Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple to the Virginia Board of Health, according to a press release from the governor’s office yesterday. Sen. Whipple, who represented the 31st District that includes the City of Falls Church from 1995 until her retirement in 2012, is currently employed as the Regional Director for Community and Member Outreach for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Sen. Whipple will fill the seat vacated by Eric Deaton, who resigned his seat on the board in order to take a position outside of Virginia.
In the state senate she chaired the Senate Rules Committee and, as Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, was the first woman ever to hold a leadership position in the Virginia General Assembly. In the Senate she served on several standing committees, including the Finance committee, as well as legislative commissions including the Virginia Housing Commission. While in the Senate, she was both a member and chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Committee on the Environment. As a member of the Arlington County Board (1983–1995), she worked on transportation issues and served on the WMATA Board of Directors.
Sen. Whipple’s appointment was hailed by the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia in a statement. “We look forward to working with Sen. Whipple as the board considers amending the medically unnecessary restrictions on women’s health centers to reflect evidence based medicine. Sen. Whipple served on many key Senate committees during her legislative career, including the Education and Health committee which hears legislation related to reproductive health care and rights. She was a champion for women’s health care and rights.”