Demonstrating versatility in several career paths, Dr. Deborah Ann Turner is a retired gynecologic oncologist and a former health care and government executive. Most recently serving as the associate medical director of Planned Parenthood of North Central States from 2016 until her retirement in 2022, she also was the 20th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States between 2020 and 2022. Having been elected as board president at the 54th National Convention of the League of Women Voters, she further served as chairperson of the board of trustees of the League of Women Voters Education Fund.
Previously, Dr. Turner served as a gynecologic oncologist for 35 years, having lent her time to several facilities over the course of her career. Among many others, she worked at the Genesis Medical Center, the Mercy Cancer Center and the Mercy Medical Center, as well as served in enhanced university medical programs at such institutions as the University of Nebraska, the University of Iowa and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Furthermore, Dr. Turner was the president of the Des Moines Metropolitan League from 2011 to 2015, having first joined the league in 2010. During this time, she was recognized for aiding in the revitalization of the league’s membership numbers and improving the board’s leadership. Likewise, she formerly served as state vice president and co president of the League of Women Voters’ Iowa Board and was appointed to the league’s national board of directors in 2016.
Prior to embarking on her career, Dr. Turner received a Bachelor of Science in zoology, chemistry and psychology from Iowa State University. She went on to earn a Doctor of Medicine and completed a residency in obstetrics-gynecology at the University of Iowa and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Institute. Becoming board certified in obstetrics-gynecology shortly thereafter, Dr. Turner continued her education many years later at Drake University, from which she received a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2007.
Highlighted for her prowess in health care, government and leadership, Dr. Turner most recently earned the Louise Noun Visionary Women of the Year Award from the Young Women’s Resource Center Des Moines in 2018 and the Gertrude Rush Award from the National Bar Association in 2015. Inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013, she also earned a certificate from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care. Moreover, Dr. Turner has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Marquis Millennium Magazine.