May 18, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Supporters of Planned Parenthood turned out in Long Island City this morning to cut the ribbon on what will be the organization’s first center in Queens.
A lively crowd of more than 50 people convened at the 21-41 45th Road facility, which is expected to open mid June. There was no sign of protestors.
The opening of the Queens facility represents a milestone for Planned Parenthood since it will now have centers in all five boroughs. The organization estimates that 5,400 of its current patients are Queens residents who are commuting to other boroughs to use its services.
The new facility will offer reproductive health services including abortions, gynecological care, cancer screenings, birth control and health insurance screening and enrollment.
Joan Malin, PPNYC President and CEO, called the new center is “truly transformational for us.”
“We very much see ourselves as [a] partner in meeting the needs of this extraordinarily wonderful place, home to so many languages and new communities,” Malin said. “We want to be part of that experience.”
The facility, which is 14,000 square feet, has been named the Diane L. Max Health Center, after the PPNYC Board Chair, a champion of its construction. Max said she felt it was “essential” to bring services to the diverse and rapidly growing Queens community.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who allocated $750,000 of city funds toward the new center, said, “the borough of Queens is better and safer today because Planned Parenthood is here.”
“This is one of the most beautiful buildings in my district,” he added. “It is so full of light, and air, and color, and it’s really all about hope.”
PPNYC expects that the new center will serve about 17,500 patients per year.