Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky named Christie Gillespie as its new president and CEO Tuesday.
Gillespie has worked for 25 years in nonprofit leadership roles, most recently with the United Way.
Her predecessor, Betty Cockrum, will retire at the end of June, after leading Planned Parenthood for 16 years.
Indiana and Kentucky Planned Parenthood board chairwoman Kim Greene says Gillespie is the perfect person for the job.
“She brings and energy and a passion that is going to serve our mission and our patients very well,” Greene says.
Gillespie is a longtime Planned Parenthood volunteer and says she understands the political environment she’s stepping into.
“Reproductive health is a top conversation right now, there’s a lot of debate and I think there are real possibilities that we may regress,” says Gillespie.
Planned Parenthood would lose access to Medicaid funding under the federal Republican health care bill Congress is debating now. Gillespie worries misinformation gets caught up in that debate.
“I think often in the debate it’s lost that 93 percent of the health services that we provide are primary health care types of services and that at our core we are a health care provider,” says Gillespie.
Planned Parenthood served more than 50,000 patients in Indiana and Kentucky in 2016.