to better serve the Twin Counties.
The local Planned Parenthood, which serves Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer and Albany counties, started its capital campaign in January, but launched it to the public at large Monday seeking additional support in reaching their $7.2 million goal. The local Planned Parenthood has raised $4.2 million towards its goal from private donors.
“People from Columbia and Greene counties have been very supportive,” UHPP President and CEO Chelly Hegan said. “They are very enthusiastic about the new health center we are building.”
UHPP is building a new health center at 802 Columbia St. that will include a reception and waiting areas, four patient rooms, an abortion recovery room, care coordination and counseling offices and a shared teen space and community room. When the new center is up and running, which is scheduled to be completed and opened in January, UHPP will close its center at 190 Fairview Ave.
“I think for people here in Hudson, this location will be easier to get to,” Hudson 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael Chameides said. “This new center is going to have more space so they can provide more and better services. Planned Parenthood is an important provider of reproductive health services and I am glad they are moving into the neighborhood.”
Hagen and UHPP chief experience officer Katherine Bruno stressed the importance of the center’s new teen/community room, which will be a shared space used for staff meetings, public programs such as teach-ins, healthy parent, child and education programs and will be available for small, local nonprofits to use that do not have funding or resources to host meetings and programs.
“As we expand services to better meet the needs of the community, we need funding to properly outfit our new community and teen space to ensure that the teens in attendance are comfortable and at ease — increasing the likelihood of more teens utilizing the space and informing peers of available services at UHPP,” Hagen said.
UHPP initially set out to raise $5.5 million for its capital campaign, but increased the goal to $7.2 million to ensure continued access to services in the region, according to a statement from Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.
“In a time of unprecedented attacks on the services UHPP provides — contraceptive care, abortion, STI testing and treatment, and transgender care — we made the decision to increase our goal to $7.2 million to ensure continued access to these services in our region,” according to the statement.
Of the $7.2 million, $5 million will create a Patient Access Fund that will serve as an emergency fund to allow UHPP to provide free services if the services are cut from Medicaid coverage and help those without insurance. The remaining $2.2 million is planned to be used to improve existing health care facilities in Troy and Hudson.
Medicaid recipients make up a large block of patients who utilize UHPP’s services, Hagen said Tuesday.
During the first quarter of 2018, the health center in Hudson recorded 933 visits — a 71 percent increase from the previous year, according to data from UHPP. Of those 933 people, 70 percent used Medicaid or some kind of Medicaid-managed health plan, and 56 percent have incomes at 100 percent or below poverty level.