Katharine Mieszkowski’s 3rd Bay Citizen installment investigating the demise of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (read about previous 2 here and here)  hit the big time August 28 when the New York Times picked it up (click to enlarge)…

Many helpful nuggets of info in the piece, excerpted below. Just wish the NYT had published PPGG’s infamous “Superhero for Choice” cartoon, as the Bay Citizen duplicate article did (although even the mention is a hoot):

A financial and administrative meltdown in recent years has led to the end of one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the United States.

Patients visiting PP’s 8 clinics in San Francisco and 4 other Bay Area counties often encountered wait times exceeding 2-1/2 hours. Shortages of critical supplies, including intrauterine devices, meant some patients were turned away.

Doctors, nurses, midwives and physician’s assistants complained to the national organization about low morale and a hostile work environment at PP Golden Gate, the local affiliate that owned and operated the clinics….

[T]ax filings show that the nonprofit lost $2.8 million during the 2008-9 tax year, at the same time its chief executive’s total compensation exceeded $340,000. The organization has not broken even since the 2005-6 tax year, records show….

Interviews with current and former staff members and executives of PPGG, as well as documents obtained by The Bay Citizen, show a health organization that was unraveling under the strain of financial distress, even as it portrayed itself as a robust institution that attracted high-profile supporters….

“It’s my opinion that the disaffiliation was unnecessary,” Dian Harrison, the longtime chief executive of PPGG, wrote in an e-mail interview.

Ms. Harrison has not led the organization since January 2010, when she went on leave for reasons that she declined to specify….

One report distributed by the organization included an animated cartoon starring Ms. Harrison, who transforms into a “Superhero for Choice” armed with a condom-shooting popgun that scatters anti-abortion protesters. [No, not “scattering,” blowing up.]

Harrison won the admiration of wealthy donors and board members, who praised her as an innovative leader whose vision for social justice extended far beyond the Bay Area, even leading her to forge a partnership in Ethiopia to try to improve reproductive health care there.

Yet many staff members saw Harrison and her team as out of touch with their daily realities, creating a dysfunctional corporate culture. Some former employees still hold occasional get-togethers dubbed the “PPGG PTSD Support Group.”…

According to a 2007 internal report by the national organization, its finances were the worst among the top 10 largest affiliates in the country….

“There were days when patients would come to see if they were pregnant and we couldn’t tell them because we had no pregnancy tests in stock,” said a doctor who no longer works for the affiliate….

This year, PPGG tried unsuccessfully to interest other Bay Area affiliates in buying some of its clinic buildings or merging….

In the wake of PPGG’s crisis, some of its health services have already been reduced. In June 2010, its Redwood City clinic closed, and abortion services at some other clinics have been significantly cut back….

“There has never been any evidence that PPGG’s conduct jeopardizes patient care,” Ms. Wilson wrote in an e-mail….

[HT: LiveAction.org on Twitter]

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