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Contact: Katie Rogers, Communications Manager, 206-328-7705
For Immediate Release: July 13, 2015
Planned Parenthood Advocacy and Political Organizations Merge for Northwest and Hawaii
Seattle and Honolulu — Today, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Planned Parenthood of Hawaii Action Network announced the official merger of their two organizations. The newly named 501(c)4 nonprofit, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH), will be responsible for Planned Parenthood’s advocacy and political work across the four-state region of Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, and Washington state. Elaine Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, will continue in that role at PPVNH.
“This merger is great news for reproductive health care access in Hawaii. PPVNH will continue to be a forceful and vocal champion for the women and families of Hawaii,” said Amy Monk, board member of the former Planned Parenthood of Hawaii Action Network and now PPVNH. “By pooling our knowledge, experience, and resources, the highly effective governmental advocacy and political work that we are known for will only improve across Hawaii and the rest of the four-state region.”
The merger comes after Planned Parenthood 501(c)3 nonprofit health care and sexual health education provider affiliates in Hawaii and the Northwest similarly merged earlier this year to become Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI). PPVNH works as the advocacy and political arm of PPGNHI and three other regional provider affiliates, a purview that includes limited electoral work.
“We are thrilled to merge with Planned Parenthood of Hawaii Action Network. Their history of fighting for smart reproductive health policies and electing passionate leaders who stand up for women’s health is one to admire,” said CEO Elaine Rose. “The team at PPVNH is already experienced at working in many diverse communities, and we are excited to take on this new challenge. Expanding to work with our amazing colleagues in Hawaii is a natural fit that will ensure a seamless transition.”
The merger has already made a positive impact in Hawaii with the Hawaii State Board of Education’s (BOE) vote to require public schools to provide students with sexual health education. Staff from both merging organizations and PPGNHI worked closely to build support for the new policy, encouraging parents and community leaders in Hawaii to send in letters and attend the vote. Planned Parenthood supporters ultimately sent in over 350 messages to express their support.
“This merger adds new energy to all of Planned Parenthood’s work in Hawaii,” said Dr. Susan Wurtzburg, also a former PPHIAN and now PPVNH board member. “Our supporters, board members, and staff are looking forward to renewing their efforts to increase access to reproductive health care in the 2016 legislative session and holding politicians accountable in elections at all levels.”