Stakeholders will meet next week to discuss the impending closure of a free UC San Francisco health clinic at the edge of Potrero Hill that serves disadvantaged youths.
The New Generation Health Center, which focuses on the reproductive health of low-income black and Latino youths, is slated for closure at the end of July after losing grant funding last year and seeing a decline in patients in recent years, according to a statement from UCSF.
The clinic is also closing because the building where it is housed — on Potrero Avenue near 18th Street — is seismically unstable.
“There was no feasible option for continued operations in the current site,” UCSF officials said in a statement.
The forthcoming closure has been met with opposition since the clinic’s staff were first given “swift and abrupt” notice March 1 that it would shutter in a month, according to Joi Jackson-Morgan, who created a petition to stop UCSF from closing the clinic. On March 17, UCSF decided to postpone the closure through July.
“It’s the largest youth clinic in The City,” said Jackson-Morgan, who refers youths to New Generation from her office at 3rd Street Health Center and Clinic. “I think UCSF is not really aware of the ramifications of closing this.”
Since the beginning of April, her petition has received more than 4,500 signatures. Jackson-Morgan said she is worried other clinics won’t be prepared to take on the volume of services offered at New Generation.
New Generation’s goal is to reduce unwanted teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. According to a UCSF news release from 2011, 90 percent of the 2,500 youths and young adults who visited the clinic in 2010 were female. A majority of the patients are black and Latino and from The City’s southeast neighborhoods.
Yet the number of patient visits at the clinic dropped by 27 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to UCSF, which attributes the drop to the increased access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“We understand that the physical location of the clinic is important to the community and are working with the San Francisco health care community to identify other clinics that provide these services for young adults,” the most recent UCSF statement reads.
New Generation patients will be referred to other locations including San Francisco General Hospital, according to UCSF. The Department of Public Health is set to take over educational outreach New Generation offered at high schools and wellness centers around The City.
Jackson-Morgan said the center is popular among youths because it’s confidential, discreet and insurance isn’t needed.
“You’re not going to run into your auntie or neighbor at New Generation,” she said. “But you might if you have to go to [SFGH].”
Jackson-Morgan said there is a stakeholders meeting at SFGH to discuss the closure on Wednesday.
New Generation began as a weekly clinic at SFGH in 1974. The clinic also sees a large number of undocumented women and men, according to Jackson-Morgan.