Tue09022014

Your Health

Planned Parenthood: More than birth control

Planned Parenthood celebrated its move to a new location in Mountain View last Thursday, and Martha Casanovas wants people to know that Planned Parenthood isn't just a women's health center.

"People hear Planned Parenthood and that's what they think," said the clinic coordinator at the new location on the corner of San Antonio Road and California Street.

Not only does the clinic offer women's medicine, but the staff also offers family planning and primary care for children and men.

"We want to be able to see the whole family," she said.

The new clinic, which moved from its former location near El Camino Hospital, boasts two labs, six exam rooms and three mini-rooms for meeting with patients, said Jean Franceschi, a registered nurse at the center.

A doctor is on site nine hours per week, but available by beeper at all times, she said.

Other staff include nurse practitioners, registered nurses, medical assistants and volunteers.

Patients come with appointments and as drop-ins.

"The greatest demand," Franceschi said, "is still family planning."

In California, for teens under 18, Planned Parenthood may offer birth control, may test for sexually transmitted diseases, or may provide any other type of needed reproductive care without needing parental permission.

"It's called 'sensitive services,' and it's confidential," Franceschi said. "If a parent calls, we can't tell them. A lot of people are scared people will find out," about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. "But it is confidential," she said.

"We offer low cost, quality health care. We serve everybody," she said.

State funding enables the clinic to charge a small co-pay. If a teen comes needing services and does not want her family to know, she will be charged based upon her income, not her family income, and qualify for help.

In some areas Planned Parenthood centers have been the target of protesters and vandalism.

But not, so far, at the new Mountain View location.

The clinic has volunteers trained in security. They know "how to deal with angry people, how to escort patients in, if needed, how to provide safety for staff or patients, if needed," Franceschi said. "We hope we don't have to call them."

The center offers a prenatal program, which provides care to women throughout pregnancy; a pediatric program, which cares for children from birth to 19 years old; and sex education that includes testing and counseling for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The center does not perform abortions at this time but did through last October at its former site.

Planned Parenthood has been in Mountain View for about 15 years, Franceschi said. With the help of a $325,000 grant from the El Camino Hospital District it was able to move to its new, larger location.

The Planned Parenthood Mountain View clinic hours are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, by appointment only; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, appointments 12-4 p.m., drop-ins 4-7 p.m.; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, by appointment only; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, drop-ins 9 a.m. to noon; afternoon by appointment; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, by appointment only.

The clinic is located at 225 San Antonio Road, on the corner of California, in Mountain View.

To make an appointment, call 948-0807.

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