Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands: The 2020 Leaders in Health Care Gold Award Winner for Achievement in Community Outreach

The Silver Award goes to Providence Home and Community Care

This article appears in print in the March 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Leaders in Healthcare Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

Gold Award
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Seattle

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNH) has a big mission advancing reproductive health care rights and education across western Washington, Alaska, Hawaii and Idaho. The organization, with revenue in 2018 of $58 million, serves more than 101,000 patients annually through 27 health centers in four states. But Planned Parenthoood has faced some major funding hurdles in recent years.

“They [the Trump administration] are interested in getting a fair amount of government money directly to church-related groups and other people who proselytize about abstinence and that kind of thing, so the emphasis really changed from one [presidential] administration to the other,” says Chris Charbonneau, chief executive officer of PPGNH. That trend led to Planned Parenthood nationally seeing some $65 million in federal funding evaporate after gag rules on abortion referrals were implemented for federal Title X family-planning funds — forcing Planned Parenthood to withdraw from the program earlier this year. PPGNH ultimately lost $3.4 million due to the decision. Washington state stepped up and replaced a portion of the lost federal money for its residents or the hit would have exceeded $6 million, Charbonneau says.

The Trump administration also sought to cut millions of dollars in grant funding awarded to PPGNH for teen-pregnancy prevention and research, but PPGNH fought that in the courts and won — though the $19 million, four-year grant program will end this summer. “We successfully completed those research projects, however,” Charbonneau says, “and we now know that our teen council [program] is very effective, not only in preventing unintended pregnancy of the [more than 3,200] kids who are in it, but because those kids reach out to other kids.”

Despite the setbacks, PPGNH continues to persevere and even expand its reach, including through a new alliance with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. “It’s super important to be active in Indiana and Kentucky because they are so threatened without our alliance,” Charbonneau says. “They were spiraling downward, and Indiana and Kentucky run 17 health centers together.”

Silver Award
Providence Home and Community Care, Seattle

Robert Hellrigel’s legacy is one of helping poor and vulnerable clients get access to quality health care. Hellrigel is senior vice president and chief executive officer of Providence Home and Community Care, which serves 38,000 people of all ages in their homes or in facility-based settings. Under Hellrigel’s leadership, Providence has expanded “dual-coverage” care for Medicare and Medicaid patients, opened more beds for rehabilitation services and, most recently, has strived to address the homeless crisis in King County, adding six buildings with 305 units since 2002. Its hospice ministries have collaborated with community centers and shelters to provide mailing addresses and a place for hospice caregivers to treat homeless individuals.

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