Board of Directors

 

Mary Lou Kelsey, President
I was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. I graduated from University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor Degree in Nursing in 1975 and worked as an RN in orthopedics, psychiatry and labor & delivery. I also worked at the University of Oregon Health Science Center and at Forest Grove Community Hospital in the obstetrics department. I completed graduate school in 1981 at the University of Utah with a Masters of Nursing with a thesis in “Physical Fitness and Pregnancy” and proudly attained my Certification as a Nurse Midwife. In 1981 I moved to Homer and began working as an RN, ANP with family physicians, Drs. Eneboe and Bell, to provide a full-scope midwifery service which is currently a thriving 4 CNM service at South Peninsula Hospital.

I have been interested in reproductive health since I was a young bewildered teen and sought information that could guide my health care choices. I have focused on women’s health in my professional work and have tried to encourage self-empowerment through access to education and clinical services for all clients. I would like to continue promoting access to reproductive health and youth outreach services in our community by serving on the KBFP board.

Irene Saxton-Opatz, Vice-President
I grew up in Homer, and started volunteering at KBFPC in high school. Right away, I felt that I had found a place that I really belonged, that I had found my “people”. I moved to Seattle, and then Portland, getting degrees in Women’s Studies and Research Psychology while involving myself in politics, sexual health education, sexuality and gender issues along the way. During that time, I learned a lot; through both being in the trenches of grassroots organizing for equality and watching my friends struggle with access. After 15 years in the city, it was time to come home. Although the city life has just about anything you could imagine, it was missing the community that I felt when I was in Homer.

I recently moved back to Homer, and since I have been gone, I have been able to see the amazing impact that KBFPC has had on our community. Keeping KBFPC a mainstay in this community is something that I am passionate about, for it is obvious to me that such a resource is both necessary and appreciated. Being someone that identifies within the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ awareness and resources are incredibly important to my family and me. I’ve seen firsthand how voices can be silenced by invisibility and because of that, lose access and resources. As I watch the news I see daily attacks on women’s rights, trans rights and youth sexual health education. I want to fight for these rights, for myself and my fellow community members. As a member of the KBFPC Board of Directors, I hope that I am able to help broaden the scope of our organization into the community as a whole, in terms of sexuality, gender, education, and expand access and knowledge for everyone.
If I am not yelling at my radio in frustration or helping to plan a fundraiser for KBFPC, I am usually hanging out with my daughter, reading books, walking on the beach or playing music.

Zelda Collett-Paule, Treasurer
I first moved to Anchorage in 1975. I have two grown sons, and four grandchildren. After the unplanned homebirth of my second son (FAST labor), I became involved in the homebirth community in Anchorage. I apprenticed under a direct-entry midwife and then started my own homebirth practice. As a direct-entry midwife, I realized that I would also like to provide well woman health care. So, I made the decision to go to school to become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM). I received my BSN from UAA in 1989, my CNM from Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in 1993, and my MSN from Case Western University in 1998.

Upon becoming a CNM, I opened a freestanding birth center in Anchorage. I provided OB and well woman care to a vast variety of women, young and old. We provided care on a sliding scale basis for cash payers, we also were covered by most insurance companies and Medicaid. The last six years I lived in Anchorage I worked at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

I moved to Homer in 2009. When I first moved here I filled in as a provider at the KBFPC. I have always believed in the importance of providing affordable health care for girls and women of all ages. Working at the KBFPC, I realized the need to provide affordable care to males also. I am excited about the continually growing services that the REC Room provides to the teens in Homer. I like to participate on the board to help the KBFPC continue to be a valuable resource in Homer for healthcare, education and outreach.

Melon Purcell, Secretary
I became interested in family planning right out of college.  As a volunteer with Planned Parenthood in a small rural New York college town, I finally got to ask, and later answer for others, all the questions that I could not ask at home.  It was so good to finally understand my body.

Many years later when I moved to Homer, I was introduced to KBFPC by my good friend.  I started on the Board back in 1987 and have served ever since because I believe in the mission of KBFPC.  It has been very rewarding to be a part of the evolution of the Clinic.  When otherwise engaged, I teach first grade at McNeil and encourage my airplane-building husband.  For fun, I ride my horse, garden and walk the dogs.

Bill Noomah, Member
After graduating from college in 1982 I spent most of the next four years working with homeless people in Portland, Oregon and Juneau, Alaska. Both of the agencies I worked for struggled to provide more than just food and temporary shelter. In Portland, our agency established a separate shelter for women with children and the city’s first medical clinic to serve only the homeless. Access to and knowledge of reproductive services were compounding factors in the situation for many homeless people.

For the last twenty-five years I have taught elementary school in Homer, and with my wife, raised our three children. I am strongly committed to the mission of Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic and hope to channel my teaching experience to support the education design and outreach of the clinic.

Shay Hoffman, Member
We have a couple of those potholders that kids weave on square looms using multi-colored bands.  My relationship with KBFPC seems like one of those circles of color weaving in and out over years, in a varied pattern.

