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Remembering Dee Dee Reilly 

Above: The Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Dee Dee Reilly Health Center grand opening celebration in Baton Rouge on October 2, 2018. Dee Dee (first row, second from left) was a fierce advocate for reproductive health care.


Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is deeply saddened by the great loss of Dee Dee Reilly.  As a loyal advocate and generous supporter, Dee Dee leaves an incredible legacy through her commitment to our work. 

“The year was 2013. The setting was Joanie Penniman’s house in Baton Rouge. Melissa Flournoy introduced then-PPFA President Cecile Richards, who eloquently described the need for our own clinic building. Dee Dee spoke up: ”We are going to do this!” And so we did.

When Dee Dee talked, people listened. She spoke with grace and humor. She spoke out because she understood. She understood not only because she could listen well, but because she could also see beyond herself and could see herself in others. She acted upon what she felt was right.

As her children write: “She believed herself the luckiest person alive, and always worked hard to pay it forward. Her philanthropic interests were always personal. She was a passionate advocate for education, health, and equity with a nose for the authentic and impactful. … She courageously supported access to health care for women, earning Planned Parenthood’s highest honor.”

On July 25, the Editorial Board of the Baton Rouge Advocate wrote: “Without public fanfare, Reilly was known in civic circles for what James Carville in one of his books called ‘stickin’,’ the long-term commitments that make a real difference.”

She certainly made a difference for this organization, for the patients we serve at the Dee Dee Reilly Health Center in Baton Rouge, and, finally, for every lucky person who called her their friend.”

-Holley Haymaker, PPGC Board Member


Save the Date!

Please mark your calendars to join us on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 for the New Orleans Fall Celebration. Our annual event is moving to a virtual format this year, complete with video updates from PPGC, musical guests, patient storytellers, and much more!

Interested in getting involved or becoming an event sponsor? Please contact [email protected] or call (504) 722-3775.  


Patient Care

Our Baton Rouge and New Orleans health centers are open and caring for patients in-person and through telehealth appointments. All visits except for specialized care appointments are encouraged to be held via telehealth as much as possible due to our Covid-19 safety measures. Once your telehealth appointment is scheduled, you will receive a link to complete standard patient documents; once we receive the completed documents, we will send you another link to access a virtual waiting room for your appointment. If any in-person follow-up is needed, we will schedule a time for you to safely visit the health center.

“The provider did an amazing job. She paid attention to my needs and she showed compassion for my situation and concern about the future of my health. I absolutely loved her!” – Baton Rouge telehealth patient

The health and safety of our patients and teammates continues to be our top priority. We have implemented safety precautions in alignment with Covid-19 public health and social distancing guidelines. Face coverings or masks are required in our health centers, and scheduled appointments are best. Our ability to accept walk-in appointments is very limited at this time.  To make an appointment for an in-person or telehealth visit, please call 1-800-230-PLAN.



What we’ve been up to:

In the beginning of July, the New Orleans Education Team completed a five-week series with Upward Bound students at Southern University at New Orleans. Upward Bound provides students the opportunity to further challenge themselves academically in high school and gain support for college prep. Throughout June, PPGC provided education to 31 students at Upward Bound on topics spanning anatomy and hygiene, STIs and protection methods, healthy relationships, and sexual and gender identity.

The Louisiana and Houston Education Team members joined together to facilitate our affiliate-wide Summer Learning Series. The SLS consists of live, online workshops designed to fit the specific needs of adults, caregivers, and students ages 12-18. SLS themes for each week of the series have included courses on physical health, healthy relationships, parent/caregiver empowerment, and allyship/youth empowerment. Our Baton Rouge team took the lead on teaching Birth Control Options, Healthy Relationships, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Physical Health, and “It Starts With Me” trivia games. New Orleans has taken the lead on our STIs for Youth and How to Talk to Your Child About Sexuality sessions. Round two of SLS is underway now through August 7.

Sisters Saving Sisters’ “Reclaiming Our Time” is a monthly meetup that creates a space to check in, engage in different discussions, and support each other. This month, the group discussed various topics such as how to be an advocate and ally and how to make a difference in the fight for reproductive health access and all the issues we advocate for. Our team took this month’s “Reclaiming Our Time” to focus on the development of young leadership and encourage our youth to continue to grow as change agents.

