Desert Star Institute for Family Planning is a Black Woman founded and led organization that is intentional with its partnerships and programming with an aim to lift up and partner with organizations led by people of color, organizations whose work centers the lived experiences of people of color, and organizations that show a commitment to having people of color as planners and decision-makers in their organization.
DESHAWN TAYLOR, MD, MSC, FACOGFounder and President/CEOinfo@desertstarfp.org480-448-6753
Dr. DeShawn Taylor (she/her) is a Board-Certified Gynecologist, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Family Planning Specialist deeply committed to preserving and advancing access to family planning for people who experience pregnancy regardless of circumstance or zip code. She provides clinical women’s health care, abortion services, and sexual health services for women and men and is the main trainer for the Next Generation of Abortion Providers Program.
Dr. Taylor was conferred the Doctor of Medicine degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After completing post graduate training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Martin Luther King Jr./Charles Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, she completed the Fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Southern California where she was also conferred a Master of Science Degree in Clinical and Biomedical Investigations. Dr. Taylor lends her expertise to various national, state, and local boards, committees, and programs.
Kierra OtisProgram Managerdoula@desertstarfp.org480-448-6753
Kierra Otis (they/she) is a full-spectrum doula, doctoral student, older sibling, and other-mother from the Mojave Desert, the ancestral homelands of the Paiute (Las Vegas, NV). They are the Co-Founder of the Rooted Doula Collective and spearheaded the collaboration with Desert Star Institute to form the Doula Access Program. Kierra has been calling herself a doula for the past three years, even though her whole life has been preparing her for care work and advocacy. Kierra completed their undergraduate degree in political science and women and gender studies at the University of Missouri and continues to participate in knowledge creation and community advocacy as a doctoral student in gender studies at Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation researching reproductive health disparities and liberation for Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and Migrant communities.
CHARLOTTE (EDIE) LOPEZProgram Assistantinfo@desertstarfp.org480-448-6753
Edie Lopez (she/her) is an Arizona native, mother, and activist passionate about abortion access. She started volunteering with Desert Star Institute for Family Planning in 2018 and we welcomed her to the staff in 2020. Edie holds a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies from Arizona State University.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board of directors provides the vision, mission and goals of the organization and supervises the activities of the organization.
Amber Lau, DO, MPH is Post Graduate Physician pursuing a career in Family Medicine at the University of California – Davis. She joined the board of directors as a 2nd year student at Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her MPH degree was conferred by Brown University.
Ceciley Villegas holds a Masters Degree in Literary Media with expertise in healthcare marketing and outreach.
Evan Masingill is a 15 year veteran of the pharmaceutical and medical industry who has driven business development of several companies. During his tenure, he has both built organizations from the ground up and executed on the objectives required to realize long-term vision. Evan was one of the first board members to proudly join Desert Star Family Planning Institute in 2017.
Dr. Johana Vallejo-Elias, PhD is a professor of human physiology at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and an advocate for education reform in reproductive health care and family planning.
Michelle Hamacher is a community organizer utilizing her background in operations and project management in the health insurance industry. She has long been an advocate for accessible, quality healthcare for all and a fierce proponent of preserving and expanding reproductive rights.
Michelle Reed is a consultant with expertise in financial analysis and healthcare technology, and a proud defender of feminist and reproductive health causes.
Shannon S. Hayes
Shannon S. Hayes, an Arizona native, is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and CEO/Founder of Hayes Resource Group, LLC and MoneyUP Financial Coaching Clinic, which provides individuals and organizations with money mindset management skills and resources.
Sharon Smith brings experience in outreach, fundraising and organizing to the Board. After 12 years as an award winning sales professional in the IT field, she left the corporate world to work in the community, organizing fundraisers for homeless veterans, animal shelters and children in foster care. When she learned of the constant attack on abortion access in Arizona, she began to focus on reproductive justice.