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Planned Parenthood

Health Systems, Inc.



        Though the New York and Colorado affiliates of Planned Parenthood were established in 1916, Planned Parenthood’s Southern roots are not quite so deep.  The first affiliate in the PPHS service area was established in Parkersburg, WV in 1952.  Since then, at least ten small affiliates were established in communities throughout (what is now) the regional, four-state service area of PPHS.  Over time, most of these affiliates merged with each other and eventually resulted in a single affiliate based in Raleigh, NC.   
        The histories of Planned Parenthood in communities throughout our service area are as rich as they are diverse.  Click on any of the entries below to read detailed accounts from communities that comprise Planned Parenthood Health Systems family.


 Raleigh, NC  Asheville, NC
 Blacksburg, VA  Charlotte, NC
 Charlottesville, VA   Charleston, SC
 Columbia, SC  Aiken County, SC
 Greensboro, NC  Lynchburg, VA
 Roanoke, VA  Vienna/Parkersburg, WV
 Wilmington, NC  Winston-Salem, NC
 PPHS Service Area in 1943  
 PPHS Service Area in 1973  


Raleigh, NC (PPHS Headquarters)

Affiliate Presence:  Since 1980
PPHS Presence: Since 1980

          In establishing a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Raleigh, the third time was the charm.  In 1967, Michael Rulison led an effort that achieved “pre-provisional affiliate” status, but never received full affiliation.  In 1972, Dr. Ronald Rolett, the Director of Family Planning Services for the Wake County Health Department sought to establish a Raleigh-based affiliate with Dr. Ellen Winston, a national Planned Parenthood Board member from Raleigh, but to no avail.  Years later, Judy Tilson and a group of dedicated volunteers began an effort that would eventually grow into the headquarters of PPHS, a four-state regional affiliate.

         According to Judy Tilson, the establishment of Planned Parenthood in Raleigh “was done out of boredom.”

        In October 1978, Dr. Sarah T. Morrow, North Carolina’s Director of Human Resources placed a call to Dr. Hugh Tilson, a health commissioner in Portland, Oregon.  Having never spoken to him before, she informed him that the State of North Carolina wanted him to become its next Commissioner of Health.  Dr. Morrow met with Dr. Tilson the following week at the American Public Health Association conference in Los Angeles.  By December, Judy and Hugh Tilson had moved to Raleigh.

        Raleigh was quite a bit smaller (and far more racially divided) than the Tilsons had experienced in Oregon.  Both were strong supporters of Planned Parenthood.  Hugh had served on the Board of Directors for the Planned Parenthood in Portland.

        As Hugh began his new career, Judy decided she would spend her idle time volunteering at Planned Parenthood.  She opened up the white pages of the phone book and found no listings.  She decided she would start her own.  The first organizational meeting of Planned Parenthood was held soon afterwards in 1979 among a group of Raleigh residents sitting around a kitchen table.

        Planned Parenthood of Greater Raleigh (PPGR) began as an education-only organization in 1980 with rented office space at Cameron Village, an outdoor shopping center.  The organization almost faltered early on due to lack of funding in its initial years.  In 1981, the Raleigh Junior League provided a $25,000 grant to the fledgling organization.  (The decision to fund Planned Parenthood led the daughter of Jesse Helms to resign from the Junior League in protest.)  By 1982, the organization began providing medical services in addition to its education services.

        The first Executive Director, Renee ____, worked part time.  She was replaced early on by Pam Kohl who served for more than a decade before retirement in the mid-1990s.  During her tenure, Planned Parenthood purchased the Wilkerson Building from Annie Wilkerson.  She was one of three siblings who had earlier provided medical care in the South Boylan Avenue facility.  One year later, PPGR was renamed Planned Parenthood of Capital and Coast (PPCC) upon opening a new Planned Parenthood health center in Wilmington with the help of local volunteers.  

        In 1996, Walt Klausmeier was named President/CEO and initiated a sequence of activity to greatly expand the size and reach of the organization.  In 1998, PPCC added an education-only office in Burgaw (near Wilmington) to house its Adolescent Parenting Program.  By 1999, the organization established a management contract to assist Planned Parenthood of North Carolina – West with health centers in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.  By 2002, PPCC merged with this four-center affiliate and was renamed Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Inc.

       One year later in 2003, PPHS merged with Planned Parenthood of South Carolina, a statewide affiliate with one health center in Columbia.  In 2005, PPHS acquired the West Virginia service area from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the second oldest affiliate in the nation (established in 1916).  In 2006, PPHS purchased the Women’s Health Center in Wilmington, NC from Dr. Britton Taylor.

        In 2007, PPHS merged with Roanoke-based Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge.  The Blue Ridge service area covered the western half of Virginia and included health centers in Charlottesville, Blacksburg, Lynchburg and Roanoke.  Merger with this affiliate allowed PPHS to establish a contiguous service area with its West Virginia territory.

        On the final day of 2007, PPHS purchased a medical office building in Charleston, South Carolina.  By December 2008, the Charleston Health Center began providing medical services.  The Charleston Health Center was the first health center expansion (other than by merger and acquisition) for the Raleigh-based affiliate since it opened the Wilmington Health Center 17 years earlier.


Asheville, NC

Affiliate Presence: 1960s – 1974; Since 1978
PPHS Presence: Since 2002
Principal Founder(s):  1960s: Dianne Strachota and others; 1978: Ingrid Adelsbach and others

        Asheville was the site of the first Planned Parenthood affiliate in North Carolina.  That affiliate, Planned Parenthood of Western North Carolina, began in the 1960s, never provided medical care and all but dissolved in 1973.  Yet, it had a deep and lasting impact on countless girls and women from Asheville and the surrounding mountain communities. 

        Though Dianne Strachota is credited with founding the original affiliate, she contends that another woman, the wife of a doctor, established and financed the initial operation before moving to Connecticut.  That woman’s name remains, as yet, uncovered.  Dianne, however, did serve as the Executive Director of PPWNC.  The position held no salary.

        Though an “education-only” affiliate, PPWNC maintained strong alliances with elements of the medical community in Asheville.  PPWNC, in general, and Dianne, in particular, identified family planning patients and shepherd them to the local health department so they could receive subsidized family planning services and contraception.  Several doctors, and one in particular who presently remains nameless, would refer pregnant patients to PPWNC to assist them in accessing abortion services in the years before the Roe v. Wade decision. 

        To ensure the well-being of the women and girls seeking out-of-state abortions, Dianne used personal funds to unofficially “inspect” two abortion facilities in Washington, DC as well as a health center on Long Island, NY that performed second trimester abortions.  She then assisted in the financing and travel arrangements for those who had no other means to end their unintended pregnancies.

        Mrs. Strachota was dynamic and hard-working.  She would regularly accompany the youngest girls seeking abortion services, often by airplane.  She and other Planned Parenthood volunteers assisted victims of rape and many victims of incest including a 12-year-old girl impregnated by her grandfather.  The girl was one of several pregnant 12-year-olds assisted by PPWNC.   One particular physician would refer pregnant women who were chronically addicted to drugs, particularly cocaine.

