Recently, the Her Agenda INSIDERS hosted Talitha Phillips, CEO of Claris Health, a Los Angeles-based community non-profit focused on equipping and caring for individuals and their families regarding their sexual health choices, including before, during, and after pregnancy. Claris Health has served neighborhoods across Los Angeles for over 43 years— providing pro bono and affordable medical care services, as well as peer-to-peer support.
Talitha was a patient of Claris Health while in college at Pepperdine University. She has led the organization for the past 18 years, beginning as the Director of Claris Health at the age of 23.
Talitha has achieved a lot of professional success, so we wanted to talk to her first-hand about her career, what it takes to grow a non-profit, and any personal tips she could share!
Talitha on how she began working for Claris Health:
“After my great and healing experience at Claris, I knew that I wanted to be there for other women in similar situations and thought I’d volunteer there and at other local nonprofits. When they approached me about the job, I thought, “no way!” I had massive Pepperdine loans and big goals for my career future. Running a small nonprofit at the time as the part-time director was not in my plans.”
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Here’s a statement that resonated with many of our INSIDERS:
“As a doula, I also see that it often doesn’t matter how much money we have, or where or how we deliver our babies, we all have many things in common – the fears, joys, hopes, and dreams for our kids. I’ve helped celebrity moms and teen moms, and they ask me the same questions: “Am I doing this right? Are my kids going to be okay?” I’ve asked those questions as a mom as well, and firmly believe that they’re okay and even helpful to ask! I love being there for women in these life-changing moments.”
Talitha on how she manages it all:
The truth is that I honestly don’t need a lot of sleep–never have! I also drink a lot of wine and have amazing babysitters. Seriously though, people ask me this all the time. I can sometimes see their eyes gloss over when they look at my schedule as if I’m some kind of superhuman freak. Just like everyone, I feel like I can’t manage it all. Most days I’m a hot mess on the inside.”
Talitha on how millennials can support women’s health issues:
“I think the biggest thing that I’d highlight is the importance of “getting outside of our bubble.” It’s easy to talk about issues, even very important issues, but it’s another thing to stare them in the face. I love the quote: “A million is just a statistic until you meet the one.” I feel like that describes our generation well.”
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