ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Paula Gianino, who has been the head of Planned Parenthood for the St. Louis region and southwest Missouri for the last 25 years, has announced she will retire in January of 2015.

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri’s Board of Directors announced Gianino retirement Wednesday.

“For nearly 25 years, Paula has been an extraordinary and visionary leader for Planned Parenthood both locally and nationally. She has given so much to the Reproductive Justice movement. Her resolve, stewardship and impact will be felt in perpetuity,” said Board Chair Shanti Parikh, PhD, in a statement.

Gianino became President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region in January of 1990.

Her tenure has seen the organization through mergers, acquisitions, legislative attacks and capital expansions – moves that have strengthened Planned Parenthood and helped solidify its reputation as a trusted source for health care and education.

In 2008, the organization was renamed Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri when it began operating health centers in Springfield and Joplin, Missouri.

“It has been a great privilege to work with such outstanding and dedicated Board of Directors, staff and volunteers. Every day, we come to work to care for individuals in our community, to provide quality and compassionate medical care, to educate the next generation so that they can make informed and responsible decisions and to fight to protect reproductive freedom for all. I have cherished every moment, and will leave with my heart full of gratitude and pride.” states Gianino, who gave a 13 month notice in order to provide the Board of Directors adequate time to find a strong and dedicated successor.

“As the Board of Directors begins the search for a new leader to guide this organization into the future, we are grateful to have Paula’s enthusiastic and invaluable expertise and support during the process” said Dr. Parikh.

Plans for retirement celebrations are in various stages of planning and will occur over the course of 2014.

To honor her outstanding legacy of service, the Board of Directors established the “Paula M. Gianino Endowment Fund.” Proceeds from this fund will ensure that Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri will have a sustained, dependable, and high-quality Nurse Practitioner and Physician work force in the face of rising demands for health care professionals.


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