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/CEO
Dr. DeShawn Taylor 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.
CHARLOTTE (CHARLI) VARKProgram Assistant
Charli Vark is an activist in the Phoenix community who is passionate about gender equity and the right to bodily autonomy. She began as a volunteer with Desert Star Institute for Family Planning after collaborating with Dr. Taylor on the board of NARAL Prochoice Arizona to establish the Abortion Fund of Arizona. Since then, Charli has graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Political Science and Psychology, as well as a certificate in International Affairs. She has been accepted to American University George Washington School of Law to study international law.
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 is a 4th year student at Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine who earned a B.S. in Human Biology and B.A. in History from the University of California – San Diego and a M.P.H from Brown University. She will be will be pursuing a Family Medicine residency at the University of California – Davis.
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 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 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.