I concentrated on alternative models of health care for low-income women in my undergraduate studies then wandered off into household goods and landscaping before coming back around to women’s health. Acting on the good advice of friends I came to visit Homer in 1996 and settled here in 1999.  I started with the Board of Directors shortly thereafter, and the next year began working at the Clinic as an assistant, taking a break with the birth of my son in 2001.  Sometimes on the Board, sometimes part-time, sometimes full-time, sometimes a combination of the above, I have found it impossible to leave KBFPC altogether for very long.

Working at the Clinic actually inspired me to go back to school and earn a nursing degree.  The quality of care, the education and grace of providers and staff, and the dedication of the Board and all the supporters are testaments to the nature of a place I believe to be unmatched in the field. Family Planning has always prioritized respectful, evidence-based care and offers progressive modalities in a secure and supportive environment. One of my favorite ways to celebrate the Clinic is to relate to others how so often a young person walks through the door feeling any combination of frightened, ashamed, or resistant, and walks out feeling reassured, confident and empowered. . I believe this community is very fortunate to have KBFPC, and I am glad to be a part of its continued presence and growth.

Anna Germundson, Member
I moved to Homer after graduating college with a degree in Political Science. I got a job at Mako’s Water Taxi, and from there I fell in love with the town and the people but especially the services that KBFPC provides. Moving here as a 26 year old with no health insurance, the clinic was a very helpful resource for me. KBFPC is also a one of a kind place for many others who don’t have insurance or who are recently sexually active or in need of education. As a member of the KBFPC Board of Directors, I hope that this organization continues to be as lively as it is and continues to grow to reach more people throughout Homer and the surrounding areas.

When I’m not working I enjoy reading political blogs, hiking, biking and cooking good food!

Zoe Story, Member
I grew up in Homer, Alaska as a very involved kid just like most Homer kids. I participated in Girl Scouts, theater camps, synchronized swimming and other sports. All of this lead to a love for my community and interest in working with other youth.

When I was 16 years old and sophomore in high school I received my first job, I landed a position at Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic as a Peer Health Educator with the R.E.C. Room. I gained so much experience from this position over the rest of my high school career. It really snapped me into the person I was becoming.

After I graduated and moved on from KBFPC I traveled to Cambodia where I taught English at an orphanage. My previous teaching experience with KBFPC helped me get a wonderful position with an orphanage that I could really help make a difference. They write pretty great English and we still keep in touch today! I continued to do more traveling after my Cambodian adventure.

I moved to Seattle, Washington to complete clinical and sports massage therapy training and am now a practicing therapist back in Homer . I absolutely love being able to help people in such a positive way. I recently traveled to India where I completed my 200 hr teacher training for Yoga and also teach here in town. I’ve fallen in love with alternative healing and body work but I am still VERY passionate about women’s reproductive rights and comprehensive evidence based education for everyone. SO it is a huge honor for me to sit on the board of KBFPC and still get to be involved in our community in this way.

Robbi Mixon, Member
Originally from Georgia, Robbi spent several years in San Francisco as an event organizer and operations manager before moving to Alaska in 2010 to work as an intern on a small farm. She eventually found herself taking on the role of Homer Farmers Market Manager and Coordinator for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Robbi is also the Local Foods Coordinator for Cook Inletkeeper, organizing efforts to create greater food security by connecting more people to healthy, local foods.  She holds a B.A. in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Georgia.

Amy Woodruff, Member
I grew up in Seattle and studied Public Policy at the University of Chicago. After graduation I moved to Homer to live with family and experience life in Alaska. I loved Homer from the first moment and knew I wanted to put down roots here. I worked at the Farmer’s Market and as a substitute teacher, and volunteered with Kachemak Emergency Services and the R.E.C. Room. I left in 2014 to serve in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, where I worked with a local library and community members in my village to expand educational and recreational opportunities for young people. Since I returned to Homer in 2016 I have worked at Haven House as an advocate, forensic interviewer, and a violence prevention specialist.

In Homer, Seattle, Chicago, and abroad, I have seen the difference that high-quality reproductive health care can make in the lives of people of all ages. I am proud to support KBFPC and the services they provide to the community. The R.E.C. Room and PHAT have a special place in my heart because I know healthy relationships require more than just amazing clinic staff– Teaching communication skills, knowledge, and the courage to advocate for yourself are all part of the package at KBFPC.

Joseph Lapp, Member
While my passion for sexual and reproductive healthcare did not originate at KBFPC, the privilege of working at the clinic for several years certainly solidified and enhanced that passion. Since leaving KBFPC I’ve done volunteer with with rape crisis and domestic violence response organizations in both Alaska and New Mexico, as well as serving on the board of Alaskans Together for Equality. I spent the past three years in New Mexico acquiring a bachelor’s degree in nursing in a program which I structured to focus on maternal-child and women’s healthcare. After graduation I worked as a postpartum nurse with a particular focus on working with new mothers struggling with addiction and their opiate exposed newborns. Now that I’ve moved back to Homer I can think of no better way to give back to KBFPC than by offering my energy and experience to support the work of the clinic by serving on its board.