A sheet of office paper appeared on the door Monday announcing that Planned Parenthood is moving its Summit and Wasatch County clinic to Heber. The Park City location is shutting down Jan. 22. The new clinic, which is already open, is located at 728 West, 100 South, suite #1, in Heber.
It was purely a business decision, according to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) CEO Karrie Galloway. Thanks to dwindling funds statewide and a shift in its clientele base, Galloway said it just made sense to relocate to Heber.
Galloway estimates that about half of the patients who come to the Park City clinic are from Wasatch County. The cost of doing business will be less in Heber, she said, adding that PPAU's other clinics have been subsidizing the Park City location for several years.
"We agonized over this," she said on Monday. "Every year the loss is significant."
After examining the overall health care services available in both counties, and the cost of doing business, Galloway said the decision was clear.
"We are committed to the people we serve in Park City but when we look at the clientele we serve and look at their options for health care and the rent in Park City, we can provide the same services in a more cost-effective manner in Heber."
The PPAU health center in Park City has been offering reproductive health services to men and women in Summit and Wasatch counties for nearly 30 years and has been operating at its current location, 1670 Bonanza Drive, for 27 years. It is one of nine similar clinics and 12 smaller contract locations around the state that provide confidential care to patients ages 14 and up on a sliding fee scale based on an individual's ability to pay. Services include pregnancy and STD testing, birth control, pap smears, breast exams and counseling.
Galloway also attributed the closure to "the changing health care landscape." PPAU receives funding from federal and state grants as well as private funding. And while the private funding is strong, federal and state dollars have diminished significantly.
"Changes in the health care world have been challenging, especially in reproductive health care," she said.
Marilyn Kline, the longtime clinician in Park City, will be working at a PPAU location in Salt Lake City. Cynthia Campbell, who has worked for PPAU for many years is the clinician for the Heber location.
To PPAU's Park City clients, Galloway reiterated, "We are still there for you. We are not abandoning our patients, we are relocating."