Sexual health clinic opening in Penticton

Next week, Penticton will become the latest community in B.C. to host an Options for Sexual Health clinic, the 59th in the province.

Next week, Penticton will become the latest community in B.C. to host an Opt clinic, the 59th in the province.

Options for Sexual Health is holding a grand opening for their latest clinic at 4 p.m. on Sept. 13, with the clinic officially going into operation on the evening of Sept. 18.

Opt’s Executive Director, Jennifer Breakspear, said the new clinic is both a response to community need and the result of hard work by community members.

“It was actually community members that approached us a while back and expressed concern about people in the area that were finding it difficult to find physicians, difficult to find the various services we offer: sexually transmitted infection testing, pregnancy counselling, low-cost birth control,” said Breakspear. “We worked with them for a while, checking out feasibility and whether it would be a successful venture to open a clinic in Penticton. We had a great response from the people that ended up joining what became our working group.”

The Opt clinic will be filling a void left when Interior Health shut down their public health STI clinics at the beginning of 2012, leaving that aspect of health care to physicians and walk-in clinics in the community. Breakspear said the new clinic, however will be taking a wider view.

“Our mission is about a diversity of healthy sexual expression throughout our lives, for all of us in the province,” she said. “A whole gamut of sexual and reproductive health issues can be dealt with right there in the clinic, through the whole comprehensive team of volunteers, reception, nurses and physicians. “

Breakspear explains that Options for Sexual Health has been building clinics for half a century.

“We were known, for quite a long time, as Planned Parenthood,” Breakspear said. “In 2003 there was a move to rebrand and change the name, to demonstrate that we offer services beyond dealing with the stereotypical function of planned parenthood, which would be single teen pregnancies. Of course, that is a significant community that we eagerly serve, however, we serve everyone.”

The new clinic will be sharing space with the Penticton Health Centre at 740 Carmi Ave. Locating the clinic at the Health Centre provides a familiar location for visitors and follows a model the Opt clinics use at many of their locations.

“We often have volunteers on hand who have been trained to work with our clients about whatever issues they are bringing into the clinic that day and then, depending on what they are coming in for, they may see one of our nurses or one of our physicians,” said Breakspear, adding that all of their services are completely confidential and covered under the B.C. Care Card.

“If they are going to be purchasing contraception, we offer very low cost contraception right on site, so someone can have the prescription filled right there,” she continued. “If they are coming in with a concern about a possible sexually transmitted infection, we can arrange to have testing done and then the treatments and followup done at the clinic.”

The clinic starts operations on Sept. 18, opening Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Breakspear said the hours of operation were chosen in consultation with the local working group to support the clinic’s clientele.

“Young people are a big segment of the community that we serve. We have clinics open during hours that pretty much anyone can access,” said Breakspear. “People are out of school and people that are working will be able to get in during the evenings when they are off work. It’s meant to be an accessible a time period as possible.”

An open house will take place at the clinic on Sept. 13 from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An unused fruit stand at Highway 97 and Road 1 went up in flames Thursday night. (Oliver Fire Department)
UPDATE: Abandoned Oliver fruit stand fire considered suspicious

The timing of the midnight fire is one reason the fire is suspicious

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Vanilla flavouring contains goo from beaver butts

Your morning start for Friday, May 7, 2021

A structure at Highway 97 and Road 1 went up in flames Thursday night. (Oliver Fire Department)
Building in Oliver goes up in flames

Power was distrupted in parts of town while the fire was going Thursday night

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street officially opened on March 31, 2021. (Brennan Phillips)
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District reverses funding decision on care centre

Approval now granted to fund $1 million for Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Penticton

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Alex Hegedus (left) with his wife and two young children. (Contributed/Kelowna RCMP)
Family offers reward for information about Peachland man’s suspicious 2018 death

Alex Hegedus died under suspicious circumstances in March 2018

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A woman checks out a jobs advertisement sign during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto in April 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Kelowna’s unemployment rate jumps in April, remains one of Canada’s lowest

Kelowna had the fifth-lowest unemployment rate of major centres across the country in April

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

The Tolko Mill in Kelowna on Feb. 2, 2018. (File)
Tolko receives extension for environmental assessment of defunct Kelowna mill

The extension gives Tolko time to decommission, remove structures at the site

Fun 4 All Pet Resort is closed for two weeks following a COVID-19 outbreak among staff. (Fun 4 All photo)
COVID closes Vernon dog daycare

Two staff members test positive at dog boarding centre

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Most Read