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Longtime Mass. Planned Parenthood Leader Stepping Down

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Dianne Luby, longtime head of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
Dianne Luby, longtime head of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

This just in from the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts: Dianne Luby, who has led the league for 13 years, has told the board that she'll step down at the end of this year.

(My first thought: "Wow, 13 years is a long time to endure the level of controversy that swirls around a group like Planned Parenthood, with all its work on contraception and abortion.")

The Planned Parenthood press release says that Ms. Luby worked to "change the public conversations around sexual health," to introduce a new approach to sex ed, and to expand access to sexual health care, particularly in "underserved communities."
From the press release:

“Thirteen years ago, my overarching vision was to make PPLM an essential part of the mainstream healthcare community and I am so pleased about how far we’ve come,” said Ms. Luby. “I feel that this is an excellent time for me to be moving on. Not only are we successfully completing our five-year strategic plan, we have also reached our $30 million Sexual Health Matters campaign goal, which funded a broad range of health care initiatives.”


Under Dianne’s leadership, some of PPLM’s most notable accomplishments include:

•Opening five new health centers in Springfield, Fitchburg, Marlborough, Milford, and Somerville and building a new, eco-friendly facility in Worcester.
•Broadening public understanding of the full scope of PPLM’s programs and services by introducing its “Sexual Health Matters” brand.
•Developing a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for middle schools and high schools that is now in 131 schools and reaching over 30,000 students. Wellesley Centers for Women is conducting a rigorous five-year evaluation of the middle school program’s effectiveness with very positive early results.

•Launching two new parent education programs, “Let’s Be Honest” and “Seamos Honestos,” that are designed to provide parents the tools they need to be the primary sexuality educators of their children.
•Establishing a joint family planning fellowship with Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The program, located at PPLM’s Boston health center, has achieved national recognition for its research on women’s sexual health.
•Fully implementing Electronic Health Records at all seven PPLM health centers.
Successfully advocating, as part of a statewide coalition, for a 2002 law requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives at the same rate as other prescriptions and, in 2011, for expedited partner therapy, which allows individuals whose partners have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease access to streamlined preventive care.

“We will surely miss Dianne’s leadership but she’s leaving the organization in a very strong position,” says Ms. Burnes. “During her time with us, contributed income has grown by 45%, we now have our most successful annual fund ever, and in just the past year our supporters grew by 52%.”

The Board has formed a search committee chaired by PPLM board member Roberta Herman, COO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and hopes to announce an incoming CEO before Ms. Luby’s departure at the end of the year.

Ms. Luby became CEO of PPLM in 1999. Prior to joining PPLM, Ms. Luby was the Director of Public Health for the State of New Hampshire, founding Director of Manet Community Health Center in Quincy, and held senior management positions at major health care organizations in California, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

This program aired on June 6, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.