The Teen Health Mississippi team is a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to promote the vision of Teen Health MS.
Hope L. Crenshaw, Ph. D
Hope directly interacts with all stakeholders, donors, partner organizations, and other policymakers interested in supporting the work of Teen Health Mississippi. She works with the Board of Directors to ensure Teen Health Mississippi is functioning according to its mission and goals and operating within its budget and funding restrictions. Hope is also responsible for overseeing all Teen Health Mississippi programming and growth and supporting the Teen Health Mississippi staff. Hope is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.
Josh provides issue education and advocacy for local- and state-level policies related to teen sexual and reproductive health. He provides district advocacy for the CHART abstinence-plus policy in addition to providing teacher trainings on the CHART sex education curricula, grades K-5 human growth and development education curricula, and other professional development opportunities. He also works with local communities to improve teens’ access to general health services. Josh is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.
Director of Communications
Amber Helsel is the Director of Communications for Teen Health Mississippi. In her role, she is the keeper of branding and voice for the organization. She handles social media, communications strategy, marketing, and public relations. She also serves as a thought partner to program coordinators and other staff members. She is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.
Director of Healthcare and Community Engagement
Whitney works to help improve access to and quality of youth-friendly healthcare services for teens across the state of Mississippi. Whitney engages with healthcare providers, clinical systems, and school-based health centers to provide training and technical assistance. Teen Health Mississippi’s Choose Your Method and LinkedUp, along with Texas A&M University’s Comprehensive Healthcare for Adolescents Initiative (CHAI) are the primary programs that Whitney works with. She is based in the Clarksdale, Mississippi office.
Director of Youth Engagement and Advocacy
Alexis engages and partners with youth across Mississippi to inform and support Teen Health Mississippi’s sexual and reproductive health and rights work. She recruits, trains, and mobilizes Mississippi teens, helping them to become activists and leaders in their communities and on their school campuses through their work in the following youth projects: Mind Elevation, Mississippi Youth Council, and Mississippi Youth Voice. She is also responsible for coordinating the Mobilizing Youth Summit, an annual convening of youth across the state that equips them with the skills, knowledge, and resources to build sustainable, community-level advocacy campaigns. Alexis is based in the Jackson, MS office.
Director of Education & Training
Patrina Williams, BA, is the Director of Education and Training at Teen Health Mississippi. She has spent 15 years working in the consumer-centric healthcare marketplace. Patrina specializes in youth-friendly healthcare and ensuring health centers offer the range of contraceptive health options to youth, that youth have youth-friendly spaces within clinical settings, and that clinical systems develop proper protocols to ensure minors’ rights and confidentiality. Her efforts supported sustained relationships between federally qualified health center staff and community members across three counties in north Mississippi. She is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.
Pregnancy Assistance Fund Coordinator
Anupria works in collaboration with the Mississippi State Department of Health’s Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) to ensure that organizations who serve expectant and parenting teens have the knowledge, skills, and ability to promote positive youth development. She develops a comprehensive resource guide for expectant and parenting teens, and youth-serving professionals in Mississippi. Anupria creates and provides local and state organizations, agencies, and individuals capacity building trainings to support healthy outcomes for the youth they serve. She also monitors and evaluates all aspects of the resource guide and training materials for continuous quality improvement. Anupria is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.
ME. Project Coordinator
As the ME. Project Coordinator, Asia works to connect black rural Mississippi youth to vetted sexual, reproductive, and mental health resources and services designed to increase youth skills, knowledge, and awareness of support services through social media and youth’s community connections. She works closely with the Executive Director, youth ambassadors throughout the state, and content creators to ensure that the Mind Elevation Project is youth-directed, that content is informed by youth, and that key partnerships are being formed throughout the state. Asia is based in the Jackson, MS office.
Board of Directors
Jacqueline Smith, Board Chair
Marni von Wilpert, Board Member
Kathryn Carroll, Board Member
Sanford Johnson, Board Member
Holly Smith, Board Member
Triuna Taylor, Board Member
Jamie Sproles, Board Member