        Planned Parenthood volunteers assisted with education programs and generated considerable positive exposure for the organization.  Yet, the affiliate operated on a small budget, often with expenses exceeding revenue.  In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the Planned Parenthood office was forced to relocate on several occasions due to budget constraints.  In 1973, Dianne moved out of state.  No one else was prepared to fill the breach. 

        In 1973, PPWNC had only a part-time secretary on staff.  The affiliate ran a $1,200 deficit in 1973 with a total income of only $3,636.  In the fall of 1973, the Board of Directors had decided to dissolve as an affiliate, but then reconsidered.  Instead, the affiliate was reverted to “provisional status” by PPFA in 1974.  It floundered and remained largely enactive until the late 1970s.

        At the time Dianne Strachota was assisting women and girls from North Carolina to travel for abortion services, Ingrid Adelsbach was a social worker in New York City who provided abortion counseling to patients, many of whom had come to her from the Southeast.  In 1976, Ingrid Adelsbach and her husband moved to Asheville and she was determined to increase access to family planning in order to prevent unintended pregnancies.  At first she volunteered with the local health department.  She then sought to resurrect Planned Parenthood in Asheville with the help of others in Asheville.

        With support from PP of Greater Charlotte, Ingrid worked with Gerry Allen (see Charlotte entry) to conduct a needs assessment and compose a business plan.  In 1978, Planned Parenthood of Ashville-Buncombe County was established as a new Planned Parenthood affiliate.  Initially, it provided education services only and occupied office space in the Asheville City Building in downtown Asheville. 

        Charlotte Erwin served as the first Executive Director of the new affiliate.  The affiliate also employed at least one health educator.  The Junior League was instrumental in providing volunteer support and funding.  The affiliate also initiated a teen theater group. 

        On March 5, 1979, Planned Parenthood of Asheville-Buncombe County began offering birth control information, counseling and referrals through a hotline answered 12 hours a day on weekdays and 4 hours on Saturdays.  Fifteen volunteers worked in shifts each week to ensure coverage.  That year, PPABC also established a medical committee to study the need for a Planned Parenthood health center in Asheville.  Initial funding for the endeavor came from grants obtained by Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte.

        In the early 1980s, the office was moved from the City Building to 131 McDowell Street for the purpose of initiating medical services.  The new affiliate struggled financially despite its growth over a period of several years.  Abortion services were not seriously considered and Board members remained divided on their attitudes toward legal abortion.

       By 1989, the Charlotte affiliate began listing the Asheville Center on McDowell Street as “a satellite of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte.”  In 1990, the part-time Asheville health center extended its clinic hours from 12 to 24 hours per week.
       The affiliate appears to have formally merged with the Charlotte affiliate in 1991 or 1992.  The new affiliate, Planned Parenthood of the Southern Piedmont and Carolina Mountains, was headquartered in Charlotte.  A subsequent 1997 merger with Planned Parenthood of the Triad resulted in a new affiliate, Planned Parenthood of North Carolina – West.  PPNCW merged with PPHS in 2002.


Blacksburg, VA

Affiliate Presence:  Early 1970s, Since 1987
PPHS Presence: Since 2007
Principal Founder(s):  Kathy Haynie Parker (then Executive Director of PP of Southwestern Virginia) plus various community supporters, including Rev. Underwood “Woody” Leach, Ed Spencer, Skip Fortier and Joann Underwood.

        Blacksburg is home to tens of thousands of students attending Virginia Tech, Virginia’s largest university.  It had been a considered as a community that could greatly benefit from a Planned Parenthood health center and in the early 1970s Planned Parenthood had a local chapter in Blacksburg (New River Valley Chapter of Planned Parenthood, 317 Washington Street, Blacksburg).  The chapter was reportedly operated through Cooper House, the offices of the Presbyterian ministries of Virginia Tech.

        By the late 1970s, the Roanoke affiliate of Planned Parenthood was working with Joanne Underwood, the Director of Student Health for the university, Ed Spencer, Rev. Woody Leach and Skip Fortier to address widespread concerns about unprotected sex, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections on the Tech campus.  In 1978, the university’s Board of Visitors sought to address these concerns.  However, given the controversial nature of a vote to allow contraceptives on campus, the Board of Visitors took a more indirect approach.  The Board voted that Student Health Services may practice medicine as it sees fit (provided it does not have a negative impact on the financial operating margin of Virginia Tech).  The effort served to establish a strong working relationship between the Planned Parenthood entities in Blacksburg and Roanoke.

        Despite the availability of reproductive health care on campus, access to services was, at times, problematic.  Not all students could afford the prices, women seeking contraceptives sat in the same waiting area as students with ailments or sports injuries, appointments were difficult to get especially at the start of each semester, some of the clinicians appeared judgmental, and students seeking contraception were required to attend a training session before doing so. 

        In order to address the unmet needs of students at Virginia Tech and of the wider community of the New River Valley, Planned Parenthood in Roanoke sought to open a new health center.  Joann Underwood and Reverend Woody Leach and others were instrumental in rallying community support and assisting in fundraising.  (Woody was the Presbyterian campus minister for Virginia Tech.  He had been active in the Clergy Consultation Service for Abortion movement to assist women in traveling to New York and elsewhere for safe, legal abortions before Roe v. Wade.)

        The Blacksburg Health Center opened in 1987 on North Main Street across from the Virginia Tech campus.  The center was immediately busy and did not suffer a revenue shortfall in its initial year of operation (as is commonplace for a Planned Parenthood facility in a new community).  Though high school students and non-students seek care at the Blacksburg Center, in excess of 75% of patients are Tech students.

        Blacksburg boasts the longest running PP Friends group of any community within the PPHS service area.  The volunteer advocacy and fundraising group began in 1989 just after the Supreme Court’s Webster decision.  Early on, the group was named Blacksburg Silent Majority.  It was renamed the New River Valley Coalition for Family Planning in 1990 and later the New River Valley Area Council.  In 2007, upon merger with PPHS, the group was renamed the New River Valley Friends of Planned Parenthood.  The group has been instrumental in hosting fundraising events to support a Community Educator and advocacy initiatives. 

        In the early 1990s, the group entered a float each year in Blacksburg’s July 4th Parade with a pro-family planning or pro-choice public policy theme based on current events.  Twice the float received a first prize trophy in the parade.

        In 2008, the Blacksburg Health Center began providing medication abortion along with its full array of preventive family planning services.  It is the first PPHS health center to initiate medication abortion while not providing surgical abortion. 

Charlotte, NC

Affiliate Presence: Since 1970
PPHS Presence: Since 2002
Principal Founder(s):  Sarah Bryant, Dr. Bill Bradford, Dr. Elizabeth Corkey, Rev. Huntington William, Clarence Griffin, Rev. Grafton Cockrell, Sydnor Thompson and others

        One morning in 1971, a young married couple appeared at Sarah Bryant’s home on Wendover Road in Charlotte.  Sarah, still in her bathrobe answered the door.  The couple peered in and asked, “Is this the Planned Parenthood clinic?”  Mrs. Bryant responded, “Such as we have,” and ushered them into her den.  Back then, the Charlotte phonebook had a listing for “Planned Parenthood,” but there was no clinic and no staff.  Instead, calls came to the home of Sarah and Bob Bryant.  Sarah had a special red telephone she reserved for Planned Parenthood inquiries, which rang at all hours.  She assisted those who called and appeared on her doorstep by referring them to doctors and social service agencies.  They came from as far away as Asheville, Knoxville and Wilmington.

