Patricia A. McGeown of Bethlehem was recognized by the Board, staff and supporters of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood for her fifteen years of leadership as UHPP President/CEO at the agency’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Reception on May 26, 2010 at the Normanside Country Club in Delmar.
Ms McGeown was named President/CEO of UHPP in January of 1995. Over the last fifteen years, she has guided the agency through major upheavals in the health care reimbursement system, a wave of violence aimed at abortion providers, a federal push for abstinence-only sex education, a conversion to computer based operations and a continuing imbalance between rising costs and declining government funding. Despite these challenges, the agency has remained fiscally strong, seen a steady increase in patient visits, and developed a regional reputation for excellence in sexual health education.
Under McGeown’s leadership, the agency brought to Albany a series of national leaders including two former US Surgeon Generals and four Presidents of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The UHPP Troy center was moved to new upgraded facilities and the Hudson center added a teen drop-in center. The agency was a proud, early provider of a series of new products for reproductive health care including Emergency Contraception, RU486 or Medicaid abortion, Depo Provera and other new contraceptive options and, most recently, the HPV vaccine.
McGeown has always been a strong advocate for comprehensive sex education and continued to find ways to support an education department in spite of funding challenges. Over the last fifteen years, the agency won state grants to develop and maintain award winning teen pregnancy prevention programs in both Albany and Columbia Counties. UHPP now works directly with Albany Medical College to ensure that medical students receive education and training opportunities related to the provision of family planning and abortion services. UHPP also served as lead agency for a multi-year federal grant from the National Institute of Health which provided millions of dollars in support for HIV/AIDs prevention education efforts through a network of community organizations.
Finally, McGeown positioned the agency as a fearless advocate for reproductive health and rights, leading community coalitions and volunteer activists in statewide efforts to pass legislation such as the state Women’s Health and Wellness Act and the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. In 2004, Pat led a local UHPP contingent of over 350 people who traveled to Washington DC to participate in the March for Women’s Lives. In 2009, the agency mobilized hundreds of activists in efforts to help pass health care reform legislation that improved access to reproductive health services.
McGeown has been consistently recognized by her peers for her leadership capabilities. She served for twelve years as President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, a non-partisan, voluntary political organization made up of delegates from Planned Parenthood affiliates across the state. Since 2006, she has been President of the New York State Affiliates of Planned Parenthood. She is a former President of the New York State Public Health Association and served for a decade on that organization’s Governing Council. McGeown has been recognized by the YWCA of Schenectady as a Capital District Woman of Achievement.
At the UHPP event, McGeown was presented with several gifts from Board and staff , including a photo book of highlights from her fifteen years with the agency. A quote from McGeown contained in the book demonstrates her strong commitment to the agency mission: “Now more than ever, we must be positive, aggressive and persevere. Our agenda of full information, self-determination and freedom of choice is an agenda of hope. The world will be a better place when all people can choose whether and when to be parents; when communities are strengthened by strong women and strong families.”
UHPP Board President, Geoffrey Moore spoke for the entire organization when he lauded McGeown for her leadership, her commitment and her tireless efforts to successfully position UHPP as a leading provider of exceptional services, honest education and fearless advocacy and expressed his hope that McGeown would continue to provide such leadership for years to come.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP) is a community-based non-profit organization providing advocacy, education and medical services for reproductive health care since 1934. In 2009, over 14,000 patients made 24,975 visits to UHPP health centers located in Albany, Hudson and Troy. UHPP health educators present over 300 education programs reaching over 5,000 youth and young adults. UHPP services are delivered with special concern for the underserved.