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Planned Parenthood affiliates merge as cost-saving move (Battle Creek Enquirer)

Published January 9, 2012, by the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Written by The Enquirer.

Battle Creek Enquirer

Published: 01.09.12| Updated: 01.10.12

Planned Parenthood South Central Michigan and Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan have merged effective Jan. 1.

The shift is intended to reduce costs while maintaining 17 health centers serving 31 counties from Detroit to Benton Harbor, including centers in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, according to a press release from the newly formed affiliate.

"In these tough economic times, Michigan women, men and teens need us now more than ever," said Lori Lamerand, CEO of the affiliate, which will continue to be known as Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan. "This marks a turning point: The merger of our affiliates will enable us to continue to be there for them, providing high quality services at low cost."

No changes are planned at the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek centers, according to the statement.

"They have a long legacy of serving the particular reproductive health care needs of the community," Lamerand was quoted as saying in the statement.

"The merger will allow the elimination of duplicative administrative functions," Kristi Carámbula, outgoing board chair of Planned Parenthood South Central Michigan, was quoted as saying in the statement, "and at the same time, allow PPMSM to take advantage of cost efficiencies that come with being a larger organization. ... We are on the road to long-term sustainability."

The two affiliates serve more than 69,000 women, men and teens each year and collaborated during much of 2011 to provide reproductive health care services. Under the new arrangement, the newly formed affiliate is merging the two groups' expertise in financial management, medical management, marketing, human resources and information technology, according to the statement.

Planned Parenthood offers reproductive health care through medical services, education and advocacy. According to the statement, 97 percent of its services are focused on cancer screening, Pap tests, breast exams, birth control, vasectomies, sex education including abstinence and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

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