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Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Unleashes New SmartWheels Healthcare And Education Unit

Chelsea Katz

The new Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic van is making its Hamptons debut. (Photo: Planned Parenthood)

It is 27-feet long and bright blue. Along the sides, pictures of teens and a pregnant woman help highlight the words "Planned Parenthood" in white.

Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) will be unveiling Planned Parenthood's newest mobile education van on Friday, August 15, at the Hayground Farmers Market in Bridgehampton. The van will be touring Suffolk County, offering urine-based pregnancy tests, birth control, testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, emergency contraception and free condoms. This year, there will be a clinician on board to provide more medical options- including the urine-based pregnancy tests and the birth control.

"On the East End of Long Island, it is so difficult to have transportation," said Reina Schiffrin, the President and CEO of PPHP. "The traffic from Hampton Bays to East Hampton can take an hour and a half. We feel we can serve the community much better in a mobile unit."

This year, Planned Parenthood's goal is to counsel and test 3,000 people for HIV, which is more than triple the amount from last year's 857. The van that PPHP used to bring around Suffolk County was around 20 years old and needed replacing.

While the unit can perform limited medical treatment onsite, more extensive treatment can be obtained at a stationary Planned Parenthood. There are five Planned Parenthoods in Suffolk County, the closest to the Hamptons being in Riverhead and Patchogue.

Funding came from The Long Island Community Foundation, a Division of The New York Community Trust; The Ralph Schlaeger Charitable Foundation and The Richard and Mary Morrison Foundation.

"It's really a mobile education and healthcare unit," Schiffrin said.

For more information about Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, visit them online at http://pphp.org . To find your local Planned Parenthood, call 1-800-230-PLAN and you will be connected to the location closest to you.

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