Moving Forward Newsletter Summer 2017

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Moving Forward Planned Parenthood of wisconsin newsletter



SUMMEr 2017


It’s all about

Love and Family Meet Tanya Atkinson, PPWI’s New President and CEO

others. I feel so fortunate to have come up in this organization. Every day I have the privilege of seeing an amazing amount of talent in my colleagues at PPWI.

Q: what do your family and friends from back home say about your role with PPwi? a: My family is incredible; they could not be more supportive! When I was visiting back home, I went to the bowling alley and saw some old friends and neighbors. I got so many "Thank-Yous" from them because of the important work we do at Planned Parenthood.

It’s all about

Q. after leaving home, you became involved in many of the issues related to PPwi – as a legislative aide in Madison, a social worker, and a lecturer and adjunct professor in Social work and Public Policy – but few people know that you were also a stand-up comic. How did that happen?

Love and Family Meet Tanya atkinson, PPwi’s new President and CEo Earlier this year with the retirement of Teri Huyck, PPWI announced Tanya Atkinson would step into the role of President and CEO of the organization. Since then, Tanya has been hitting the road, visiting with staff and supporters around the state. We were able to catch up with Tanya between road trips and get to know more about the woman who now leads the largest and most trusted nonprofit reproductive health care provider in Wisconsin.

Q: How did growing up on a dairy farm in rural wisconsin help to develop you as the leader you are today? a: Living on a farm was really a good time, but we always had to work hard. While growing up, I was part of a culture that valued community and hard work. There was so much encouragement and support for young people to pursue their interests – whatever they were – athletics, forensics, mechanics, the arts. It seemed like the whole community wanted their youth to excel. To me, that translated into mainly two things: taking care of your family and your neighbors; and elevating others. That is the part of leadership I cherish the most – to be able to be in a place where I can elevate the leadership and talent of 2 |

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a: When I was young, I thought I was going to be an actress! Our high school was too small to have a drama department, so I channeled that energy into forensics and storytelling. While I was at Carroll College (now Carroll University - I’m dating myself), I got involved with a comedy/improv troupe called The Vagabonds. A little later on, I did an open mic at the Safe House in Milwaukee. Someone who booked comedy clubs saw me and gave me my break working at his venues. Then others followed. I ended up traveling around the country performing for close to 10 years. On one occasion, I even got to perform with Louis CK — that really was a highlight!

Q: are there any parallels between being a comedian and a CEo? a: There are transferrable lessons. The power of listening, “Yes” and teamwork. In improv comedy, you are taught to listen intently, say “yes” and work with what your teammate is cooking up. That combination can result in comedic magic! An immediate “no” stops progress and damages the team flow. In stand-up, the audience can get really engaged and you take a different journey together — a lesson in the positive power of innovation and adapting to what’s in front of you, including the hecklers! Strong organizations have to do the same – work as a team, innovate, adapt and push through the tough times.

Q: You’ve been with the organization for 13 years — what’s your experience of PPWI? A: What makes me really proud about Planned Parenthood is the way we are present for people in an intensely compassionate way. I wish everyone could see the Planned Parenthood team up close and in action because — whether it’s our patients, our supporters or our staff — you find yourself surrounded by some of the most compassionate and empathetic people I know. Our team is really there for people, whether it’s providing essential and lifesaving health care in our centers or providing accurate and honest information or engaging with supporters. It’s not just what we do; it’s how we do it — with an intense amount of empathy and also with love. That may sound like an exaggeration, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find a word other than “love” to describe it. It’s all about love and family — and how much those matter to the people we serve.

Q. What’s your biggest concern for PPWI today? A: My biggest concern is the impact of the current public policy environment on our patients and communities. The majority of people in Wisconsin – and across the country – value the work we do; yet we’re tossed around like a political football. I am concerned because REAL people are impacted by this. A few years ago, Governor Walker eliminated our state funding for preventive health care, forcing us to close health centers — and that impacted REAL human beings. We will move forward with a long-term vision of getting the politics out of reproductive health, and instead become a common sense public health investment.

