Our board of directors is a compassionate group of community members dedicated to empowering the clinic and staff to provide the best patient care possible. Over the last several years, three special individuals – David Ciscel, Sara Jane Goodman and Tiffany Futch – have helped drive progress of the organization. Throughout their tenure, they’ve witnessed CHOICES evolve to what it is today, and we could not be more grateful for their dedication.
However, all good things must come to an end, as their tenure as CHOICES board members concluded at the end of 2021. Find out what they’ve gathered from their time at CHOICES below.
What is an accomplishment you’re most proud of during your time as a CHOICES board member?
David Ciscel: Over the past nine years of serving on the board, CHOICES has changed and grown so much! It was fun being a small part of the team that helped make the organization into the comprehensive reproductive choice clinic it is today. There isn’t just one thing I’m proud of. From helping to organize CONDOMONIUM each year to planning and building the new clinic on Poplar Avenue, I’ve played a part in several incredible projects from my years on the board.
Sara Jane Goodman: Being a part of CHOICES’ board for 11 years has given me plenty of opportunities to be proud of the work the organization achieves. However, I think the day that we broke ground at the new center might be my favorite. We did something that no one else in the entire country had done at the time. As part of the building committee, I was involved in the initial conversations about expanding the abortion clinic to include birth services, helped formulate the messaging to raise money and coordinated the move. But putting that shovel in the ground that day, surrounded by supporters, was pretty amazing!
Tiffany Futch: I think it goes without saying that we are proud of the expansion into our birth center, which now allows us to serve a great deal more of the Mid-South community. In addition to the birth center, I’m proud of investments that we’ve been able to make in our staff – increases in a living wage, paid time off, career advancement opportunities and educational funding. Our staff gives their best each day, and our leadership team has been committed to finding ways to develop an environment of growth.
If there’s one thing you learned from your involvement with CHOICES, what would it be?
David: Since I am an economist, I worked most closely with the financial issues facing CHOICES. Over the years, I’ve teamed with organizational leaders to help improve its financial reporting, which provided more transparency for the clinic and allowed me to speak more easily with the public and foundations about the financial strength of the organization.
Sara Jane: I learned that everyone is different and their sexual presentation may be different from mine, but I have met so very many awesome people, from patients I touched as their abortion doula, to trans and genderqueer people, and to doctors and donors. I have learned to respect pronouns and that words really do matter. I have learned that just because something is legal, if access is not available, it disproportionately affects people of color and lower income communities. That the stigma around abortion is very real.
Tiffany: I’ve learned so much about the communities that we serve. I think it’s easy for people to have a stereotypical image of who comes into CHOICES. The reality is there is no one identity that fits our patients, and I believe our staff cares for them in a way that respects them and their choices as individuals.
What’s next for you?
David: I am now active on the board of Meadowcreek, a rural arts, crafts and sustainable agriculture project in Stone County Arkansas.
Sara Jane: What’s next? Well, I’m not really going anywhere! I plan to continue to volunteer at CHOICES as a doula. I would like to focus specifically on birth doulas and the impact the organization can make on reducing maternal and fetal mortality, while also providing abortion care for people who make that choice.
Tiffany: Thankfully, I’ll be able to stay involved with CHOICES in a number of different ways. I’m most excited about continuing my doula training and hope to be part of the birth of many healthy babies in our center.
See a full list of our active board members here and stay tuned to learn about the newest members of our board of directors!