Looking Ahead:

Two of our educators, Aijha of Baton Rouge and Bria of New Orleans, are undertaking a new project from PPFA called Bold Chat/Text. Bold Chat/Text enables adolescents and young adults to contact Planned Parenthood health educators through text or instant messaging to ask questions about birth control, emergency contraception, STI testing, pregnancy testing, and abortion. Educators are able to respond to questions in real time with medically accurate, nonjudgmental information and encourage positive health behaviors. This is another exciting development in expanding access to essential information and supporting young people in our communities through their preferred platform.

Aijha, Baton Rouge Health Educator

Bria, New Orleans Health Educator

In mid-July, the Louisiana Education Team began resuming programming and adapting curriculum to a virtual format with our community partners. The New Orleans Team has been working with Odyssey House New Orleans, Liberty’s Kitchen, Café Reconcile, and Bauhaus Montessori School. In Baton Rouge, our team has continued working with the Housing Authority, the Boys and Girls Club, and O’Brien House.

Census Information

Pledge to complete your 2020 Census today!

Filling out the Census is your once-in-a-decade chance to shape the future and is one of the best ways you can support your local community. The Census gives the government information on how to operate, how they should make decisions, and helps allocate billions of dollars directly into our communities. The Census honors privacy and protects confidentiality.

Covid-19 has made completing the Census even more urgent this year, and it only takes a few minutes! Join Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast at #CountMeIn and pledge to fill out your own Census – and then help your neighbors, family, or friends complete theirs as well.

Take the pledge here,  and learn more at 2020census.gov.

Recently, the Louisiana health centers were proud to relaunch our Health Center Advocacy Program (HCAP), which was previously suspended due to Covid-19. The current campaign, We Count 2020, encourages our supporters to complete the 2020 Census. Staff members participated in an HCAP training that centered on our Census work. We are thrilled that 89 of our patients pledged to complete the 2020 Census in June as a result of this campaign.


Get Involved

Meet Sarah, one of PPGC’s most dedicated volunteers! A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Sarah moved to Baton Rouge to pursue her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University. During her time at LSU, Sarah served as the chapter president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action, organizing student advocates to fight for reproductive freedom. Upon earning her degree, Sarah became a member of Serve Louisiana, part of the AmeriCorps program. Sarah has served for two years as the Community Engagement Coordinator at STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) in Baton Rouge, an organization dedicated to supporting and providing services to survivors of sexual assault and trauma. Sarah currently leads the Baton Rouge chapter of Planned Parenthood Young Leaders, where she and other local activists work to support our mission and create positive change in Baton Rouge.

Are you ready to get involved and make an impact in 2020? Become a Virtual Volunteer!

As we continue to practice social-distancing, our passionate and dedicated volunteers are still creating positive change in our state. We would love to welcome you to our team! Due to the current public health crisis, we have replaced door-to-door canvassing with “couch canvassing,” allowing us to continue reaching out to our community about important issues. Here are just some of the ways you can contribute to our mission from the comfort of your home:

  1. Phone Banking: By engaging our supporters through phone conversations, we are able to make personal connections and share important information about upcoming elections, campaigns, and events. PPGC regularly hosts phone banks, which include a training session for our volunteers.
  2. Text Banking: We also communicate with our supporters through texting, which is a fast and effective tool for outreach. By engaging with our supporters through text, we are able to quickly share information about elections as well as encourage voter registration and participation in the 2020 Census.
  3. Storytelling: Story collection helps us humanize our work. Through storytelling we can help people better understand the impact that Planned Parenthood has on our community, because we know that not everyone understands everything that Planned Parenthood does — from providing essential health care and education to advocating for reproductive rights. Have you received expert, compassionate care at a Planned Parenthood health center, learned important info about sexual health from our amazing educators, or advocated with us to help protect reproductive rights? Tell us why Planned Parenthood matters to you. Your voice can make a difference. Your story will help show lawmakers, the media, and supporters just what we're fighting for in the weeks and months to come. If you have a personal story to share about how Planned Parenthood has affected your life, please reach out to us or fill out this form.


In Case You Missed It

In early July, the Supreme Court reached a decision to uphold the Trump Administration’s rule allowing employers and universities to deny their employees and students insurance coverage for birth control based on a religious or moral objection. Birth control is critical, time-sensitive health care that treats serious conditions and allows people to plan if and when they get pregnant. This outcome will further restrict essential health care for the millions of people that use birth control.

We need those in positions of decision-making to expand, not dismantle, health care access. At PPGC, we will continue doing everything we can to provide affordable birth control access despite constant attacks from politicians.

To learn more about this decision and what it means for you, click here.

Tags: Louisiana


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