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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Planned Parenthood is excited to announce that our very own Dr. Linda Valencia has been recognized by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with the Maternal Health Visionary Award for her outstanding work and contributions to the field in Guatemala.

Dr. Linda Valencia is the senior program officer for Guatemala, serving as our lead technical resource for the country’s program since 2007. She is an obstetrician-gynecologist who has dedicated her career to broadening access to health care, particularly for Guatemala’s most vulnerable populations. Dr. Valencia was responsible for incorporating sexual and reproductive health programs within the hospital system for Guatemala’s Ministry of Health, and as deputy director, she oversaw the integration of the post-abortion care program nationally. She graduated from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala, with additional post-graduate studies in gender, management, and hospital administration.

Statement from Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global:

In this moment when women’s reproductive health is under attack in the U.S., in Latin America, and around the world, it’s especially important to honor the ones at the frontlines, supporting the delivery of vital care and saving lives. Today we are incredibly proud to honor our colleague, Linda, for her important and often understated work for the women of Guatemala and her advocacy for the rights of all women to have access to the quality care they need.

Statement from Dr. Linda Valencia, Senior Program Officer for Planned Parenthood Global - Guatemala:

I am humbled and honored to receive the Maternal Health Visionary Award from Harvard University, whose school of public health has played such an important leadership role in advancing health around the world. I have led Planned Parenthood Global’s work in Guatemala for over a decade and have treated women and delivered babies for even longer. Women’s health has been the cause and passion of my life. Early on in my career, while delivering care at hospitals in Guatemala, I realized that maternal health is at the heart of social justice. Since then, I have worked every day to protect women’s lives and build a more equal and just society.

Dr. Valencia’s vital work in preventing and treating unsafe abortion in Guatemala was previously featured in “No Woman, No Cry, a powerful documentary by Christy Turlington Burns about the life-threatening medical conditions that women with pregnancy complications face. You can watch the trailer on YouTube.

The Maternal Health Visionary Award is awarded by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to honor individuals who have made an impact in the field of maternal health. It recognizes maternal health champions with a history of pushing for innovation, inspiring others, and demonstrating sound leadership and a powerful vision for the future of maternal health.

*** Haga clic aquí para leer esta declaración en español. ***

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.