An outreach and education manager in human services has been named director of Martha’s Vineyard Family Planning, the organization announced on Tuesday.
Brenda Grandizio most recently worked as a program instructor counseling young parents at Chester County Intermediate Unit, an educational agency which provides direct services to school districts outside of Philadelphia, Pa.
“I feel very fortunate to be given this opportunity and intend to work as hard as I can,” Ms. Grandizio told the Gazette on Tuesday. “I’m excited for the Vineyard and for Family Planning.”
Ms. Grandizio said she hoped to be a face for Family Planning in the community, increase legislative advocacy and grow relationships with other community groups. She praised the work that’s been done so far but said there was still work to be done.
“I want to make sure people who are underserved or not served at all understand there are Family Planning services on the Island — there’s a population we’re not reaching,” she said. “We want to continue to have people feel comfortable here in quality and affordable reproductive health care.”
Ms. Grandizi moved to the Vineyard last June after being a frequent visitor. She began work Tuesday.
Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Grandizio received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in educational leadership and supervision from Immaculata College, also in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Grandizio replaces Catherine Coogan, who stepped down as director in June after two years.
The Vineyard clinic is managed by Health Imperatives Inc., and president and chief executive officer Julia Kehoe echoed Ms. Grandizio’s goal to build relationships within the community.
“We’re really looking forward to her strengthening the already great programs of Family Planning, working collaboratively with other organizations on the Island that work with the same client base,” she said, including domestic violence prevention, human services and educational outreach in the high school.
The agency has faced steep budget cuts in recent years and unstable funding, both on a state and federal level. Ms. Kehoe said given the uncertainties, working collaboratively with other agencies is that much more important.
“It’s a constant challenge, which is why we’re so lucky to have such a strong base [on the Island],” she said. “We’re constantly looking at programs and figuring out how to better organize internally and provide adequate support.”
The clinic provides confidential reproductive health care to men and women, birth control, pap smears, free sexually transmitted disease testing and pregnancy tests, all offered on a sliding scale fee.