Planned Parenthood organizations merge

Silverdale, Bremerton locations now part of nation’s largest affiliate.

The largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the nation is right here in the Northwest.

Three Planned Parenthood organizations recently merged to form Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW). Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, Planned Parenthood of Alaska and Planned Parenthood of Idaho make up the newly formed affiliate.

“We’re excited about it. We know this will mean greater access and a more streamlined approach for our patients,” said Brian Cutler, PPGNW spokesman. “There will be greater access to the folks of Kitsap County.”

There are two area locations: in Silverdale on Silverdale Way and in Bremerton on Riddell Road.

Cutler said the merger has been in talks for about a year and the volunteer boards of each respective affiliate decided to approve it in recent months. The merger will “enhance reproductive health care, educational opportunities and advocacy for millions of women, men and teens in the three-state region,” according to the organization. The 29 health centers now go by one name.

Cutler said the merger will increase Planned Parenthood’s efficiency by preventing the duplication of equipment and expenses. He added that some jobs will be centralized because some employees were wearing multiple hats and doing several different jobs.

“Our goal, I think, is that people wear one hat that looks really good on them,” Cutler said. “People can really work with their strengths.”

He said no jobs are expected to be cut as a result of the merger.

Planned Parenthood of Western Washington was the fourth largest affiliate in the country with an annual budget of $32 million. Planned Parenthood of Idaho and Planned Parenthood of Alaska had much smaller budgets, so the merger allows the Western Washington affiliate to help those branches grow.

A Planned Parenthood facility is scheduled to open Feb. 14 in Juneau, Alaska and Cutler said the merger played a role in that facility’s future opening.

“When we merged, we were able to help with that,” he said.

Cutler said the East Bremerton and Silverdale Planned Parenthood facilities will not see major changes as a result of the merger.

“They’re already very good health centers,” he said.

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