Q: Where do you see the organization in the future? A: We recently celebrated our 80th Anniversary. I see a Planned Parenthood that continues to be strong and visible for another 80 years. I see a Planned Parenthood that structures itself in a way that steels our ability to provide services, education and outreach for those who need us. There are many uncertainties in front of us right now, particularly the political threats at the state and federal level. Planned Parenthood will need to adapt to the current health care and public policy environment to enhance our position of strength. We are committed to being active partners in community efforts to end racism and attain justice for LGBTQ persons, environmental justice and religious freedom. Working at these intersections is what our patients, supporters, donors and staff need and expect.

In short, I see a Planned Parenthood that continues to innovate and grow, so we can be here for the people who need us.

Q: What are your next steps? A: I will continue meeting with and learning from experts in health care delivery. I’m also working closely with our local team and national leadership to develop plans for the various scenarios that are in front of us. I am also really excited to meet all our supporters and staff across the state. The conversations I’m having with everyone are incredibly insightful and motivational. The love and support people give to PPWI is at times overwhelming. I am so grateful to each and every one of our patients, supporters and our staff for all they do for Planned Parenthood.

About Tanya:

Tanya began her journey with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) in 2004, holding several key positions prior to being named President and CEO of the organization in 2017. Initially serving as a Community Organizer and Field Manager, she quickly rose to the position of V.P. of Public Affairs and Community Education (2009), followed by V.P. of External Affairs (2015) and Chief External Affairs Officer (2016). Through personal and professional experience, Tanya understands that Planned Parenthood’s impact extends beyond reproductive health care – standing at the intersection of health care, rights, and justice. Tanya’s tenacity during these challenging times is fueled by the belief that women of all races, sexual orientations, religions, and economic statuses must be empowered to decide when and if to have a family, and that they deserve a positive, healthy environment in which to live, work, and raise a family. Tanya lives in the Milwaukee area with her wife Laurie, a registered nurse working in Wisconsin’s Family Care program. Both are deeply committed to their work in the community. They enjoy live music, exploring the Midwest’s local cultures and hanging with their pup Finley, a Bergamasco Sheep Dog. They are members of Lake Park Lutheran Church.

Summer 2017



PPWI’s CCmaS Program Goes Global at Chilean Conference Local educators lead discussion about how to talk about sex and reproductive health

“Let’s talk about sex for now To the people at home, or in the crowd It keeps coming up anyhow Don’t decoy, avoid or make void the topic ‘Cause that ain’t gonna stop it” –Salt-N-Pepa, Let’s Talk About Sex

known throughout the Planned PPWI isParenthood family of affiliates as a leader in community and sex education. One of our awardwinning programs, CCmaS (Cuidándonos Creceremos más Sanos — or Growing Healthier Together) recently garnered international attention. PPWI Multicultural Programs Manager Maria Barker, along with psychologist and PPWI consultant Angeles Flores Garcia, presented the CCmaS curriculum and health promoter model to approximately 100 professionals at the 8th Annual Escuela Internacional de Educación Popular en Salud (EPES — or International School of Popular Health Education) in Santiago, Chile.

CCmaS Helps open the door to important Conversations CCmaS is a Spanish-language curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin with the help of Latino health promoters and the Latino community at large. This unique program helps break down some of the cultural and language barriers that prevent open discussions on sex and reproductive health. Starting these conversations within the Latino community can sometimes be difficult, as people are often reluctant to talk candidly about sex and reproduction. This, coupled with limited access to sex education in Spanish, can result in a higher risk of STDs and other issues affecting physical and emotional health.

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CCmaS partners families and other groups with specially trained Promotores (health promoters) at Home Health Parties to provide reproductive health information in Spanish, while facilitating open discussions in a way that respects Hispanic cultural traditions and values. This creates a safe space for participants to ask questions and receive medically accurate answers. In addition to being a resource for health education in the Latino community, Promotores also help connect people to other organizations and agencies for additional services, when needed.

The Journey to Chile At the encouragement of EPES Program alumi and former CCmaS Promotor Father Alvaro Nova, Maria began researching EPES’s continuing education programming. She was particularly interested in how the school is guided by a belief that communities can shape their destiny by training their own people to be leaders, teachers and resources for one another. She saw many similarities between this model and how the CCmaS program works — especially with regard to the role of Promotores. She connected with EPES, and the school found Maria’s description of CCmaS so intriguing they invited PPWI to participate at their conference as a guest

