Cassie, raised in small town Iowa, graduated in 2018 from Iowa Western with an Associate’s degree in Business Administration. For four years, she worked for Southwest Iowa Family Access Center (an organization contracted by DHS) where she collaborated with a team of child welfare workers, addiction therapists, mental health therapists to provide a continuum of care for children and families. Passionate about holistic social and healthcare services, Cassie joined NEFP in 2020 as our Operations Coordinator.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in sexual and reproductive healthcare?
It tied into my background and I really align with the mission here. I agree that sexual and reproductive healthcare is a vital human right. When people are looking for help, the last thing they should worry about is whether they can afford these crucial services. I grew up with a single father so having someone to talk to and educate me on reproductive healthcare — like the Agencies do — could have informed my sexual healthcare decision-making on things like birth control options in my adolescence. Since I’m not in the healthcare field, this is my way of being “behind the scenes” to support that level of care.
What do you think are key characteristics of successful relationships between NEFP and the Agencies?
Open lines of communication are certainly key. We are a liaison between the Agencies and the federal government so that communication helps build our relationships all around. We are also here to support and work out any problems together, troubleshoot together, especially during the pandemic. So we have to know the end game — to better support our communities — to understand we need each other to make sure we meet requirements to continue to provide these services.
What do you hope NEFP and the Agencies will learn throughout the Structured Onboarding and Virtual Program Review process?
I think it will help both the Agencies and NEFP understand the full scope of compliance and requirements to make sure clients keep receiving services. This is our way of showing the federal government and OPA that we grasp how trainings and compliance relate to quality care and Title X. It will help us build a structure together to strengthen both of our organizations. At NEFP, we want to learn how to better serve each Agency and understand their unique challenges and this is how we can do that.
How do you think Millennials will continue to shape our communities?
Millennials play an important role in our communities — we are a large generation that is really passionate about issues like education and environmental awareness. I think sometimes we aren’t the focus of the conversation like Gen Z or Boomers, but I think our size and ability to speak out really shapes how our communities operate and succeed.