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Joan Wightkin – Making Waves in Louisiana

What brought you to the organization and your current work?

I have been in this position (Interpregnancy Care coordinator in the Birth Outcomes Initiative, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals) for almost 2 years. I had the fortunate opportunity to work with New Orleans area community health and social service agencies, to help build a system for high risk women based on the successful interconception intervention at Grady Memorial Hospital.

What are you most excited about or what is your favorite aspect of your project on reproductive life planning?

I’m most excited about working with a talented and uniquely qualified advisory board to guide our project on reproductive life planning. The board consists of experts in social marketing, health education, literacy, African American fatherhood issues, social services, film, website development, and women’s health. Consumers guided the development of our 2 commercials that are now being aired.

What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenges are the barriers to women seeking and/or accessing family planning services. Over half of the births in Louisiana are unintended and only 13% of women enrolled in Louisiana’s Family Planning Waiver the first year after delivering a baby, actually access these contraceptive services.

Can you share any books, articles, websites that help with your work?

Our NEW website GreatPlan.Net includes websites that offer good information about STI, Family Planning, Primary Care and other resources available in local communities across the US. We also included the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals’ Method Match tool that helps women choose a birth control method that fits their lifestyle and personal preference.

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