A new Planned Parenthood health clinic and training center opened for business in San Rafael today.
The Marin Regional Health and Training Center at 2 H St. is part of a network of reproductive health clinics sponsored by Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, which operates in 17 Northern California counties.
The San Rafael clinic is expected to serve 8,000 to 12,000 clients annually, according to Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific President Heather Estes.
The renovated building also houses administrative offices and space for training workshops and educational activities.
“Planned Parenthood is thrilled to be operating once again in San Rafael,” Estes said.
“Our new health and training center is spacious and comfortable to provide our clients the best possible health care and education services,” she said.
The facility will replace a smaller center in Mill Valley, which will now be closed, Estes said.
The new center is in the same building, now extensively remodeled, once occupied by a different Planned Parenthood clinic.
The former center was operated by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, whose affiliation with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was revoked in 2010 in the wake of financial problems. That group, under the new name of Golden Gate Community Health, continued to operate the San Rafael facility until a lack of funding forced it to close all its clinics and file for bankruptcy protection in 2011.
The Planned Parenthood Federation, in the meantime, assigned Marin County to the territory of its Shasta Pacific affiliate.
Shasta Pacific spokeswoman Adrienne Verrilli said the affiliate was able to buy the San Rafael building in bankruptcy court in 2012 and then renovate it, while temporarily providing services in Mill Valley.
Verrilli said the clinic will provide a full range of reproductive health services including birth control, breast and cervical cancer screening, STD testing and treatment, HIV testing, emergency contraception and abortion care. Abortion services make up about 3 percent of the affiliate’s work, she said.
About 90 percent of the patients served by the affiliate are low-income women and men whose care costs are paid through the federal and state Medicaid or Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment programs, Verrilli said.
Verrilli said that while the clinic opened its doors today, the affiliate is working with the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce and county Board of Supervisors to organize a more formal grand opening in July.
The center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling (415) 459-4907 or visiting the website www.plannedparenthood.org.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News