March 1, 2019
I have an important announcement, and I wanted to let you know right away. Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi will resume abortion services at our Nashville health center next week.
Abortion services will resume incrementally as we build capacity, but we continue to keep our patients at the forefront of our decision. Any interruption in services is not our first choice but we do it when it’s the only option in the short term to achieve the best outcomes for our patients in the long run. During this transition, we made physical and operational upgrades, as well as recruited and hired new staff.
Our caring and talented staff in Nashville continued to provide many health services to patients, including cancer screenings, birth control, transgender care, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment. Our staff at our Knoxville and Memphis health centers also deserve kudos for their commitment to serve additional abortion patients from the Nashville area during the service interruption.
On the staffing front, I am pleased to announce that we’ve hired Dr. Kimberly Looney as our new Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Looney is a graduate of Fisk University and University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. She completed her residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a fellowship in family planning at Emory University in 2006. Dr. Looney was previously an Assistant Professor and OB/GYN residency director at Meharry Medical College. Dr. Looney has deep ties to the Nashville community and will remain in Nashville. She will begin in June.
Our current CMO, Dr. Sarah Wallett will return to Michigan, where she received her medical training, to serve as CMO for Planned Parenthood of Michigan. Dr. Wallett defined what it means to be an excellent medical officer at our affiliate. She expanded our abortion services from 15 weeks to 20 weeks and added moderate sedation and post abortion contraception. She tackled abortion stigma and has been a fearless advocate. Since the merger, Sarah has driven back and forth to our health centers across the state over and over and over again to keep services going, train and credential providers, and implement improvements. We will miss her and wish her the best in Michigan.
I remain grateful to all of you for your continued patience and support as we work through the transitions that will make our affiliate stronger. You are crucial to that success and I cannot thank you enough.