ITHACA, N.Y. –– When Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes (PPSFL), which includes the Planned Parenthood Health Center in Ithaca, merged with five other New York affiliates to become Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) back in January, the organization committed to rolling out new telehealth services to better address the needs of patients across the region.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 overwhelming hospitals state-wide and necessitating increased social distancing recommendations –– PPGNY has worked over the past few weeks to roll out their telehealth services ahead of schedule.

The new telehealth services are added on top of Planned Parenthood’s already existing health care app PP Direct, which experienced a 60% increase in patient visits to in March, according to Planned Parenthood of Greater New York. Until the telehealth roll out, PP Direct allowed patients to order birth control, and UTI treatments virtually. 

Under the new telehealth system, patients can now access a broader range of sexual and reproductive health services –– including emergency contraception, trans/nonbinary hormone therapy and Sexually Transmitted Infection treatment by secure video.

Even in uncertain times like this, we know that people’s sexual and reproductive health care can’t wait. Like everyone else in the nation, it is crucial that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York tackle challenges brought by the coronavirus with innovative solutions that protect and benefit our patients, staff, and communities,” said Laura McQuade, President & CEO of PPGNY. 

New Yorkers can get the care they need while reducing exposure to the coronavirus by simply booking a virtual appointment at www.ppgreaterny.org or calling 1-800-230-PLAN.

In addition, to lessen the burden on hospitals working to save the growing number of COVID-19 patients, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is still seeing patients in their brick and mortar facilities who are in need of urgent sexual and reproductive health care. 

“Urgent sexual and reproductive health care” includes procedures such as medical and surgical abortions, certain STI treatments and other forms of care evaluated on a case by case basis.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure our patients get the timely health care and information they need, with respect and compassion. Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is continuing to show up for our communities by launching telehealth services and providing essential abortion care. Whether we deliver care in person, online, or by phone, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is here with you — wherever you are,”  McQuade said. 

For more information about connecting to PPGNY through telehealth call 1-800-230-PLAN or book a virtual appointment online.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com