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Former Planned Parenthood CEO Makes Commitment to Future

Published: 10.22.13| Updated: 10.22.13

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — Former Traverse City resident Scott Blanchard has made a generous commitment to Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM). Blanchard, former executive director/CEO of the former Planned Parenthood Northern Michigan (PPNM), led the affiliate for more than 20 years starting in 1984, until he resigned in order to relocate to his former home of Washington State with his wife Alice Clayton.

Blanchard's commitment, which will be over $50,000, is directly related to the personal connections he made over the course of his career, "It's hard to describe the joy, the friendships, and the satisfaction of working with and for such a talented and passionate group of people, perhaps personified best by my friend and former co-worker Martha Lancaster, and her mother Donnie, who was a fierce and tireless supporter of our cause," said Blanchard. "I feel so lucky to have spent so much of my working life around volunteers and supporters I came to consider family. It feels great to be able to give back to the organization and the people who hold such a special place in my heart."

In 2011 Blanchard became ill with what he describes as, "Some rare brain-stem autoimmune thing." This past June, after two years of treatment, he decided to leave behind the hospitals and come back to his home to spend his remaining days with Alice and his dogs.

"I feel particularly fortunate to have worked at Planned Parenthood in the era I did," Blanchard explained. "When I was hired in Petoskey, our entire staff consisted of four people. In Marquette, women knew by word of mouth the name of a nurse where they could get confidential pregnancy testing and birth control information. They would knock on her door in the middle of the night."

"To see the growth of PPWNM is particularly gratifying to me," Blanchard said. "In the health care climate that exists today, particularly with the coming changes mandated by the Affordable Health Care Act, the thriving, region-wide affiliate that emerged after the transformation into PPWNM is exactly the kind of presence needed in the years to come."

Katherine Humphrey, president/CEO of PPWNM, worked in tandem with the PPNM affiliate for years, "Scott was a charismatic, visionary leader who inspired respect, admiration, friendship, and appreciation. Grounded in a commitment to Planned Parenthood's mission, he challenged himself and others to always be, and to give, our very best to those in need, helping to create a healthier, more just and compassionate world for everyone."

"Scott was always encouraging us to insert ourselves into positions where we could impact the needs of the people we serve," shared Karen Griggs, PPWNM regional medical services manager. "It's very fitting that he is making himself heard again at Planned Parenthood."

"We are deeply grateful to Scott for his enormous generosity," added Humphrey. "He is truly the essence and the embodiment of Planned Parenthood's promise to care, no matter what."

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Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) provides sexual health care and sexuality education services, and advocates for access to these services for everyone. PPWNM, an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, operates health centers in eight Michigan cities – Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Ionia, Marquette, Muskegon, Petoskey, Traverse City, and Wyoming – providing medical and education services to thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Log on, learn more: ppwnm.org.

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