Two Affiliates are Merging to Form Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan

Published: 07.25.07| Updated: 07.25.07

GRAND RAPIDS and TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN — Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan and Planneded Parenthood Northern Michigan are merging to create a single, strong organization to provide reproductive health care, sexuality education and advocacy.

The boards of directors of both affiliates recently approved the merger to create Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, Inc. The new organization will serve 52 counties in West and Northern Michigan and across the Upper Peninsula to create the largest geographic area served by any Planned Parenthood affiliate in the state.

Longtime family-planning advocate Katherine Humphrey, who currently serves as president and CEO of the West Michigan affiliate and interim CEO of the Northern Michigan affiliate, will serve in the topleadership role of the combined organization. The merger will take effect Sept. 30.

“For the past 18 months, Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan has provided management services to Planned Parenthood Northern Michigan,” Humphrey explained. “While both affiliates have strong community support and solid balance sheets, we face drastic cuts in public funding and spiraling health care costs.

“This merger will help ensure the long-term strength and viability of Planned Parenthood’s mission and services throughout the region. It also will enhance our ability to provide much-needed services to our patients and to reach even more people who currently do not have access to reproductive health care and sexuality education.

“We expect the new organization will thrive because of our ability to centralize key administrative functions, such as financial and medical management, while maintaining close ties with local communities through more relationship-based activities including resource development and advocacy. We remain committed to fostering a strong, local presence that reflects the needs and expectations of the communities we serve.”

A board of directors of up to 20 community leaders and representatives drawn from the expanded territory will provide governance, fiduciary oversight and strategic planning for PPWNM. Humphrey said the organization also plans to establish a number of local community action councils to help ensure itmaintains strong connections with the communities it serves.

Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan currently operates nine locations that annually provide prevention based medical services to approximately 25,000 people in 12 West Michigan counties. Planned Parenthood Northern Michigan currently operates four locations that annually provide medical services to more than 10,000 people in 40 counties in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. In
addition, each affiliate also provides comprehensive, medically accurate education programs to approximately 10,000 people annually.

Both organizations are currently the largest providers of reproductive health services in their respective regions. “Annually, more than 250,000 women in these areas are at risk for unintended pregnancies – and more than half qualify for subsidized family-planning services,” Humphrey said. “Yet the needs of more than half these women are currently unmet.

“As a larger organization, we will be able to take advantage of various economies of scale, attract and retain highly skilled employees, expand our donorship base and strengthen our political presence. We are now better positioned to weather the ongoing challenges that all healthcare providers face in these times of growing need, decreased funding, increased regulation and skyrocketing costs.”


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