Santa Clara County will be teaming up with Planned Parenthood on a new clinic opening in Mountain View this year, providing hard-to-get specialty services to the primarily low-income families who rely on the clinic as a health care provider.
The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on June 18 to sign a lease agreement for a portion of Planned Parenthood's new 8,000-square-foot clinic at 2500 California St., which is under construction and is slated to open in September. While it's unclear what exactly the county will provide in its carve-out of the clinic, county officials point to niche services like pediatric dental care as a top priority.
"Side by side, each focusing on the areas of their greatest strengths, I think the potential is there for Planned Parenthood and the county to team up in a very powerful way," Board President Joe Simitian said in a statement shortly after the vote. "A long-term partnership is a win for the county, Planned Parenthood and the patients we serve."
Major redevelopment in Mountain View threatened the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte's clinic on San Antonio Road in early 2017, putting in jeopardy the organization's only location between Redwood City and San Jose. The prospect of the clinic failing to find a new home put county officials on high alert, in part because of its integral role in the North County's safety net.
An estimated 70% of the clinic's patients earn below 138% of the federal poverty level and qualify for Medi-Cal, and 2,131 of its patients are insured by the county-run Valley Health Plan, according to a statement by Simitian's office. While Planned Parenthood may best be known for its reproductive health care services, Valley Health Plan patients in the North County are assigned to Mountain View's Planned Parenthood clinic for primary care.
Although eviction seemed eminent in 2017, the developer Greystar has been slow to kick out the tenants of the property, pending a 623-unit housing development on the property. During that time, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte officials purchased the new site down the street, received permits from the city of Mountain View and negotiated an agreement for the county to use 1,300 square feet of the clinic space.
Even with the extra time, the transition is still on a tight deadline. The new clinic is expected to be done sometime in late September, according to Planned Parenthood staff, but the lease for the center on San Antonio Road expires at the end of August. The hope is that Greystar will extend the lease.
County officials plan to pay as much as $500,000 for "tenant improvements" at the clinic so it can provide health care services that supplement — rather than compete with — what Planned Parenthood is already doing, and will likely refer patients to each other. It's unclear when the county will open its portion of the future Planned Parenthood clinic.
Although county officials didn't specify at the June 18 board meeting what those specialty services will include, county clinical services at the new location are expected to include pediatric dental care and diabetes management. Planned Parenthood staff also suggested that mental health services and cardiology care could be valuable additions for patients visiting the center.
Under the terms of the lease agreement, the county will pay about $4,800 in rent for the first year, gradually ramping up to $5,726 for the seventh year of operation.