For more than four decades Leslie Tarr Laurie has worked on some of the most controversial public health issues of our times. In 1973 she became the founding Executive Director of the Family Planning Council of western Massachusetts providing birth control services in a 3000 sq. mile region. She continues to led this locally grown organization that provides a very wide range of community based health and human services. With a staff of 120, 1 in 10 western Massachusetts' residents receive some service annually at Tapestry Health's mobile health RV or one of of the 12 sites in the cities and towns of the region.
Leslie recognized early the need to diversify Tapestry Health ( formerly the FPCWM) to be responsive to client and community health needs. Her vision was always infused with social justice; insisting that advocacy and service delivery be intertwined. Knowing how life changing these primal health services are, she has been a tireless and strong voice for resources and sane and science -based health policy on the state and national level. She serves as Co-Chair of the Mass Family Planning Association and is a former President of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. She cofounded HIV Project Able the statewide group that successfully increased state support and was also an appointee to the Governor's Commission of the Status of Women. She has served on Board of Directors of several organizations, including the Guttmacher Institute, Provider's Council, and Human Service Forum. Leslie's passion for reproductive health has extended abroad where she led a community health project in Ghana. She continued her involvement in international development as a trustee of World Education. She recently was selected to go to Brazil as a State Department Fellow.
Leslie earned her Master of Science from Columbia University in 1970 and her Bachelor of Arts from Chatham College in 1968. A native of New York she has resided in western Massachusetts with her husband, Professor Emeritus Bruce Laurie for more than 40 years. Their daughter, Becca Laurie, lives in New York.