        Sarah had served on the Board of the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers since the early 1950s.  She had seen girls as young as 9½ carrying pregnancies to term.  By 1969 she had recruited leading doctors, lawyers, ministers and concerned women to help establish a Planned Parenthood affiliate.  The group met regularly at the United Way and focused on establishing an affiliate and providing education services to the greater Charlotte community.  In 1971, Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte was incorporated as a non-profit organization.  It then began raising the needed funds ($700 initially) to open a health center.

        Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte opened its first health center in September 1972 on East Morehead Street in the office of a retired physician.  Initially, the center was equipped with little more than a card table, two chairs, a typewriter and donated medical equipment.  The organization provided education services only with one full-time Associate Director (Katherine H. Norman) and two part-time staff persons.  Sarah served as the de facto volunteer CEO. 

        The Charlotte affiliate relied heavily on volunteers.  A retired Marine general assisted with the financial bookkeeping and a former Catholic nun, Sister Mary Thomas Burke set up the counseling services.  Half of the OB/GYNs worked at PPGC on their days off for little or no money.  The affiliate also resolved early not to accept public funds, though both state and federal funding were available to PPGC.

        In 1973, PPGC hired its first Executive Director, Gerry Allen, who oversaw the strong initial growth of the organization during his three-year tenure.  (See “North Carolina’s Johnny Appleseed” below.)

        In July 1974, the health center was moved to the corner of E. Morehead Street and S. Independence Blvd. and began performing abortions, which had become legal under Roe v. Wade the previous year.  Dr. Bill Bradford, a founding member of PPGC, served as the first abortion provider.

        In 1976, Gerry Allen began working for Planned Parenthood’s national office.  Neil Leach, who formerly served as a Presbyterian minister, became the new Executive Director.  (Incidentally, Neil is the brother to Reverend Woody Leach, also a Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of the Blacksburg Health Center.)


                             North Carolina’s Johnny Appleseed
     Gerry Allen was the Johnny Appleseed of Planned Parenthood in North Carolina.  He was instrumental in helping establish and sustain Planned Parenthood health centers in Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem and Greensboro. 

     Gerry was born in Mt. Airy, NC, where his grandfather, a family doctor, delivered him.  He received a Masters of Social Work degree from UNC, Chapel Hill in 1968.  He served in the Marines and in the Peace Corp.

     Gerry Allen began his career with Planned Parenthood in 1973 when appointed the first Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte.  When Gerry took the helm of the Charlotte affiliate, which had been established in 1970, it had a staff of two and an annual budget of $27,000.  Within three years, the affiliate had grown to a staff of 40 with a $570,000 annual budget. 

     In 1976, he became the Associate Field Director of PPFA in New York providing technical assistance and consultation to local affiliates.  He then returned to North Carolina to become the Director of Statewide Expansion for Planned Parenthood in North Carolina.  At that time, the only affiliate in North Carolina was in Charlotte. 

     With the help of Neil Leach, he sought and obtained money to assist local groups and individuals in Asheville, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Winston-Salem to found Planned Parenthood organizations.  Much of the funding came from $300,000 in grants from Winston-Salem’s three Reynolds foundations – Kate B. Reynolds, Mary Babcock Reynolds and Z. Smith Reynolds. 

     He also provided tireless assistance and expertise in helping these fledgling Planned Parenthoods to survive.  He assisted in opening the Planned Parenthood center in Greensboro in the early 1980s.
     In 1983, Gerry Allen was hired as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Central South Carolina in Columbia.  He would commute back to North Carolina on weekends to see his children and his wife, Gail, who was serving as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of the Triad.

        The organization maintained a strong commitment to involving men in contraceptive choices.  In the 1970s, it began providing vasectomy services.  In 1980, it began offering a 30- to 45-minute training course every Tuesday and Thursday for men interested in learning about birth control.

        PPGC established a strong public policy presence that extended well beyond the greater Charlotte area.  In 1978, the organization was instrumental in lobbying the General Assembly to establish the North Carolina State Abortion Fund after Congress enacted the Hyde Amendment.  The Fund ensures that women in poverty are able to access legal abortion services with public funds.  In 1980, Natalie Cohen was named Director of Public Affairs.

        In March 1982, the affiliate opened a second health center, “Planned Parenthood East,” at 5237 Albemarle Road in the Metrolease Building.  The smaller center provided basic family planning services and education.

        Also in 1982, PPGC established a teen theater troupe call FOCUS that performed before 4,400 people during 34 shows across North Carolina.  The following year, Aetna Life provided PPGC a $15,000 grant to purchase a 15-person Dodge van to transport the teens and staff to their various performances. In 1989, the national American Medical Association presented FOCUS with an award for Excellence in Use of Youth Volunteers.

       In 1984, Gerry Allen returned to PPGC to again serve as the Executive Director after having worked to establish new health centers in North Carolina for PPFA and serving as the Executive Director of the affiliate in Columbia, SC. 

        In 1987 the affiliate moved its headquarters from S. Independence Blvd. to 700 E. Stonewall Street.  In 1988, colposcopy and cryosurgery services were initiated in the new headquarters.  Between 1988 and 1989, PPCG began listing the Asheville Center on McDowell Street as “a satellite of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte.”

        In January 1990, Charlotte Brody became the first female to serve as President of PPGC.

        In the spring of 1992 after 15 years at 700 East Stonewall Street, Planned Parenthood moved its central office to 1341 East Morehead Street.  By then, it had fully incorporated the Asheville Center into its organization and had opened a fourth health center in Gastonia (224 S. New Hope Road).  It order to accommodate its expanding service area, PPGC changed its name to Planned Parenthood of the Southern Piedmont and Carolina Mountains.

        Planned Parenthood of the Southern Piedmont and Carolina Mountains merged with Planned Parenthood of the Triad on January 1, 1997 to form Planned Parenthood of North Carolina – West, an affiliate with five health centers headquartered in High Point.  PPNCW subsequently merged with PPHS in 2002.


Charlottesville, VA

PP Presence:   1950s – 1970s; Since 1990
PPHS Presence: Since 2007
Principal Founder(s):  Dorothy “Sunny” Knickerbocker and Victoria Craw (1950s); Jim Turner, Alice Turner, Annie Stafford and others (1990)

       During the 1950s, Dorothy “Sunny” Knickerbocker and Victoria Craw paid a physician $1,200 per year to provide birth control services to women in the greater Charlottesville area.  These well-to-do women also recruited about 80 couples to serve as dues-paying members of Planned Parenthood.  (Dues were $2 per year.)  The members provided a shuttle service for women lacking transportation to and from Planned Parenthood.  Many of Planned Parenthood’s earliest clients were mothers with half a dozen children or more living in rural Albemarle County.  These women often lacked the most rudimentary understanding of birth control and had no other means of accessing basic family planning services.

        Planned Parenthood’s work in Charlottesville faded in the late 1950s after the organization lost its physician.  A non-medical chapter of Planned Parenthood existed at least until the mid-1970s (Planned Parenthood of Central Virginia, 3311 Clarke Lane, Charlottesville). 

