Dr. Tonya Jackman-Hampton, granddaughter of Cecil E. Newman, founder and publisher and the MSR, says of the newspaper’s legacy, “I am very proud of the work that we’ve done here in the Twin Cities.” It is this legacy that has led her to her current position as vice president for human resources and organizational effectiveness for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
“The desire to want to support the community stems from [my family] and gives me the opportunity to continue our family legacy,” Hampton says. “I have strong values around ensuring that I give back.”
She attributes that commitment to give back to her community not only to her grandparents, Cecil E. and Launa Q. Newman, but also to her parents. “[My mother, Lynda Jackman,] did a lot of taking care of people, and so that is embedded in my mindset. By watching her, I learned that.
“My father, [Jack Jackman], is the same. He is a very community-oriented person and loved people,” she continues. “His networking and his ability to engage in conversation with anybody and everybody led me to similarly see where I can look for ways that I can help other people.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of sexual and reproductive health care and education in the region, according to their press release announcing Hampton’s position. Hampton describes her new position as an opportunity to create a “personal relationship,” particularly as it relates to “women and their needs relative to ensuring that they have stable, happy lives. And I get to be a part of that by working here at Planned Parenthood.”
Hampton came to Planned Parenthood with over two decades of HR experience, including a stint as senior director for diversity, inclusion and engagement at Health Partners, a position she held just prior to coming to Planned Parenthood.
Her current role includes recruiting and retaining employees through creating an environment where employees feel valued. “So it’s telling the story about who we are as an organization, so that we are appearing attractive to candidates,” explains Hampton. “So what’s our recruitment strategy? What are the different [benefits] that we offer the employees who come and work for us, whether that’s…compensation or just environmentally? What type of culture do we have?”
Hampton says that each Planned Parenthood employee plays a part in ensuring that they are providing the best patient experience. In her role, she ensures that those employees fully understand the organization’s values and their own work expectations, so that they can perform their jobs free of challenges and barriers.
However, she takes a different approach to diversity and inclusion. “For me, diversity and inclusion is a set of initiatives that fall from the work of organization development,” she says. “So when an organization focuses on diversity and inclusion, the ideas that are impacting both the employees and the patient experience that we provide in our case [is important].
“And so I don’t see diversity and inclusion as a separate effort. I may not emphasize it, and that is, I think, incredibly important. It is important for us as an organization to have a diverse and inclusive work environment.”
“Within our organizational business plan,” she continues, “diversity and inclusion is there, and that’s essential… Our senior leadership — myself included — are extremely focused on diversity and inclusion. We are in the process right now where we are rolling out our strategic plan for the next three years. So we will carry forward what we’ve done in the past as well as identify key areas that we need to focus on in terms of diversity and inclusion going forward.”
How are those key areas identified? Hampton says by examining what their workforce looks like currently and what they aspire to have it look like. They also determine key issues by monitoring what employees are reporting about their work environment.
Planned Parenthood has clinics in South Dakota, and Hampton works to support staffing issues there. But their North Dakota initiatives consist of a team of education and outreach workers. “We need to make sure that they feel really good about working for Planned Parenthood as remote employees.”
Hampton’s educational background helps her to meet the needs of each employee. She has a doctoral degree in organizational development. However, had it not been for her parents and grandparents, she says, that degree might not have been possible.
“I would not have had the opportunity to go” to an undergraduate school without their help, she says. “From an education perspective, the latter part of my education was my own financial commitment, [but] that foundation” established by her family “really allowed me to have those next steps.”
Vickie Evans-Nash welcomes readers’ responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vickie Evans-Nash is a contributing writer and former editor in chief at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.