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Planned Parenthood services to clients in Kalamazoo area won't change despite merger, officials say (MLive.com)

Published January 12, 2012 by MLive.com

By Ambrosia Neldon

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Published: 01.12.12| Updated: 01.12.12

KALAMAZOO — Clients of Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek will experience no changes to services despite the merger of these locations with Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan, officials say.

On Jan. 1, Planned Parenthood South Central Michigan (PPSCM) merged services with Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan (PPMSM). Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan will now have 17 health centers serving 31 counties from Benton Harbor to Detroit.

"The primary reason for the merger is that the economy and other market forces have been dwindling in such a way that funds to Planned Parenthood have been cut drastically over the past five to six years," said Lori Lamerand, president and CEO of PPMSM.

Lamerand said that the majority of the changes will be administrative in nature and will not affect patrons of Planned Parenthood.

“In these tough economic times, Michigan women, men and teens need us now more than ever,” said Lamerand. “The merger of our affiliates will enable us to continue to be there for them, providing high quality services at low cost.”

Despite the recent closings of Planned Parenthood locations in Three Rivers, Sturgis, Hillsdale and Coldwater, patrons of Planned Parenthood locations in Kalamazoo have no need to worry about those locations closing, according to Lamerand.

Merging PPSCM with PPMSM will cut a large amount of money from the budget in order to allow more locations to stay open, said Lamerand.

"The merger will allow the elimination of duplicate administrative functions and at the same time allow PPMSM to take advantage of cost efficiencies that come with being a larger organization," said Kristi Carambula, outgoing board chairwoman of PPSCM, in a press release.

Many pieces of the two Planned Parenthood headquarters, such as technology and administrators, will merge. Both buildings will remain open.

"Combining resources is a trend in not only Planned Parenthood, but non-profit organizations across the nation," said Lamerand. "It helps to share resources and educated minds."

Planned Parenthood patrons should continue to utilize the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek locations as usual, and those who previously went to locations in Sturgis, Three Rivers, Coldwater and Hillsdale are encouraged to go to the nearest Planned Parenthood locations.

“We are thrilled to be working together on behalf of the 14,000 women, men and teens who depend on us in south central Michigan,” said Lamerand.

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