In a move that Planned Parenthood says is an aim to increase access to high quality reproductive health care, five affiliates in New York state — including one that operates Ithaca’s local branch — have merged to become Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.
These affiliates are Nassau County, Mohawk-Hudson, Mid Hudson Valley, New York City and Southern Finger Lakes. While the merger was announced in a May 15 press release, PPGNY officially launched Jan. 6. The combined network expects to see 200,000 patient visits at 30 locations covering 65 percent of the state.
Originally operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern Finger Lakes, the Planned Parenthood clinic at Ithaca Health Center will now be operated by PPGNY.
The merger is “a way to look at the healthcare landscape in N.Y. and figure out the best way to optimize our leverage,” Jacquelyn Marrero, director of public relations for PPGNY, told The Sun.
According to Marrero, Planned Parenthood is “really reimagining how people access healthcare.”
“Through our shared experiences we’re able to look at strengths from regions,” Marrero continued, saying that one of the main goals of the merger is use the strengths of the various locations to improve all five affiliates.
One such particular strength that Marrero cited is the Southern Finger Lakes’s transgender care unit, which she called “incredible.” According to Marrero, one of the motives behind the merger was to bring effective units — like Southern Finger Lakes’ transgender care unit — from each region to the greater New York area.
With this merger, affiliates will also have access to uniform electronic records, allowing physicians to be able to access the patients’ records from any of the five affiliates’ locations.
“Patients who go to Cornell and live in NYC and need to go to healthcare in one of the boroughs can have [a] more seamless experience,” Marrero said.
In addition to sharing resources and expertise across affiliates, Planned Parenthood also seeks to provide healthcare in more innovative ways.
One such way is the Planned Parenthood Direct app, which “allows patients to seek care from the comfort of their own home.” The app allows patients to order birth control, UTI treatment and search for health centers, according to its website.
Since the merger, the newly enlarged PPGNY has been actively advocating for women’s health care rights. In a Jan. 22 press release the organization condemned the wave of anti-abortion legislation across the country. The statement also affirmed that PPGNY is “leading the way to ensure access to abortion care regardless of what happens at the federal level.”