        Planned Parenthood reemerged in the late 1980s when a group of community volunteers led by Dr. Jim Turner sought to establish a Planned Parenthood health center.  The volunteers first sought to work with the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood in Richmond before seeking to work with Roanoke-based Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Virginia.  (This organization was renamed Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge with the establishment of the health center in Charlottesville.)  . 

        In May 1990, Planned Parenthood opened a family planning health center on Arlington Boulevard.  A year later, the first Planned Parenthood educator was hired.  In 2000, Planned Parenthood acquired Dr. Herbert Jones private health center in Albemarle County on the outskirts of Charlottesville, which provided first-trimester abortion services.  Dr. Jones had already been providing abortion services at the Planned Parenthood center in Roanoke since 1995. 

        For several years, Planned Parenthood operated two separate health centers – one for family planning and the other for abortion – before building its current site, the Dr. Herbert C. Jones Jr. Reproductive Health and Education Center.  Dr. Jones, suffering from lung cancer, gave inspired remarks at an outdoor press conference just before the new health center initiated medical services.  Dr. Jones passed away three weeks after the building opened.  Though his doctors anticipated he would succumb to the cancer more than a year earlier, his family believes he clung on to life until the completion of a new Planned Parenthood health center named in his honor.

        The Dr. Jones Center is built to the architectural specification of an outpatient surgical center so that it can provide abortion services even if the state legislature succeeds in passing a perennial bill that would force facilities providing abortions to become hospitals.
The Dr. Jones Center became a PPHS health center when the Raleigh-based affiliate merged with Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge in 2007.  

Charleston, SC

Established Presence: Since 2008
PPHS Presence: Since 2008
Principal Founder(s):  Patty Uffelman, Janet Segal, Ronda Dean, Harriet Williams, Harriet Rigney and others.

        The PPHS Charleston Health Center began providing medical services in December 2008.  Its first patient was Ronda Dean, the CEO of Afaxys, Inc. and one of the founding members of the center.  Though the formative history of Planned Parenthood’s presence in Charleston is just now being established, the efforts to open its health center began eight years earlier.

        In 2000, three years before the merger of Columbia-based Planned Parenthood of South Carolina and Raleigh-based Planned Parenthood Health Systems, PPSC Board members Janet Segal and Patty Uffelman began a grassroots organizing and fundraising effort to establish a Charleston health center.  They began by forging alliances with community-based religious institutions, ethnic and cultural organizations (most notably, the NAACP), teen pregnancy prevention groups, the medical community and pro-choice organizations.

        Beginning in 2000, PPSC volunteers coordinated a series of annual public events to build a community presence for Planned Parenthood as well as an established donor base.  Speakers included former PPFA Board Chair Mary Shallenburger (2000), Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (2001) and Margaret Sanger’s grandson and CEO of the New York City affiliate, Alex Sanger (2002).

        In 2002, PPSC established its first “gift club,” the Lowcountry Community of 100, with members annually contributing $500 or more to Planned Parenthood.  By 2007, the gift club had grown to 75 active members.  The fundraising prowess of Planned Parenthood in Charleston was a positive mitigating consideration in merger discussions between PPSC and PPHS in 2003.  PPHS CEO Walter Klausmeier saw merger as an opportunity to help further the goal of establishing a permanent health center in Charleston.

        Beginning in 2003, Planned Parenthood began using local-raised donations to strengthen sexuality education programs in the Charleston community.  Over $4,000 was used to purchase and distribute books, videos and pamphlets to public libraries and local women’s organizations.  Over time, the PPHS Community Health Educator in Columbia began offering educational services and teen prevention programs in the greater Charleston area.

        In December 2004, Harriet Williams and Harriet Rigney offered $100,000 in seed money to establish a health center in Charleston.  In March 2005, Walt Klausmeier and Janet Segal, who had gone from the PPSC Board to the PPHS Board upon merger, sought and received Board approval to begin a feasibility study.  (By then, a list of approximately 800 donors, supporters and volunteers had been amassed.)  By the end of the year, a capital campaign manager had been hired.  Significant contributions from individual contributors, the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation and several anonymous foundations led to the success of the campaign.

        On December 31, 2007, Walt Klausmeier negotiated the purchase of a building in Charleston that including medical office space and several second-floor apartments.  Janet Stevens, a leading advocate of teen pregnancy prevention and reproductive health in Charleston, was hired as the Charleston Health Center Manager.  Additional fundraising, building renovations, equipment purchases and staffing decisions enabled the opening of the center the following December.

        By January 2009, PPHS had added a public policy staff person in Charleston, along with Development and Medical staff.  That month, the center expanded access by initiating Saturday hours and adding colposcopy services.  

Columbia, SC

PP Presence:   1961
PPHS Presence: Since 2003
Principal Founder(s):  Dr. and Mrs. Manly Hutchison and a group of area physicians

        More than half a century ago, Dr. Manly Hutchison was one of the most prominent and well-respected OB/GYN physicians in South Carolina.  In 1949, he served as the President of the South Carolina OB/GYN Society.  In 1961, he, his wife and a group of Columbia-area physicians founded South Carolina’s first affiliate: Planned Parenthood of Richland-Lexington County. 

        PP of Richland-Lexington County is believed to be the oldest Planned Parenthood affiliate within the PPHS service area to have continually provided reproductive health care.   At first, the affiliate offered only education services, yet it had been the intention of the founders to establish an organization able to provide free or low-cost preventive reproductive health care.  Medical services were initiated in the 1960s and have continued unabated for over 40 years.

        In addition to its funders, there were several prominent individuals who helped to sustain and grow the affiliate.  General William Draper was an influential advocate for the affiliate who served as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations Population Commission (1969–1971).  He also co-founded the Population Crisis Committee in 1965.

        Barbara Moxon had an even greater positive impact on the fledgling affiliate.  She and her husband, Dr. Robert Moxon, moved to Columbia two years after the organization was founded.  Mrs. Moxon was a volunteer counselor when the Planned Parenthood began providing birth control information at the post-partum clinic of Columbia Hospital.  She soon afterward became the Chair of the affiliate’s Volunteer Program and was elected to the Board of Directors.  She served as Board President and held a variety of leadership posts over the course of decades.  Her political skills and legislative acumen made her a powerful force in establishing greater rights, responsibilities and access to care for South Carolina’s women.

        By 1972, the affiliate had expanded its service area and changed its name to Planned Parenthood of Central South Carolina.  Its office headquarters were located at 2014 Washington Street in Columbia.

       In 1973, PPCSC provided both education programming and free reproductive health care to medically underserved families in the greater Columbia area.  The agency’s annual budget in 1973 was $123,554 with just over 50% ($62,427) derived from federal grants.  In addition, the affiliate received $47,289 in state grants and $13,000 from the local United Way.  Though it reportedly logged 2,663 medical visits in 1973, none of the patients were charged a fee.

        The affiliate maintained a heavy reliance on volunteers to assist with counseling, medical care, education programs and all manner of affiliate operations.  However, most volunteers were involved in education programs.  The Junior League was especially helpful in providing a cadre of volunteers to provide educational support.

