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State House leader will join the organization in March

BOSTONPlanned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) has selected State Representative Martha M. Walz to lead the organization as President and CEO. Marty will also serve as President of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts (PPAF). The PPLM Board voted last night to approve the hiring of Marty, on recommendation of the search committee chaired by PPLM Board member Roberta Herman, M.D., COO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

“Marty’s commitment to Planned Parenthood and its mission was immediately evident when we began engaging her in the search process,” said Herman.  “Her roles as a legislator, lawyer and human resources executive have prepared her well to take on the role of PPLM’s chief executive officer."

“We are delighted that Marty Walz, a dedicated and accomplished advocate for women’s health, will become PPLM’s next leader,” said Board Chair and Interim CEO Nonnie S. Burnes. “She brings with her a wealth of political experience, legal expertise, and a demonstrated commitment to protecting the health of women, their families and youth.”

Marty has represented the 8th Suffolk District in the State House since 2005 and most recently served as the Assistant Vice Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.  Among her many legislative achievements, she was the lead sponsor of the 2007 law that created a 35-foot buffer zone to protect the privacy, dignity, and safety of staff and patients who trust Planned Parenthood for its compassionate, high quality care.   During her time in the legislature, she has also championed family planning funding, teen pregnancy prevention programs, comprehensive and age-appropriate health education and education reform. Marty will resign her seat in mid-February.

“I am honored to be selected as Planned Parenthood’s next CEO.  PPLM provides care in over 48,000 patient visits per year at seven health centers, and its education programs reach more than 40,000 students, parents and professionals. I am excited to build on those successes and lead the organization into a new era of health care delivery,” said Walz.  “While I will miss serving in the House of Representatives, I could not pass up this opportunity. The debates heard during the passage of the Affordable Care Act and throughout last year’s elections make it clear that we must never take for granted a woman’s right to make personal medical decisions.  I look forward to protecting that right and ensuring that all women have the health care they need and deserve.”      

In addition to Marty’s lengthy history of advocating on behalf of sexual and reproductive health issues in the public arena, she has extensive experience in the private and non-profit sectors and has also served in several key volunteer leadership posts, including on the boards of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Women’s Lunch Place and the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, Inc.  Marty will join PPLM full time at the Boston headquarters in March. Board Chair Nonnie S. Burnes will continue to serve as Interim CEO until that time.


Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider in the state. For over 80 years PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice through clinical services, education and advocacy.  For more information, visit www.pplm.org.


Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts


Alicia Johnson
Media Relations Coordinator
(617) 515-031


January 30, 2013