County Family Planning Clinic to Open in Ocean City

first_imgA family planning clinic will operate in this building at 648 West Ave. By Maddy VitaleThe Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a resolution at its Thursday night meeting to open a Family Planning Satellite Clinic in Ocean City.The two-year lease was signed between the county and Stell Exteriors Inc., according to the agreement. It will enable the county, under Women’s Health Services, to provide a healthcare facility in the northern end of the county, officials said.The clinic will be housed in a building at 648 West Ave. The lease officially began in mid-December at a cost of $1,000 a month, but the date for the clinic’s opening has not yet been announced.Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton said the freeholder board has been working for years to improve the number of outreach facilities and programs for residents of Cape May County.  “I am happy we will be providing outreach services to the upper half of the county,” Thornton said in a phone interview Friday. “I wanted more facilities up there for people who needed social service programs and some family planning programs. I know I am in favor of them.”Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders.According to the county website the county’s family planning services provides low cost and high quality family planning to women and men and adolescents as well as gynecological services to women. The clinics offer a wide array of services including blood pressure testing, counseling, pregnancy testing, family planning methods, and routine gynecologic care as well as testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Thornton, who formerly served as director of county Health and Human Services for years, said logistically it was not an easy task to be able to offer facilities north of the current clinic locations in Rio Grande and Middle Township, in part because of staffing.“All those years I had Health and Human Services I was trying to work it out. It was more of a personnel situation where people would have to move up from their locations,” Thornton said of moving personnel from clinics south to north.Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson, who could not be reached for comment prior to press time, is the current director of Health and Human Services. Pierson was sick with an upper respiratory infection and missed the freeholder meeting Thursday when the clinic was approved by the board.Thornton said Pierson was instrumental in seeing the goal of a satellite clinic in Ocean City to fruition.Over the years, the county has assisted with transportation and other services so that people get the help they need at the clinics in the south end of the county.“We have made arrangements for people to do things over the phone,” Thornton said. “We have tried different things, but having a new site will work.”last_img

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