Margaret Weston and Planned Parenthood of Aiken County, South Carolina

     Mrs. Margaret J. Weston, an African American registered nurse from Louisiana, founded Planned Parenthood of Aiken County in 1971 in order to offer family planning services to low income families.  Aiken County is a rural, racial diverse area of South Carolina that lies on the western edge of the state bordering Augusta, Georgia.  The PPAC affiliate was headquartered in little town of Clearwater, SC.

     Mrs. Weston served as the affiliate Executive Director and her husband, Dr. Paul Weston, served as the affiliate Medical Director.  She was known to be a strong, dynamic organizational leader.  She is likely the only African American founder or Executive Director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate within the PPHS service area.  Mrs. Weston often quipped that she stayed in the position in spite of its hardships and low salary because of a little well-placed guilt.  Yet, her tenacity was likely fueled by her familiar refrain: “It can be done.”

    In 1973, PPAC received nearly 80% of its funding from federal and local government grants.  The affiliate had 1,638 medical visits that year with only $965 in revenue from patient fees.  Aiken County was home to a number of small textile industries, which contributed generously to the affiliate. 

     By 1974, the affiliate had expanded both its preventive medical and education services and was preparing to move its satellite clinic into a newly constructed shopping development. 

     In 1978, as the needs of the community grew and the organization outgrew its rented office space, a local company donated 2.2 acres of property and the affiliate acquired financing from a local bank to build a new facility.  Mrs. Weston, a committed Baptist, was known to gamble on faith.  She began the initial building project with $100 in the building fund and stated, “We pray a lot.  The prayers are usually answered.” 

     Margaret Weston sought and received federal funding to establish a Federally Qualified Community Health Center.  Though maintaining a commitment to provide comprehensive reproductive health care and education, the organization ended its association with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and began operating as Rural Health Services, Inc.  The facility was later renamed the Margaret J. Weston Community Health Centers by the Board of Directors in honor of its founder.  The non-profit organization currently provides comprehensive, community-based preventive and primary health, dental and pharmaceutical services to medically underserved and disadvantaged patients in three locations.

     Mrs. Margaret Weston died of breast cancer on November 11, 1991.  Her husband died earlier this month on May 6, 2009.

        After the previous Executive Director had departed, Jerry Dell Gimarc was selected to oversee PPCSC.  Her tenure came at a formidable time. The affiliate was heavily funded by the United Way and federal government and lacked diversified funding sources.  Additionally, patient demand was rising to the point of exceeding finances. 

       In 1974, the affiliate paid to have one of its nurses, Joyce Abernathy, become a nurse practitioner.  The affiliate no longer sought to rely upon residents from the hospital to provide medical care, some of whom treated patients in a manner that did not conform to Planned Parenthood’s standards.  Until Joyce Abernathy returned from training, the affiliate was so short of available cash that it bartered its inventory of birth control pills and hospital gowns in exchange for nurse practitioner support from the local Health Department.

        Up until 1975, most affiliate funding came from federal grants through the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) – the agency responsible for managing programs associated with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. The OEO was dismantled by President Richard Nixon in 1974 and many of the agency's programs were transferred to other government agencies.  OEO family planning money was replaced with Title X family planning money.

        Jerry Dell Gimarc had resigned from the South Carolina OEO Board to work for PPCSC and was well-positioned to assist the affiliate through the funding transition.  Whereas OEO monies had been given to PP in advance and in one lump sum, beginning in 1975 the State Health Department withheld its $90,000 in Title X funding and instead reimbursed the affiliate based upon documentation of patients already served.  Without a financial cushion, the affiliate struggled to pay expenses while suddenly having to carefully document patient visits and patient costs.  (PPFA provided assistance to many affiliates at this critical juncture.)

        Because the federal payments were now in the form of reimbursements for expenses already incurred, the funding came as unrestricted dollars.  This resulted in the affiliate’s ability to accrue funds to use for transitioning to providing abortion services.  The affiliate moved from its facility on the old grounds of the County Hospital to a more spacious location at Middleburg Mall.  The larger facility was necessary for the initiation of abortion services around 1978.  As a result, a number of prominent members withdrew support for Planned Parenthood.  The United Way also ceased providing funding when abortion services were announced.

        In 1983, PPCSC Board of Directors voted unanimously to end its reliance on Title X funding and made the transition to being a self-sustaining affiliate.  At the time, veteran Planned Parenthood leader Jerry Allen was serving as the interim Executive Director.  He resigned from the affiliate when Mary Ann Lawson was hired for the position.  She lasted a short time in the position.  Nancy Raley was hired in March 1984 to replace her.

        Nancy led the organization in September 1987 when Pope John Paul II addressed 60,000 people in the stadium of the University of South Carolina.  Months before the Pope’s arrival, anti-abortion groups threatened to completely encircle the Planned Parenthood health center and blockade its entrances unless the affiliate agreed not to provide abortion services on the day of the Pope’s address.  Instead of yielding to the ultimatum, PPCSC trained a large group of volunteer escorts in advance, arrived at the health center by 5:30am (just before protesters arrived) and even managed to sneak several family planning patients into the health center despite the blockade.  (Abortions were not scheduled on that particular day of the week.)  Four of the protesters were arrested and the affiliate pursued their prosecutions through the courts. 

        In the fall of 1991 (or ’92), Nancy Raley was replaced by Jane Emerson as the affiliate’s Executive Director.  Jane served through several milestones including the transition to a new location and the establishment of a single statewide affiliate.  In the mid-1990s, South Carolina passed a Draconian abortion facilities measure that forced the affiliate to relocate to a larger and more expensive location.  The affiliate did so in order to preserve access to abortion services for women in South Carolina.

        In 1997, PPCSC merged with a small affiliate with a single family planning health center, Planned Parenthood of Hilton Head.  Little is currently known of this affiliate, which was established relatively recently – approximately 1989.  The merged statewide affiliate was renamed Planned Parenthood of South Carolina.

        Within two years of the merger, the Hilton Head Health Center was closed due to financial difficulties.  Jane Emerson left the affiliate shortly after the closure of the Hilton Head site.  For the next decade, the Columbia Health Center would remain the only Planned Parenthood facility in the state. 

        In 2003, Planned Parenthood of South Carolina merged with Planned Parenthood Health Systems.  Since that time, the operations in Columbia have continued to grow in terms of education programming, public policy efforts and the provision of medical services.  

Greensboro, NC

PP Presence:   Since 1983
PPHS Presence: Since 2002
Principal Founder(s):  Community supporters and Winston-Salem Executive Director Pam Hoffman with assistance from Gerry Allen

        The Greensboro Health Center has to date remained a bit of an historical mystery.  Documentation associated with Greensboro (as well as Winston-Salem) has yet to be found in any significant abundance.  The center was established about 1983 by Planned Parenthood of Greater Winston-Salem with the support of Gerry Allen.  (See the Charlotte entry for further information regarding Gerry Allen.) 

        Around the time that the Greensboro Health Center began providing medical care, Planned Parenthood of Greater Winston-Salem was renamed as Planned Parenthood of the Triad.  The health center in Greensboro provided medical services and education programming, but not abortion services.

        On January 1, 1997, the Greensboro Health Center became part of Planned Parenthood of North Carolina – West, the product of the merger between the Charlotte- and Winston-Salem-based affiliates.  In 2002, the PP of North Carolina – West merged with the Raleigh affiliate, which became Planned Parenthood Health Systems. 

