County family planning, STD clinics extending hours
Two Pima County Health Department programs will extend their operating hours and update their services beginning in March.
The STD/HIV clinic, 332 S. Freeway, and two family planning clinics, 6920 E. Broadway and 175 W. Irvington Rd., will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, starting March 1.
A third family planning clinic, 3550 N. First Ave., will be open even longer, from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays.
Right now, the family planning and STD/HIV clinics have sporadic service hours throughout the week, with some offices open only three to four hours per day and others closed on certain days, according to Brad McKinney, division director of the Pima County Health Department, and Erica Smith, manager of Pima County Family Planning.
The new hours will allow clients better access to the clinics, Smith said.
In addition, clients will also no longer have to make appointments. Instead, anyone may come in during operating hours to be served on a first-come, first-served basis, Smith said. But family planning clients are encouraged to call ahead to determine their eligibility for services.
Family planning clients can receive services regardless of insurance or ability to pay, Smith said. Fee waivers are also available for STD/HIV clients.
“We understand that members of the community have busy lives and we need to increase the availability of our services to better serve them,” Public Health Director Dr. Francisco García said in a news release. “In addition to expanding our hours, we are working diligently to streamline the process to ensure that clients receive the same great service in a fraction of the time.”
Clinic staffers will speed the process by focusing on clients’ primary needs during their first visits. Any additional issues they have will be addressed in subsequent visits, Smith said.
“It will be our goal to get them in and out of the door in less than an hour,” she said.
The budget for the federally funded clinics will remain the same despite the extended hours, Smith said.
For more information on clinic services, hours and locations, visit the Pima County Health Department website.