By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma (PPCO) announced today that it is merging with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM). Under the leadership of current PPKM President and CEO, Laura McQuade, the two Planned Parenthood affiliates will become “Planned Parenthood Great Plains” (PPGP) effective July 1.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to combine two well-established reproductive and sexual health care providers under one system, which will reach more women and men who need crucial preventive health care,” McQuade said.
“The merger strengthens our mission to provide health care to diverse communities with different and changing needs,”
PPGP will be headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, with administrative offices in Oklahoma City.
“Under Laura’s leadership, PPKM expanded its health services to new cutting edge treatments like Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV prevention regimen,” said Jackie Johnson, Vice President of Planned Parenthood’s Oklahoma Operations.
“Her leadership will undoubtedly help expand our services so that Oklahomans have greater access to reproductive health care.”
The new affiliate will operate a total of nine health centers in four key metro communities, including Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas City, and Columbia, MO.
“More people than ever now have health insurance,” McQuade added. “It is our responsibility as a health care provider, to ensure that every person, no matter his or her gender or sexual identity, receives the health care they need. Growing our presence is an important piece to sustaining the high quality, specialized care we deliver to our communities.”
Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma first opened its doors in downtown Oklahoma City on June 11, 1937, as the Maternal Health Center of Oklahoma City. Today, more than 8,400 men and women depend on PPCO annually for high-quality, low-cost reproductive health services.
“Our new affiliate, “Planned Parenthood Great Plains” will continue to serve the same high quality, specialized health care thousands of patients have depended on for decades,” Johnson continued.
“Much like other hospital systems, Planned Parenthood is a medical system that continues to serve a greater number of patients in the region,” Johnson continued.
“This merger is an exciting opportunity to combine forces so that patients will have greater access to a larger menu of reproductive and sexual health care services including cancer screenings, STI testing and treatments, abortion, transgender care, PrEP and menopausal symptom management.”
Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care, education, information, and outreach to nearly five million women, men, and adolescents worldwide in a single year.