Lynchburg, VA

Affiliate Presence:  1967 – 1970s; 1995 – 2009
PPHS Presence: 2007-2009
Principal Founder(s):  Liz Stone (1967); Cissy Davidson, Amy Reeves, Joan MacCallum, Rosel and Elliot Schewel, Joan and JB Jones and others (1990s)

        In 1967, a federal grant enabled the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood in Richmond to expand its presence in the western half of the state.  Roanoke-based staffer Liz Stone helped establish federally funded Planned Parenthood education programs in Lynchburg as well as in Bristol, Danville and Roanoke.  Linda Wilson was hired as the Lynchburg health educator.  When the funding ended in 1970, Planned Parenthood’s presence in Lynchburg waned though a Planned Parenthood chapter remained in Lynchburg into the 1970s.  As of 1973, the Greater Lynchburg Area Chapter, Inc. (626 Church Street Lynchburg) was active with Mrs. Thomas Coates serving as the chapter president.

        In 1990, the Public Affairs staff for Planned Parenthood in Roanoke began organizing volunteers to establish a public policy and media presence in Lynchburg.  In 1991, then-PPFA President Faye Wattleton spoke at Randolph-Macon Women’s College sparking greater support in a city heavily influenced by Rev. Jerry Falwell and Liberty University. 

        In October 1995, after several years of fundraising to open a health center and an organized and highly vocal effort to prevent Planned Parenthood from coming to Lynchburg, a small office was established on Langhorne Road and Joan MacCallum was hired as the Development officer.  A grant from Centra Health enabled a Community Educator to be hired for several years.  Despite best efforts, the funding necessary to purchase or build a health center was never secured. 

        In January 1998, the existing office was retrofitted as a tiny health center with a single exam room to provide preventive reproductive healthcare.  The regulatory requirement to maintain a larger pharmacy coupled with highly intense and aggressive weekly protests prompted a move to more secure and slightly larger office space 18 months later.  (In 1999, PPFA Security concluded that Lynchburg protesters were more intense and confrontational then any other protesters from among 600+ Planned Parenthood facilities that did not provide abortion services.) 

        The Lynchburg health center was the first Planned Parenthood center to establish on-site adoption services through a licensing agreement with Children’s Home Society of Virginia.  A CHS social worker maintained an office in the Lynchburg Center from 2000-2006.

        The Lynchburg Center became a PPHS health center when the Raleigh-based affiliate merged with Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge in 2007.

        Planned Parenthood operations in Lynchburg have been perennially subsidized as expenses have exceeded revenues every year of its operation.  In 2008, PPHS established an interdepartmental committee to overcome the operating shortfall.  In 2009, and in the wake of the global recession, the decision was made to close the health center by the end of June.  

Roanoke, VA

Affiliate Presence:  Since 1967
PPHS Presence: Since 2007
Principal Founder(s):  Nancy Eddy, Charlie Fox, Jim Ford and Liz Stone (staff) as well as others

        Nancy Eddy is the difference between Roanoke and other southwestern Virginia cities like Lynchburg, Bristol and Danville.  So says Liz Stone who, in 1967 was forming Planned Parenthood chapters as the PP Director for the Western Region of Virginia.  In the late 1960s all four cities had Planned Parenthood organizers that had been hired with federal OEO (Office of Economic Opportunity) funds to establish Planned Parenthood chapters.  Only Roanoke went on to form its own self-sufficient Planned Parenthood affiliate.  Nancy Eddy made the difference.

        Those chapters provided family planning using staff and volunteers.  They showed films and made presentations at local health departments, among anti-poverty groups and with women in hospitals who had either just given birth or were recovering from illegal abortions.

        In Roanoke, Ann Larson was the (paid) coordinator of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood – Roanoke Chapter.  She and three Health Department outreach workers delivered services from the Planned Parenthood office in Carlton Terrace on Campbell Avenue.  Planned Parenthood’s annual budget was $28,000.  Soon afterward, they moved into office space above Julian’s Shoe Store.  Nancy was the first person in Roanoke to respond to a newspaper ad soliciting volunteers. 

        Nancy and her husband, Lee, had moved to Roanoke from Chicago in 1962.  Both were committed Republicans.  Lee went on to become Chairman of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.  He also served as the Republican Party Chairman for the 6th Congressional District.  (Republicans were far more liberal than Virginia Democrats back then.)

        The chapter relied upon local Episcopal priests to provide guidance to women seeking abortion before traveling out-of-state.  Planned Parenthood provided the referrals and information to enable women to get to New York and Washington, DC.  (During this period, Dr. Russo of Salem was arrested and imprisoned for providing illegal abortions in the Roanoke Valley.)

        Legal abortions were performed by Dr. John Wilke and Dr. _______ Ruth at Burrell Hospital.  Women would pay $25 to a local psychiatrist to be declared “unfit” for motherhood and thereby eligible for a legal abortion in Virginia.  Planned Parenthood maintained a close association with both physicians.

        In 1969, Liz Stone went to work for the local Housing Authority and established family planning clinics in the Landsdowne and Lincoln Terrace housing projects in Roanoke.  Planned Parenthood provided education and referrals for these clinics.

        In 1970, the chapter was incorporated as a separate non-profit organization, the Roanoke Valley League for Planned Parenthood, Inc.  Nancy Eddy served as the first Board President.  In the early 1970s, Cindy Trinkle was hired as the chapter’s first Educator.  Reverend Roland Bailey of the Cave Spring United Methodist Church helped develop a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for Roanoke County schools and taught sex education to local teens.

       After the Roe v. Wade decision, abortions were performed at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  Planned Parenthood volunteers would discuss contraception with the abortion patients and assist them in getting to the Health Department’s family planning clinics.

        By 1975, the Roanoke chapter was affiliated as Planned Parenthood of the Roanoke Valley, Inc.  Cindy Trinkle became the affiliate’s first Executive Director.  Kathy Haynie was hired as the new Educator.  (The two eventually switched roles with Kathy Haynie serving as Executive Director.)  By then, the office was located on Luck Avenue.

        In 1978, Dr. Julien Meyer, Jr. (OB/GYN) served on the Board and led the affiliate to begin providing medical services.  (Dr. Meyer had treated many patients suffering botched abortions while in medical school in Richmond and provided many legal abortions while in residence at Johns Hopkins.)  He would continue as the affiliate’s volunteer Medical Director for more than 25 years.  (Julien Meyer and Cindy Trinkle later married.)
        The affiliate began providing annual exams and family planning services on Thursday evenings in medical office space provided by the Free Clinic of Roanoke Valley.  Eventually, Planned Parenthood opened its own tiny medical office in downtown Roanoke.

        As federal funds dissipated, Nancy Eddy and other volunteers successfully sought alternative funding from the United Way and from the City of Roanoke.  That funding (less than $20,000 collectively) helped sustained the organization in the early years. 

        In 1982, a highly visible campaign by Planned Parenthood opponents (including Rev. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg) was organized to defund the agency of public monies because it “promoted promiscuity.”  The effort resulted in a public hearing with an overflow crowd where the Roanoke City Council voted 7-0 to defund Planned Parenthood. 

