In 2023, we saw huge milestones, waves of support, and impressive recognition for some of our new programs. We’re breaking down our affiliate’s Top 10 Moments of this year to celebrate these achievements. Let’s get into it!
1. Sold-Out Drag Queen Trivia Fundraiser
This year, we hosted our first-ever Drag Queen Trivia Fundraiser in partnership with Drag Queen Entertainment. The sold-out night with over 100+ attendees celebrated the LGBTQIA+ community, sexual and reproductive health, and the staff, supporters, and patients of PPNCSNJ. Thousands of dollars went directly to our Patient Access Fund (#4 on our Wrapped) to ensure patients of every gender, sexual orientation, and identity can access the care they need and deserve. Due to the overwhelming success of this fundraiser, we will be back again next fall with another chance to win trivia and support PPNCSNJ!
2. My Black Health is Beautiful Honored at the National Sex Ed Conference
At this year’s National Sex Ed Conference, the authors of My Black Health Is Beautiful, a new lesson plan series at the intersection of reproductive and Black maternal health, received the 2023 Sex Ed Impact Award. This award is given to an individual, organization, or media that has positively impacted the field of sexuality education. Congratulations to Dr. Dianne Browne, Dr. Pamela Brug, Crystal D. Charley, MBA, CD, and Jatesha “Jaye” Madden-Wilson, LPN, and thank you for your continued commitment to Black health!
3. Patient Access Fund Supports Patients in Need
We launched a new donor-supported initiative in 2023, the Patient Access Fund, which empowers our health center staff to provide direct financial support to patients in need. Through the Patient Access Fund, we aim to break down any barrier to care that our patients may face. Donations to the Patient Access Fund have already been used to help patients afford the cost of care, Uber rides to and from the health center, airfare, hotel stays, meals for the patient and their families, and more. We could not do this work without the support of our donors, and we are immensely grateful to them and their contributions.
4. Spill the T.E.A. Takes Over Social Media
Our peer education program, Spill the T.E.A., inspires teens to become leaders, learn about sexual health, and advocate for policy. During bi-weekly meetings with our Sexual Health Educator, they learn how to facilitate workshops and create interactive presentations, all while earning a monthly stipend. This fall, our peer educators took to our Instagram to celebrate Let’s Talk Month, an observation dedicated to encouraging young people and parents to communicate with one another about sexuality. This campaign was a huge hit with our audience, and we are so proud of our peer-ed team! Following Let’s Talk Month, we started Spill the T.E.A. Tuesdays on Instagram, uplifting peer educator voices and creativity on social media every week.
5. Meeting the Moment by Expanding Patient Access
To keep meeting the moment for our supporters and patients, we expanded our service offerings and hours of operation at some of our health centers. We also opened a new Franklin health center! The increase in out-of-state patients traveling to us for care prompted the expansion of our hours, services, and health center locations. We are dedicated to providing a full spectrum of care for our New Jersey-based and out-of-state patients and will continue ensuring that this remains a reality.
6. Teen Conference 2023
Attended by high school students across New Jersey, our annual Teen Conference offers attendees the opportunity to interact with peers and attend workshops and keynote presentations focused on empowerment, leadership, health, and access to resources. This year, our workshops included an unfiltered look at the realities of growing up in today’s world through the eyes of young people and an opportunity for teens to discover how to use their uniqueness academically and personally to their advantage. A crowd favorite at the conference was our TikTok Dance Battle, which was a celebration of joyful movement and teen creativity. At the end of the day, we witnessed a burst of energy and excitement as teens cheered each other on and danced their hearts out to trending TikTok dances!
7. Spring Benefit 2023
The Spring Benefit is our largest fundraiser of the year, raising critical funds to protect and expand access to care at PPNCSNJ's health centers nationwide. The state of reproductive health care across the country is alarming, which made this year's benefit essential and our speakers so relevant. Again, thank you so much to all our donors and supporters; you make this work possible!
8. Health Center Renovations
In 2023, our health centers got makeovers! We wanted to make our health centers where everyone feels comfortable, represented, and supported in caring for their sexual wellness. These renovations support that goal, and we’re thrilled with the finished products. Check them out if you get a chance!
9. Expanding Insurance Enrollment Services
This year, we expanded our outreach to Spanish-speaking and Latina/o/e/x communities by providing health insurance assistance and outreach materials in Spanish. We reached over 200,000 individuals through in-person outreach and digital marketing and engaged close to 9,000 individuals in health insurance education, assistance, and outreach. We also expanded the geographical scope of our services this year: enrollment services are now being offered to all PPNCSNJ health centers!
10. Opening Absecon Health Center
This year, we worked toward opening a new health center in Absecon, with a goal open date of early 2024. We’re thrilled to expand our access in Southern New Jersey and are so excited for our doors to open. As access to health care remains an issue across the country, Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey remains committed to expanding our services and ensuring our patients can find the care they need with us.
And that’s a wrap for 2023! We can’t wait to continue expanding on the impactful work we did this year in 2024.
Thank you for your support. We’re here for you, no matter what.