Past Kristen Ries Community Service Award winners have chosen Karrie Galloway as this year’s recipient.
Galloway is the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood of Utah, which provides over 32,000 STD tests and serves over 11,500 teens and families with medically accurate responsible sex education to ensure our community stays safe.
“In 1981, I joined Planned Parenthood as a full-time staff member and never left,” Galloway said. “I worked first as a community educator and then as president and CEO — a role I have filled for more than 30 years. But even before I made Planned Parenthood my life’s work, I was a patient.”
“That was in the 1970s, when I was a University of Wisconsin student. I received services thanks to a new federal program [Title X] created under the direction of President Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush, that provided low-cost reproductive health care to people without insurance or who couldn’t otherwise afford health care services on their own,” Galloway continued. “It meant I could get the affordable birth control I needed so I could finish my education.”
The basic preventive health-care services provided by Title X include wellness exams, life-saving cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control, contraception education, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV testing. PPAU was the sole grant recipient of Title X funds for 35 years before the Trump administration gutted the program and created a gag rule that prevents doctors receiving such funds from talking about abortion.
PPAU also has a variety of educational programs including educator training called Safe at School, which last year trained over 1,100 current and future educators about how to make classrooms safe for LGBTQ+ students. PPAU spends around double the amount of other Planned Parenthood affiliates on education since the state does not provide such services in the schools.
Of the nearly 47,000 patients PPAU sees annually, 20 percent are males seeking services because of the lack of state-provided STD testing and treatment services and the lack of other safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community to receive care.
“I am heartbroken that this administration is ruining the most successful public health program of the last century,” Galloway said. “In the meantime, Planned Parenthood will still be here. We will do all we can to keep providing affordable health care for the people who need us. We have saved our pennies from the many generous donors who have stepped up since Trump was elected — we will do all we can to not make patients suffer.”
Galloway will receive the award at the Fifth Annual Pride Spectacular, June 5, from 5.30 to 7 p.m. More information at utahpridecenter.org/pride-spectacular-2020-registration/