presenter. Conference attendees representing a number of health-related professions, including doctors, medical students, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists and sexuality educators, travelled from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and the USA. General health promoters represented nearly half this group. These health promoters, however, differ from CCmaS Promotores, as their services are primarily limited to mental health, as well as alcohol and other drug-related issues. After hearing about CCmaS, they were very interested in how they might also add sexual and reproductive health education to the services they provide. Maria and Angeles received a warm reception from the audience, who learned CCmaS had many shared methodologies based on principles of Popular Education and the Ecological Model, in addition to US National Standards of Sexual Education. They were particularly interested in how CCmaS creates an educational environment through its Home Health Parties. “My favorite part about visiting Chile was seeing how engaged people are politically. Professionals, students, health promoters, etc., are all working together to make sure different communities take care of one another,” Maria remarked. “And I would be lying if I forgot to

mention my other favorite part about Chile is the 90 degree weather in January, compared to the chilly Wisconsin winter!”

interest in CCmaS Continues Maria and Angeles made many connections while visiting Chile and interest in CCmaS has continued to develop since the conference. Recently, a group of more than 50 Chilean health promoters met via Skype with PPWI health promoters from Wisconsin. A student from Colombia is also very interested in replicating CCmaS in her country. Closer to home, another conference presenter, Professor Rogerio Pinto from Michigan State University, is working to partner with PPWI to bring health promoters to Michigan, while a nurse from Arlington, Texas, would like to begin CCmaS-styled programming in Texas and Oklahoma. Maria was also recently invited to speak about CCmaS in Mexico. CCmaS is just one example of how your generous support has allowed PPWI’s educational programs to touch many sectors of the community. That outreach has now expanded across international borders, positioning PPWI as an innovator in the field of sexual and reproductive health education.

Print Project Chicago to Benefit PPWI Print Project Chicago is a collaborative artistic project that was established to raise funds for organizations that serve those in our society in need of basic services, while upholding equality regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. PPWI was chosen as the first recipient to benefit from this project! “Project 1” includes five signed and limited edition Risograph prints presented as a suite of works by artists Judy Ledgerwood, Deb Sokolow, Kelly Kaczynski and Amy Falkowski. These prints will only be available for a short time, as only 100 of these collections were produced. All proceeds from the sales will benefit PPWI. To learn more about Print Project Chicago, or to purchase a suite of prints, please visit

Judy Ledgerwood, Artist

Summer 2017



Allies in Faith-Based Spaces panelists: (L to R) Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, President of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice and Chair of the Wisconsin Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Janaan Najeeb, President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition; Reverend Gabriel Marcano, Pastor of Emaus Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis.; Whitney Bond, a current PhD student at Chicago Theological Seminary; and Reverend Andrew Warner, Pastor of Plymouth Church UCC

Safe Healthy Strong Conference 2017 Moving the health conversation forward


ach year, PPWI’s Embody program coordinates the award-winning Safe Heathy Strong Conference on human sexuality and reproductive health education, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. Professionals from health care, education, mental health, social work and other related fields gather, learn, network and earn Continuing Education Hours in the fields of health education and social work. In his keynote address, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevin Baker spoke about creating just and inclusive environments. He reminded attendees that their mission is to keep their communities safe, healthy and strong; while helping create a society that doesn’t judge sexuality or gender identity. He also spoke about many of the serious health issues currently facing Milwaukee, among them soaring STD rates and a rising pregnancy rate in 9- to 12-year-olds. Because these issues disproportionately impact people of color, he called out the health impact of

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Milwaukee’s racial divide. “When you hear the news about Milwaukee, it seems we have a tale of two cities — a city that’s growing and doing great things, but also a city of great health disparity.” He made it clear PPWI is an important partner in providing quality health care to the underserved, affirming “We need Planned Parenthood in this state!” Allies in Faith-Based Spaces was a panel discussion that brought together leaders from Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith communities to discuss the intersection of religious values and sexuality. A storytelling event, Bedtime Stories, featured remarkable speakers sharing personal experiences of sexual health, sexuality and education. During Bedtime Stories, PPWI recognized several individuals and organizations with awards. The Fantastic Supporting Organization Award was presented to Diverse and Resilient, an organization that works to achieve health equity and improve the safety and

well-being of LGBTQ people and communities in Wisconsin. Dominique Alvarado received the Outstanding Youth Educator Award and Sarah Noble was recognized as the Reproductive Health Advocate of the Year. The 2017 SHS Conference offered 25 different workshop sessions in four educational tracks: Health Care Providers; Communication and Social Media; Justice and Inclusion; and — new this year — a Spanish Language track as well as workshops led by PPWI’s Youth Health Educators offering teen perspectives on sex education and communication. An intensive pre-conference session on risks, benefits and social implications of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) was also offered. Your generous investment allows PPWI to continue developing these exceptional programs and ongoing educational leadership opportunities. Thank you!

