LONG ISLAND CITY — Planned Parenthood of New York City is planning to open its first health center in Queens next year, the organization announced.
PPNYC, which provides affordable reproductive health services and education at its existing centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, will open at 21-41 45th Rd. in Long Island City's Court Square, president and CEO Joan Malin said in a statement.
"The new health center will strengthen our ability to provide Queens residents with the essential reproductive health care services they need,” Malin said.
Nearly 5,400 of the organization's patients live in Queens but have to travel to other boroughs for care, the statement said. PPNYC expects about 17,500 patients annually at the new location.
PPNYC says the need for its services in Queens is strong, with 1 in 5 women in the borough lacking health insurance. About 60 percent of pregnancies in the borough are unintended, and western Queens specifically has some of the city's highest rates of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies, according to the organization, they said.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he welcomed the newcomer to Long Island City.
"The addition of a Planned Parenthood health center in Queens is a positive step toward ensuring that all borough residents have the quality health care they deserve," he said in a statement.
Though the new center will be its first in Queens, PPNYC says it has worked previously with local groups like the Queens Library, Sunnyside Community Services and the Elmhurst-based South Asian Youth Action to develop educational programs for Queens residents.
The new facility is expected to open in 2015.