By Maria Saporta
Planned Parenthood of Georgia is merging with Planned Parenthood of Alabama.
The merged organization — Planned Parenthood Southeast — was supposed to have begun its operations on Tuesday, Sept. 1, but it has been delayed for a month to dot a “few more ‘i’s,'” according to Leola Reis, the vide president of external affairs for Georgia. The merged territory will cover all of Georgia, Alabama and most of Mississippi.
“Combining our two organizations will strengthen us and will aloow us to reap the rewards of increased efficiency — an extremely important goal in this economy,” wrote Kay Scott, CEO of Planned Parenthood Georgia, in a letter to key supporters.
The merged organization will be based in Atlanta, and Scott will become its president and CEO. She has been with Planned Parenthoold for more than 30 years.
Barbara Buchanan, formerly CEO of Planned Parenthood of Alabama, will serve as its vice president of community affairs. She will continue to be based in Birmingham.
Scott wrote that the boards of the two organizations also have merged and that Candace Fowler will chair the combined board through 2010.
The merged organization will have a total of eight clinics in the Southeast region providing family planning services for an estimated 20,000 clients.
Scott said the organization: “will continue to advocate for women’s health, access to birth controld, reproductive freedom on the ground in Georgia, Alabama and MIssissippi. We know how important our voce is on the local level especially given the high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease that we face in the Southeast.”