Angeles Flores presents a workshop in Spanish on teaching others how to use contraceptives effectively.

Supporter Profile: Kathie Zieve Norman K athie Zieve Norman has been involved with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in one way or another since 1998. Whether donating money, volun-

teering her time or leading the PPWI board, Kathie’s passion and activism for women’s rights and family planning services shines through. We recently sat down with Kathie to find out why PPWI holds such a special place in her heart.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. A: I grew up in Milwaukee but haven’t lived there since 1982, when I graduated from Nicolet High School. After college and grad school in Evanston and Ann Arbor, respectively, I lived and

practiced law in Detroit for a while, then moved to Sheboygan to take part in our family business, which manufactures commercial HVAC equipment. My husband and I brought up two children in Sheboygan, now in their mid-20s, and we love traveling, skiing and spending summers on Elkhart Lake.

Q: How did you first get involved with PPWI? A: My mother, Charlotte Zieve, was very involved with PPWI in the 1980s, serving on the board of directors. When I moved back to Wisconsin, she called up then-President Judy Mann and said, “I’ve got a future board member for you.” The

connections were made and I joined the board, serving on many of the committees and ultimately serving as board chair.

Q: Why is PPWI so important to you?

A: PPWI is so important to me because girls, women and families rely on those services for their reproductive health needs, especially those who are uninsured or under-insured. Without PPWI, Wisconsin girls and women would have a difficult time exercising their legal right to terminate a pregnancy in a safe, non-judgmental space. In a more selfish sense, I receive spiritual and emotional sustenance from my involvement with PPWI – being around people who share my values of social justice and true equality for women and men.

Q: What do you wish other people knew about PPWI? A: I constantly struggle to make people understand PPWI should be embraced by BOTH those who defend the right to terminate a pregnancy and those who do not. For those in the latter camp, PPWI is probably the single best way to ensure there are fewer abortions, since they provide contraception to tens of thousands of patients a year, thereby preventing unplanned pregnancies. I join PPWI in proudly defending and protecting access to abortion services, but wish more people would understand the bulk of PPWI’s work is family planning and other vital women’s health services.

Thank you Kathie!! Supporters like you allow PPWI to continue serving Wisconsin’s women and families! Summer 2017



Polly’s Circle


olly’s Circle is a philanthropic group of women leaders who contribute $1,000 or more annually to the mission and services of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, who give openly and who are committed to ensuring women for generations to come are empowered to shape their own lives and futures and are guaranteed access to Planned Parenthood’s services.

You’re in Good Company Polly’s Circle members are professionals, scholars, activists and philanthropists, all committed to publicly supporting Planned Parenthood. Through your membership in Polly’s Circle, you will enjoy exclusive benefits and events throughout the year, including educational events with PPWI’s award-winning Embody staff, and membership celebrations featuring local leaders, including PPWI’s new President and CEO (and Polly’s Circle member), Tanya Atkinson.

To become a member or simply to learn more, contact Courtney Meyer at or 414-289-3729

The time is now to stand up and be visible!


ear y s i h t w Ne

Save the Date for the 2017 Be Visible Events!

Wednesday, September 27th Appleton dinner, Pullman’s Restaurant Thursday, October 12th Madison dinner, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center Friday, October 27th Milwaukee luncheon, Italian Community Center

Stay tuned for additional details!

Jewelry sales … Charity golf tournaments … Cookie sales … Fundraisers at bars and restaurants … Bike races and fun runs … Art auctions … Knitting and selling pink hats … These are just some of the dozens of fundraisers donors and volunteers have organized on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin over the past few months. The creative ways you and other supporters have stood with PPWI has truly been astounding. Your time, dedication and compassion are so important and so appreciated! On behalf of everyone at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, thank you so much. Gifts to PPWI ensure more than 60,000 women, men and teens around the state have access to the health care and education services they need.

THANK YOU! © 2017 Planned Parenthood® of Wisconsin, Inc. 302 North Jackson Street

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Milwaukee, WI 53202

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