        Public outrage over the campaign and the vote resulted in private donations far in excess of the affiliate’s annual budget and enabled the affiliate to purchase its first building (a former dentist’s home and office on Liberty Road) and to sustain itself as it ended its reliance on Title X funding in 1983.

        In 1987, the Roanoke affiliate established a satellite health center in Blacksburg and was subsequently renamed Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Virginia.  In 1990, it opened a third health center in Charlottesville and the agency was renamed Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge.  In 1995, after seeking to raise funding to open a health center in Lynchburg, it instead opened a one-person office to help further develop community funding sources in order to eventually open a health center. 

        In 1995, the affiliate began providing abortion services in Roanoke.  The Roanoke Valley Christian Coalition led a campaign to enlist 300 area churches to get the United Way to defund Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood recruited several volunteers to infiltrate the group, provide advanced information regarding protests and picketing of the United Way and of Planned Parenthood and provide detailed intelligence.  The campaign to defund Planned Parenthood flopped and United Way funding was sustained.

        In 1996, Kathy Haynie resigned after 19 years with Planned Parenthood having guided the organization through a period of enormous expansion.  Following a national search, Amy Hazelton moved from California to become the President and CEO.  The agency was then facing financial difficulty that led to a layoff of about 20% of the staff.  With expenses exceeding revenue despite deep cuts, Amy Hazelton left the agency after one year in April 1997.  David Nova, the Director of Public Affairs, began serving as the new President and CEO in June 1997.

        In 1998, the Lynchburg office was converted into a modest health center.  In 1999, the affiliate finished the fiscal year with revenues over expenses for the first time in four years.  Also in 1999, Planned Parenthood entered into a licensing agreement with Children’s Home Society to make full adoption services available at its health centers.  (Roanoke became the only facility in the country providing adoption and abortion services under one roof and the first affiliate in the nation with on-site adoption.) 

        In 2000, the affiliate completed the construction of an 11,000-square-foot building in Roanoke.  The center was built to the specifications of an outpatient surgical hospital and included two 16x18-foot surgical theaters with an adjacent scrub room as the regulations required.  (Legislation requiring abortion facilities to maintain hospital standards had already passed in the Virginia House of Delegates at that time.)

        The Reid Jones Jr. Center opened in April and began providing prenatal care services in May through a collaborative arrangement with Carilion Health System and the Roanoke Health Department.  That agreement ended in 2004.

        In 2003, Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge became the first small affiliate and the tenth in the federation approved to provide advanced gynecological surgeries.  The affiliate began providing tubal ligations, hysterectomies and other surgical procedures under the guidance and supervision of Medical Director Dr. Randy Falls.

        In 2005, the affiliate sought merger and entered into discussion with four adjacent affiliates.  By the spring of 2006, the Board voted to pursue merger with PPHS.  In May 2006, PPBR entered into a management agreement with PPHS.  Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge merged with PPHS on June 30, 2007.

        At the time of merger, 40 years after Nancy Eddy and Liz Stone established the Roanoke chapter of Planned Parenthood, both women continued to volunteer in the Roanoke Health Center with Nancy serving as the Volunteer Coordinator and Liz providing information and screenings to women seeking abortion services.  

Parkersburg/Vienna, WV

Affiliate Presence:  Since 1952
PPHS Presence: Since 2005
Principal Founder(s):  Barbara Dickison and several other women (1952)

        The inspiration for the founding of the Planned Parenthood Association of Parkersburg in 1952 is rooted in Peru.  For two years in the 1940s, Barbara Dickison and her husband lived in the Andes near Lima.  “The Indians were poor.  There were no public schools, and girls were having babies at 16, although not too many of them lived.  It’s something you never forget,” said Ms. Dickison in a 1990 interview.  After returning to the United States, she and several women sought to establish a family planning clinic at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg, which later became one of the first Planned Parenthood organizations in West Virginia.  (It is also the oldest former affiliate associated with PPHS.)  Ms. Dickison volunteered in the clinic and also fought to establish a state family planning organization.

        The Planned Parenthood clinic was closed in 1967 when the family planning services were taken over by the Wood County Health Department.  The affiliate, known as the Planned Parenthood Association of Parkersburg, remained active in the provision of education services.  However, the affiliate struggled financially and had difficulty paying it annual “fair share” dues to the national office.

        In 1974, the affiliate set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Expansion and Planning to determine how to reestablish the delivery of family planning services in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  After several years of planning and fundraising, a Planned Parenthood center was reopened at 1132 Market Street in downtown Parkersburg in August 1977 and was serving 2,000 patients annually by the early 1980s.  Dianne Wolfe served as the Executive Director of the revived Planned Parenthood Association of Parkersburg, Inc.

        In 1981, the Planned Parenthood operating budget totaled $128,000 with 80% of revenues coming from federal funding, 10% from patient fees and 10% from community support.  A severe cut in public funding from $106,000 to $77,752 forced the agency to move from its premier location to a smaller, less-than-desirable leased space on Fourth Street.

 Planned Parenthood in West Virginia:  Planned Parenthood had a home-grown presence in other areas of West Virginia, though factual information has been elusive other than a bit of information regarding Huntington.  In 1986, a Planned Parenthood health center was reopened in Huntington but closed after 14 months.  That center did not receive federal funding and faced heavy opposition led by a local Baptist minister.

       With mounting expenses and 80% of its patients living below the poverty level, the organization merged with Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood of Denver, CO.  In 1984, community volunteers Betty Gottleib, Ann Mullenix and others led a $39,000 capital campaign to move to a larger facility at Grand Plaza, 110 9th Street in Vienna.  The new center began seeing patients on April 2, 1985.  In October of that year, the health center chose to forego federal funds and began charging patient fees in order to limit financial losses. 

        In January, 1991, the health center moved again to its current location on Grand Central Avenue and began offering colposcopy and cryosurgery in addition to its other preventive family planning services.

        The Vienna Heath Center became a PPHS health center when the Raleigh-based affiliate acquired the West Virginia service area from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in 2005.

Wilmington, NC

Affiliate Presence:  Since 1991
PPHS Presence: Since 1991
Principal Founder(s):  Julie Taylor, Joanne Carl, Carolyn Simmons, Deborah Haywood, Dr. Kathleen Jewell, Louise Coggins and others

        The Wilmington Health Center is the only PPHS health center in North Carolina that was not established with the assistance of Gerry Allen.  (See the Charlotte, NC entry.)  Instead, Pam Kohl, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Greater Raleigh, worked with local volunteers to establish the only Planned Parenthood center along the eastern coast of North Carolina.

        Initially, a small core of committed volunteers sought to establish their own Planned Parenthood affiliate in the late 1980s.  By that time, Planned Parenthood’s national office had just ceased establishing new affiliates.  Instead, PPFA directed the Wilmington volunteers to work with Pam in order to create a second community health center managed by the Raleigh affiliate.

        The local volunteers had determined that the greatest obstacle to establishing a successful Planned Parenthood center was opposition by the medical community.  Some physicians considered Planned Parenthood’s presence would amount to greater competition.  Dr. Britton Taylor diffused the concerns of the medical community by serving as a strong advocate for the benefits of a Planned Parenthood Center. 

