Stark Brings 30 Years of Experience Delivering High-Quality Health Care to LGBTQ+ Communities and Communities of Color as Executive Director of Callen-Lorde, and Commits to Continue Fighting for Bodily Autonomy in a Post-Roe Era at PPGNY
Interim President & CEO Joy D. Calloway Will Pass the Baton to Stark after Successfully Leading the Organization through a Pandemic, Historic Social Unrest, and Organizational Transformation
New York, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) announced its new President & CEO: health care leader and advocate Wendy Stark.
Stark, who currently serves as CEO of Callen-Lorde, the global leader in LGBTQ+ health care, is a champion for bodily autonomy and equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care. Throughout her 30-year career, Wendy has been instrumental in creating a more equitable and inclusive future for all New Yorkers. She will assume leadership of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York and its advocacy and political entities, effective October 10, 2022.
Interim President & CEO Joy D. Calloway will pass the baton to Wendy, following her two-year tenure at PPGNY. During her time as interim President & CEO, Calloway guided PPGNY through multiple social and organizational turning points including the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against racial injustice, and PPGNY’s organizational transformation. Stark is committed to continuing Calloway’s incredible work and carrying forth PPGNY's mission to provide equitable access to quality sexual and reproductive health care and abortion services and advocating for bodily autonomy in a post-Roe era.
"As a life-long advocate for abortion rights and access to the full scope of sexual and reproductive health care, I am honored to join Planned Parenthood of Greater New York at such a pivotal time in our history," said incoming President & CEO Wendy Stark. "For the past thirty years, I have dedicated my life’s work to advancing access to high-quality medical care that affirms and respects the right to bodily autonomy, particularly for marginalized communities. As President & CEO, I will bring this life-long commitment to the organization as we chart the course for our next chapter together."
“Serving Planned Parenthood of Greater New York over the past two years has been one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences, as well as the best decisions, of my professional life. Taking the helm in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and steering us through historic social unrest, economic uncertainty, and the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together to support our communities and patients, and to stabilize and strengthen this renowned organization. I am certain that this team is prepared to meet this challenging moment head-on and ensure all who need care have access; I look forward to supporting this mission and advocacy for years to come,” said Joy D. Calloway, interim President & CEO of PPGNY.
At Callen-Lorde, Stark has been instrumental in the growth of the organization, which provides nearly 100,000 patient visits each year and recently opened two new clinics serving LGBTQ+ communities, communities of color, and low-income individuals. Under Stark’s leadership, Callen-Lorde played a critical role in advancing numerous positive legislative actions in New York State, including the enforcement of the state’s law to mandate health plans must provide coverage for gender-affirming care and the right of minors to self-consent to HIV-related care.
Stark’s commitment to fighting for access to health care and bodily autonomy began when she was young and advocated with her mother for reproductive rights in Nevada, ultimately helping to pass a law to expand abortion access within the state.
As incoming President & CEO, Stark is committed to strengthening PPGNY’s position as a leading sexual and reproductive health care provider, educator, and advocate for all New Yorkers and people across the country who will turn to PPGNY for compassionate, quality abortion services and sexual and reproductive health care.
“In the wake of the Dobbs decision, as PPGNY prepares to provide care to those who need it most, we are pleased to welcome Wendy Stark as President & CEO. Wendy has fought relentlessly to preserve and expand access to bodily autonomy, not just in New York, but around the country advocating for both abortion access and LGBTQ+ rights while providing high-quality care to those who need it most. Her experience and leadership will be critical as we seek to continue providing care, educating patients, and advocating for access to reproductive rights and sexual health,” said PPGNY Board Chair Karen Seltzer.
Joy D. Calloway joined PPGNY in 2020 as interim President & CEO as the Board of Directors began the 18-month search for a permanent President & CEO. During her tenure, Calloway recruited a new, highly-skilled executive leadership team; steered the organization through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic; secured critical financial support and ensured the organization was in a strong position fiscally; and fostered a workplace work culture that encourages PPGNY employees to thrive, professionally and personally.
“Thanks to our incredible interim President & CEO, Joy D. Calloway, PPGNY is well positioned to meet this trying moment by continuing to advocate for reproductive rights and providing critical health care services to all those in New York and those who will travel here to gain access to the care they need,” said PPGNY Board Chair Karen Seltzer. “Joy’s leadership helped transform our organization, strengthening our team and making the organization more resilient for the fight ahead - all in service of our patients. We are grateful for Joy’s stewardship of PPGNY and we look forward to the road ahead with Wendy.”
About Wendy Stark:
Wendy Stark has dedicated her life to health equity and justice. After starting her career in reproductive health, she began working at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, with a mission to achieve health equity for LGBTQ communities and people living with HIV/AIDS, in 1994. She first worked as a Front Desk Clerk and throughout the years held numerous roles in the organization. In 2007, Wendy was first appointed Executive Director, and under her leadership, the organization increased its patient care capacity by over 30%, started a formal research and education program, and achieved financial stability which set the course for its subsequent growth.
In 2012, Wendy started a new position as Senior Vice President for Special Populations & Administration at the Family Health Centers at NYU. Her work focused on health care access for communities systemically underserved by the health care system.
As of April 2015, Callen-Lorde’s Board recruited Wendy back to the position of Executive Director. Since then, Callen-Lorde has opened new sites in the Bronx and Brooklyn, launched a policy and advocacy program, started the Keith Haring Postgraduate Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in LGBTQ+ Health, and provided medical respite care in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and in NYC for people living in the shelter system at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wendy served on the Board as co-chair of the National Coalition for LGBT Health from 2008 – 2012. Her Board service has also included the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Community Health Center Association of NYS.
Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) is a leading provider, educator, and advocate of sexual and reproductive health care in New York State. PPGNY offers a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services at its 23 health centers across 65% of New York State. PPGNY is a trusted source of medically accurate, evidence-based information that allows people to make informed decisions about their health and future. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPGNY supports legislation and policies that ensure all New Yorkers have access to the full range of reproductive health services and education.