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Planned Parenthood Announces First-Ever Change in Nurse Practitioners in Big Rapids

Published: | Updated: 12.06.13

BIG RAPIDS, Michigan  Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) announces the retirement of long-serving employee and Big Rapids Health Center Clinician Sherry Wood-Stieg. Wood-Stieg, a registered nurse and women's health care nurse practitioner, will end her 34-year career with Planned Parenthood on December 12, 2013.

"We are happy for Sherry as she enters into her well-deserved retirement and this new phase in her life. However, our staff and clients will miss Sherry's expertise and her straight-forward approach to delivering care and contributing to the community's health and education," said PPWNM Vice President of Medical Services Bridget White. "Sherry has earned the trust and respect of her patients, the Big Rapids community, and all of us at PPWNM. She will be missed."

As an RN with a degree from Ferris State College, Wood-Stieg began working with Planned Parenthood Association of Kent County in 1979 as the Mecosta County branch coordinator. In 1982, she became board-certified as a women's health nurse practitioner and was one of the first NPs in the Big Rapids area. That year, she also became Planned Parenthood's regional coordinator for Mecosta, Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana counties. After a merger in 2007, the Big Rapids Health Center became part of the newly formed PPWNM, and Wood-Stieg served as manager. In 2010, she returned to being a full-time clinician working directly with patients.

"I have grown up with Planned Parenthood. To me, the basic philosophy is a strong sisterhood of supporting not only our clients, but each other," said Wood-Stieg. "Even though we have come a long way in women's health, we are still fighting many of the same battles as we were in the 1970s. Women are becoming more empowered with each generation and it has been great to be part of that revolution. But now it is time for someone else to step in."

Born and raised in Reed City, Wood-Stieg has three grown children and lives with her partner, Greg Roggow, in LeRoy. She is looking forward to "relaxing on the beach in Florida in the winter, golfing whenever I want, and playing with my grandkids  all 26 of them!" Wood-Stieg also plans to continue working with the Osceola County 4-H program, where she has been actively involved for 20 years.

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While PPWNM says farewell to Wood-Stieg, the agency prepares to welcome back another Planned Parenthood veteran to take her place. Sherrie Vaughn began her career with Planned Parenthood in Big Rapids back in 1980. That first stint lasted 12 years. In that time, Vaughn graduated from Ferris State University with her ADN, and from the Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Wisconsin.

After she left Planned Parenthood in 1992, Vaughn worked for Healthy Beginnings, and then in private OB/GYN practice in Big Rapids from 19972011. Vaughn received her BSN from Ferris State University in 1997, and her MSN from Walden University in 2010. She returned to work for Planned Parenthood during 200910 as a fill-in clinician at PPWNM health centers in Muskegon and Traverse City.

"I love Planned Parenthood and am thrilled to be returning. Providing affordable family planning and sexual health services is such an important aspect of the health and well-being of our community. I am fortunate to have had such a wonderful career in this field, and to be returning once again to where it all began," Vaughn said.

"We are most fortunate to find such a perfect replacement. If anybody could, we are confident Sherrie Vaughn will be able to continue in the standard set by Sherry Wood-Stieg," said White. "Ms. Vaughn holds a Masters degree in nursing and is a specialist in women's health. She brings many years of experience and is recognized as a compassionate professional. We warmly welcome her back to our Big Rapids and PPWNM family."

A life-long resident of Big Rapids, Vaughn and husband Wayne have four sons, one daughter, and 11 grandchildren.

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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: www.ppwnm.org.

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