        In 1991, the first Wilmington Health Center opened on Market Street and began serving patients using furniture and medical equipment that had been made available almost entirely from donations.  The location was chosen, in part, because it was on the bus line.  Dr. Taylor served in the capacity of volunteer Medical Director for a decade from the time that the center first began serving patients.

        The Wilmington area serves as the home of PPHS’s Adolescent Parenting Program that was launched in 1994.  Four years later, an education-only office was opened in nearby Burgaw to house the Adolescent Parenting Progam.

        Even before Planned Parenthood began in Wilmington, the Women’s Health Center of Wilmington was providing private OB/GYN services, including contraception.  After Dr. Taylor retired, he sold the center to PPHS in 2006.  Dr. Taylor currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of PPHS.

Winston-Salem, NC

PP Presence:   Since 1979
PPHS Presence: Since 2002
Principal Founder(s):  Local physicians and community supporters with the assistance of Gerry Allen

As is the case of the Greensboro Health Center, very little information has as yet been gleaned regarding the genesis and traditions of Planned Parenthood in Winston-Salem.  Former Executive Director Ellen Olson provided some information, including the following: 

        Planned Parenthood of Greater Winston-Salem was incorporated in 1979 with help of Gerry Allen.  (See the Charlotte entry.)  Pam Hoffman, who married Gerry Allen in 1983, served as the affiliate’s first Executive Director. 

        The Greensboro Health Center was established as a satellite center to the Winston-Salem headquarters in about 1983.  Around the time that the Greensboro Health Center began providing medical care, the two-center affiliate was renamed as Planned Parenthood of the Triad.  At that time, the affiliate headquarters was West End Office Building, Suite 102 at 823 Reynolds Road in Winston-Salem.

        The affiliate began providing abortion services at its Winston-Salem headquarters in the 1980s with the support of local physicians.  In the mid-1990s, Dr. Herb Soper gifted his abortion facility to Planned Parenthood of the Triad.

        Around 1996, the affiliate opened a third facility at 206 Church Avenue in High Point to provide family planning services.  Ellen Olsen was serving as the Executive Director at the time.  One year later, on January 1, 1997, the Winston-Salem-based affiliate merged with Charlotte-based Planned Parenthood of the Southern Piedmont and Carolina Mountains to form Planned Parenthood of North Carolina – West.  Instead of having the headquarters of either affiliate serve as the headquarters of the merged affiliate, it was agreed that the new headquarters would be based in the recently opened High Point Health Center.  (The Raleigh affiliate had been invited to participate in the merger, but then-CEO Pam Kohl was opposed to the idea due to concerns about financial stability.)

        Ellen Olson served as the de facto CEO of the merged affiliate when Charlotte Brody of the Charlotte affiliate resigned about the time of merger. 

        Around 2000, the High Point center was closed and the Winston-Salem center became the new headquarters for PP of North Carolina – West.  By that time, the affiliate had entered into a management contract with Raleigh-based Planned Parenthood of Capital and Coast.  In 2002, the PP of North Carolina – West merged with the Raleigh affiliate, which was then renamed Planned Parenthood Health Systems.  

Planned Parenthood Health Systems Service Area in 1943:

        In the late 1990s, the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia sent Planned Parenthood-related documents that it had in its archives to the Roanoke Center of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge.  The documents date back to the 1920s and include a 1943 national directory of service providers offering “Conception Control” and “Fertility Promotion” services.  The following information has been gleaned from this directory: While there were listings of state “leagues” and family planning providers in most states, only about half of the states had a demonstrable Planned Parenthood presence:  

 Alabama  Florida  New Jersey
 Arizona  Illinois  New York
 Arkansas  Indiana  Pennsylvania
 California  Iowa  Tennessee
 Colorado  Maine  Texas
 Connecticut  Maryland  Vermont
 Delaware  Michigan  Virginia
 District of Columbia  Minnesota     West Virginia

North Carolina:  In 1943, Mr. George Lawrence of Chapel Hill served as President of the North Carolina Maternal Health League.  Conception control and/or fertility promotion services were available for “underprivileged mothers” through the Public Health Departments and County Health Officers in a variety of municipalities including: Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.  There were no Planned Parenthood organizations.

South Carolina:  In 1943, Mrs. C. Fred Laurence of Rock Hill served as President of the South Carolina Maternal Health League.  In Charleston, Dr. Henry DeSaussure provided family planning services at Roper Hospital on Lucas Street.  In Columbia, Dr. William Hart provided such services at Columbia Hospital.  Services were also available to “underprivileged mothers” through the Public Health Department in Columbia.  There were no Planned Parenthood organizations.   Virginia:  In 1943, the Richmond-based Virginia League for Planned Parenthood was already well-established, though that affiliate did not provide medical services.  (Richmond is not in the PPHS service area.)  Family planning services were available in the Roanoke Valley at the Salem Chapter Clinic on Market Street in Salem.  Dr. Flavius Plunkett provided family planning services in Lynchburg at the Guggenheimer Memorial Hospital on Grace Street.

West Virginia:  In 1943, the only documented Planned Parenthood presence was the West Virginia League for Planned Parenthood.  Mrs. Mildred Posten of Morgantown served as the State Director.  Dr. Walter Point of Charleston served a President of the state league.  In addition, Mrs. Victor Shaw of West Virginia served on the national Board of Directors of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. alongside Mrs. Margaret Sanger.

Planned Parenthood Health Systems Service Area in 1973:

         Sarah Bryant not only founded the Charlotte affiliate (see Charlotte entry below), she also served on the national Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood – World Population in the mid-1970s.  PP-WP was the headquarters of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  While on the Board, Sarah held the position of Regional Representative to the Southeast Region of PP-WP.

        As Planned Parenthood affiliates and chapters sprang up across the country, Planned Parenthood’s national Field Department provided support to existing affiliates and assistance to those seeking to start new chapters and affiliates.  The Field Department established seven Regional Offices (Western, Southwest, Midwest, Great Lakes, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast), in order to support more than 200 local chapters and affiliates.  The Southeast Office was based in Atlanta and, at that time, was headed by Mrs. Dorothy DuBois.

        Of the seven regions, the Southeast was arguably the weakest.  It had the fewest affiliates providing medical services.  It provided services to only a fraction of the number of patients served in other regions of the country.  The Southeast Region oversaw nine states with 21 affiliates.  Some of those affiliates had not yet begun to provide medical services:

 Southeast State

Number of Affiliates 

Total Medical Visits in 1973 










 South Carolina






 North Carolina









 West Virginia



        In the Southeast Region, only the Nashville affiliate provided abortions.  That affiliate performed 707 abortions in 1973, the year Roe v. Wade was decided. 

        Within the PPHS services area there were five affiliates and one incorporated chapter.  Only three of these provided medical services in 1973:     

North Carolina: PP of Western North Carolina (Asheville) – education
                           services only
                           PP of Greater Charlotte (Charlotte) – 1,510 total
                           medical visits South Carolina: PP of Aiken County
                           (Clearwater) – 1,638 total medical visits
                           PP of Central South Carolina (Columbia) – 2,663 total 
                           medical visits
Virginia:             Roanoke (an incorporated PP chapter) – education 
                           services only
West Virginia:   PP Association of Parkersburg (Vienna) – education
                           services only    





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