Dr Leana Wen is currently the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore
Planned Parenthood has announced its first Asian American president.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America has announced that Asian American Dr Lena Wen will be itssixth president.
Dr Wen will be the first physician in nearly fifty years and first Asian American to head the organisation.
According to the Planned Parenthood website, the organisation provides health care for over 2.4 million women, men and young people. More than 600 Planned Parenthood health centres are spread across the US, making it the largest provider of sex education in the country.
Dr Wen is currently the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore and has been leading the Baltimore City Health Department since January 2015. She is known as the ‘Doctor for the City’ in Baltimore, overseeing over 1,000 employees with an annual budget of $130 million.
“For more than 100 years, no organization has done more for women’s health than Planned Parenthood, and I’m truly honored to be named its president,” said Dr. Leana Wen.
Dr Wen, who comes from an immigrant family said her mother, youngest sister and herself relied on Planned Parenthood for health care when she was growing up. The Asian American also volunteered at the organisation in St Louis during medical school.
“As a patient, I depended on Planned Parenthood for medical care at various times in my own life, and as a public health leader, I have seen firsthand the lifesaving work it does for our most vulnerable communities,” Dr Wen said. “As a doctor, I will ensure we continue to provide high-quality health care, including the full range of reproductive care, and will fight with everything I have to protect the access of millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood.”
“Today is a historic day for Planned Parenthood and the millions of people it serves. After an extensive search, I’m proud to announce that Dr. Leana Wen will serve as our next president,” said Naomi Aberly, Chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board of Directors. “A dynamic public health leader and practicing physician, Dr. Wen is the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years.”
“Not only will she help Planned Parenthood continue to provide high-quality care to women, men, and young people across the country, she will be a powerful voice in our fight to ensure women have the ability to make their own health care decisions — no matter what,” Aberly continued.
Representative Elijah Cummings said Dr Wen cares deeply for her patients.
“Anyone who has worked with Dr. Wen knows that when it comes to protecting her patients, she doesn’t back down from a fight,” said Cummings. “In Baltimore, she has been a true partner in our shared mission to provide access to quality health care for all. She has expanded care, eliminated obstacles, and, most important of all, saved lives. Her brilliance and passion for her work shines through in everything she does.”
“There is no question that in selecting Dr. Wen as its president, Planned Parenthood is gaining a powerful and effective advocate, and millions across this country will benefit from her leadership,” Cummings added.
Dr. Wen’s first day at Planned Parenthood Federation of America will be 12 November.