Friends, advocates and supporters helped celebrate Honoring the Champions of Women's Health on November 13 in Providence, R.I.
(Providence, R.I.) – Last night, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) honored three remarkable Rhode Island women for their continual support of women's health care. It was a special night commemorating the remarkable efforts of Liz Chace, Dr. Bennie Y. Fleming & Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts. Nearly 150 people, including RI House Representative Deborah L. Ruggiero, RI First Lady Stephanie Chafee and Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza celebrated Honoring the Champions of Women’s Health on November 13, 2014 at the Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence, Rhode Island.
“We were proud to honor three extraordinary women who have worked, and continue to work, tirelessly on behalf of all Rhode Islander women,” said Judy Tabar President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “This was an unforgettable evening of togetherness, laughter and purpose. We stand with and support these incredible women, and all Rhode Islanders, who continue to advocate for and support women’s health care services and rights.”
For the second year in a row, Honoring the Champions of Women’s Health celebrated the work of remarkable members of our community who have worked toward safeguarding women’s health. Hosted by co-chair and event sponsor, Dr. Cathy Lund, more than $125,000 was raised and went to care for PPSNE patients who receive high quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay.
As a result of the impact teen pregnancy had on many of Fleming’s students, she became an advocate and supporter of a peer educators program at Planned Parenthood. Fleming joined the PPSNE board in 1993 and served as chair from 2001-2003. She was elected to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) board in 2006, and served for six years.
“The New York Times had a column on teens and birth control yesterday. It said, ‘American teenagers become pregnant at a rate of about one a minute. Some 82 percent of births to teenagers in the U.S. are unplanned.’ This is why I will always support Planned Parenthood and ask everyone I know to support Planned Parenthood; because they work to educate teens with the goal of decreasing unplanned pregnancies,” Fleming said.
Chace was a founding member of the Providence Corporation and deeply involved with the Concentrated Employment Program, Wiggins Village and the Opportunities Industrialization Center. Chace has long advocated for women and children through her intense commitment to the community.
“Every person deserves access to quality medical care. PPSNE has proven they can deliver this kind of care and I am proud to be associated with them,” Chace said.
Roberts was inaugurated as lieutenant governor of Rhode Island in 2007, making history as the first female elected to the position. She was re-elected to a second term in January 2011. Roberts served five terms in the Rhode Island Senate from 1996 until 2006 and prior to taking office, she spent over a decade distinguishing herself as an advocate for quality, affordable health care for every family.
“It’s important to have a full range of affordable health services available to Rhode Islanders. PPSNE plays a vital role in providing care to the community at large, making sure that the unique health needs of women are always met,” Roberts said.
Rhode Islanders strongly support reproductive health care, access and rights. A poll commissioned by PPSNE showed an overwhelming 93 percent of Rhode Island voters say it is important for women in Rhode Island to have access to all of the reproductive health care options available to them.
All proceeds from Honoring the Champions of Women’s Health went to care for PPSNE patients who receive high quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay. Annually, PPSNE serves nearly 70,000 women, men and teens, providing a range of critical, life-saving health care services, including breast cancer screenings, Pap tests, birth control, and STD/STI testing and treatment.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 18 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to nearly 70,000 patients annually, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive.