In this series, we spotlight Open Door Staff who are involved in our community. Next: Alyssa Hicks, Manager of Health Professional Training and Development

“I grew up in a small town in Arkansas called Gurdon—population of about 2,000 people. My family was low income; we didn’t really communicate about or take care of health needs. The closest thing we had to reproductive health care was 40 minutes away at the county health department. And let’s just say HIPPA didn’t exist there.”

“I was lucky to have an older sister who lived a couple hours away and taught me about reproductive health and services at Planned Parenthood. As I grew older, I knew that I wanted to help people—especially those in small communities—so that they feel comfortable talking about and taking care of their reproductive needs.”

“I started volunteering at the local Six Rivers Planned Parenthood in 2011. And then they hired me to work as a reproductive health specialist, a position I held until 2015 when I came to Open Door. ”

“Then in 2016 my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I feel like our health system completely failed her. She didn’t have the proper insurance to take care of her needs, and there was no local Planned Parenthood for her to lean on. This more than anything has made me want to stay involved with Planned Parenthood, where all genders can get the care they need and deserve—no matter their form of payment. It’s an important service in all communities. I continue to help out at their events here and serve on the local Board of Advocates. I think it’s more important now than ever to stand with Planned Parenthood.”