Wyndi Anderson, Senior Director of Programs
Wyndi Anderson has been working to secure human rights and access to health care for the majority of her life and working career. Through years of work with National Advocates for Pregnant Women, she focused primarily on securing legal rights and access to appropriate health care for drug-addicted pregnant and parenting women, as well as ensuring access to a full range of reproductive and drug treatment health care services. She was also lucky enough to work as a consultant with the International Harm Reduction Development Program of the Open Society Institute where she traveled to Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia supporting efforts to improve health care for women drug users. In the US, she led efforts to establish state and local initiatives in her home base of the south that focused on substance use disorder treatment and abortion access. As Senior Director of Programs, Wyndi is responsible for providing leadership, strategic vision and support to the field team, as well as overseeing multiple projects. She also contributes to operational and programmatic strategy and development as a member of Provide’s management team.
Jenny O’Donnell, MSc, Deputy Director
Jenny serves as the Deputy Director for Provide. As Deputy Director, she stewards organizational development and oversees the Core Functions team and work in development, communications, operations, personnel and research/evaluation. As a member of Provide’s Management Team since 2010, Jenny works with colleagues to ensure strategic and effective programming in support of the organization’s mission.
Prior to the role Deputy Director, she managed Provide’s communication activities. Other past experience includes NSF-sponsored research/ writing with Professor Rosanna Hertz on her 2006 book capturing a qualitative study of single motherhood, work with the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School, and consultation with Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Board as well as internships at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ development department, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s government relations department, and Our Bodies Ourselves’ translation and adaptation program.
Jenny has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, a Master of Science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health, concurrent with her work at Provide. A Maternal and Child Health concentrator, her research interest is the intersection place and identity as it influences access to reproductive health, specifically abortion care. Jenny is Fellow in the 2012-2013 cohort of the National Council for Research on Women-Amex Fellowship, a program dedicated to developing women leaders in the nonprofit sector. As a coastal dweller (both right and left) for most of her life, she is delighted that her work with Provide has introduced her to the art-deco buildings of Oklahoma, the soybean fields of Iowa, and the small town bakeries of Kentucky.
Melanie Zurek, EdM, Executive Director
Melanie Zurek has spent a decade as the Executive Director of Provide. In her time there, she has worked to reduce the stigma of abortion and to increase the availability of women’s health services in low access states in the South and Midwest. While at Provide, she has led the organization to develop important opportunities and resources for health and social service professionals, so that they can play their role in helping women get the care they need.
Melanie is driven by the individual woman’s experience of being able to access care and be supported. Growing up in a gay family during a time, the early 80’s, before gay families were understood or recognized, before gay marriage or kids coming out in schools, she remembers acutely what it felt like to face discomfort from counselors, health care providers, and other who were supposed to be able to help. She saw firsthand the deep importance of there being safe spaces for socially uncomfortable topics, and dedicated herself to creating these.
An educator and writer by training, Melanie’s career began teaching autobiographical writing workshops in New York City battered and homeless women’s shelters and has included work with rape crisis centers, Native American tribes, and adjudicated minors. Prior to Provide, Melanie served as the Education Outreach and Training Manager for the Family Planning Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At the Department of Health, she managed the program’s sexual and reproductive health education initiatives as well as provided training, outreach and community education resources to contracted family planning provider agencies across the state.
Melanie has also served as the Coordinator of Professional Education at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. There she provided training in comprehensive sexuality education to parents, educators, and health professionals. She has consulted on numerous health communications, curriculum development and professional training projects with private and government agencies and served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund. She received her B.A. from the New School for Social Research in New York and her Masters in Education from Harvard University.