I am reaching out with pride and gratitude to share some important news. After nearly 17 years with the Reproductive Health Access Project, I will be stepping down as executive director in October. Co-founding, developing, and leading RHAP has truly been one of the joys of my life. The work of securing the fundamental rights to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom is an honor, no matter how difficult or frustrating at times. RHAP’s core belief that reproductive health care is basic, essential health care that should be widely available is as important to me now as it ever was.
These are critical times for reproductive health, rights, and justice. RHAP’s mission has never been more relevant, and RHAP is well positioned to continue its important work into the future. We have an amazing team, an engaged board with strong, compassionate leadership, respected programs, solid values, and a strong vision guiding the organization. I have been working very intentionally with RHAP’s board for some time to plan for my transition. Emily Kane-Lee, RHAP’s board president, will keep you posted on RHAP’s plans moving forward.
I’m excited by what lies ahead both for RHAP and for myself. I thank you for all you’ve done to support RHAP’s accomplishments and hope we can continue to count on you as we enter an incredibly important period for our work.
Lisa Maldonado, MA, MPH
A message from RHAP’s Board President
The Reproductive Health Access Project has announced that our beloved co-founder and executive director of 17 years, Lisa Maldonado, will be leaving RHAP in October. Lisa has been RHAP’s executive director from the organization’s founding in 2005 and was involved even as early as 1997, when she was part of a group of advocates in New York City working to integrate abortion care into primary care settings. These advocates laid the groundwork to found the organization.
Under Lisa’s leadership, marked by her strong organizational skills, energy, and collaborative spirit, RHAP grew into a national organization that has influenced clinical education, expanded the availability of medication abortion and early pregnancy loss care in primary care, and developed innovative approaches to training clinicians in practice.
It is hard to put into words just how much of a difference Lisa has made in the reproductive health field through co-founding and leading this organization that trains, supports, and mobilizes primary care clinicians to ensure equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care.
Lisa’s many accomplishments include:
- The development of a national reproductive health care and advocacy fellowship program that has trained 51 family physicians who now teach, provide, and advocate for sexual and reproductive health care,
- The creation of a national network of nearly 6,000 primary care clinicians who serve as advocates for reproductive health care, including abortion care, in their communities in every state across the country, and
- The development of a library of clinical tools and resources that set a clinical standard and are used globally in exam rooms, classrooms, and textbooks, and by clinicians, educators, and patients all around the world.
RHAP holds a unique place in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement working at the intersection of primary care and reproductive health care and filling critical gaps in clinical education and care delivery. Lisa and her co-founders’ vision brought to life an organization that, even when faced with our country’s current and future challenges to abortion access, will continue to find ways to ensure equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care.
While we are sad to say good-bye to our founding executive director, the closing of this chapter marks a milestone in the evolution of RHAP’s development as an organization. This is a challenging time for reproductive health care in this country, but thanks to Lisa’s foundational leadership, an amazing staff, the loyal and strong support of foundations and hundreds of RHAP donors, a devoted board, and untold clinician supporters, RHAP is well positioned to continue its important work into the future.
RHAP has begun a national search for a new leader. If you have any questions please contact Board President Emily Kane-Lee (email@example.com), and join RHAP in thanking Lisa for her role in building an organization that has made enormous contributions to reproductive health.