This post is part of a series where we pose five questions on issues related to maternal and infant care for vulnerable populations to health professionals, community advocates, mothers and other important voices. Kelly Garrity joined as JB-LF Executive Director in March 2020.
1. How did you end up in the nonprofit sector and fundraising?
Accidentally! After a brief stint with Tech Start Up and Law Firms, a recruiter sent me a nonprofit position. I got the job and spent the next decade plus working with a nonprofit that focused on systemic health policy issues at the federal level. This ranged from the familiar Affordable Care Act to wonky topics such as value assessment.
I led the team responsible for recruiting nonprofit/business members and administering their associated benefits. In addition, I did fundraising for all of our advocacy and program work, a role that grew organically from the need to expand.
2. Why JBLF?
The intersection of professional growth and personal passions. I knew how important our work was to a vulnernable population from my experience as an infertility patient/advocate, with high-risk pregnancies covered by insurance, and stillbirth. In addition, the position provided me an opportunity to build on my professional experience at the Federal level to benefit my local community.
3. What has surprised you the most in your first year?
The community! After spending so much time focused on federal issues and the larger picture, it was an adjustment transitioning to a more local organization. I have been blown away by the wonderful volunteers, donors, partners, and moms/babies that I’ve gotten to work with this year. The strength of the network that JBLF has developed over just 6 years is amzing.
4. What are you most excited about for 2021?
Holding our 7th annual 5K (and hopefully family fun day) and the research we plan to conduct with the low-income moms we serve. With this research we aim to make long term change by understanding the current process for accessing their care, why barriers may exist to timely initiation of prenatal care, and determining what other obstacles are present during pregnancy for this vulnerable population.
5. What are people surprised to find out about you?
There are a few things that come to mind.
– I am an Air Force child who only moved once.
– I am an ice skater who now coaches the sport.
– I have run a marathon.
– I have 4 tattoos.
– I consider my ADD as a superpower.