OMAHA, Neb. – A merger of Planned Parenthood affiliates that covers Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma will include healthcare options for members of the gay community.
Under the merger expected to be complete by Jan. 1, the expanded affiliate would have about 30 clinics in the four states. The new services would include adoption, education programs and care for men and for lesbian, gay and transgendered people.
“Our communities deserve access to affordable quality health care,” said Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which covers Iowa and Nebraska. “The merger will allow us to expand our service offerings to more people in need of care.”
Kathy Sparks, board chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, said the merger will make the multi-state affiliate “stronger and more efficient.”
“We are transforming operations to ensure we are here for the women and men who need and want our services,” she said.
June will be the interim president of the expanded affiliate, which will have its headquarters at Heartland’s administrative offices in Des Moines, Iowa.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had covered Nebraska and most of Iowa until its recent merger with the Southeast Iowa affiliate broadened its reach to the entire state. Heartland now operates about 20 clinics in Iowa and health centers in Lincoln and Omaha. In April, it announced plans to open 12 more clinics in those states over the next five years.
Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, based in Tulsa, Okla., operates four health centers in eastern Oklahoma and two in Arkansas.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/heartland/
Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma: http://www.ppaeo.org/