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May 30, 2024

Shelby McMichael

[email protected]


SACRAMENTO, CA – Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is proud to announce that it will be the Peter Harbage Fellowship host organization for 2024-25, the fellowship’s seventh year. Named in honor of Peter Harbage, the one-year fellowship provides fellows with a year-long experience to deepen learning and capabilities in leadership and health care policy within California.

The fellows, Nia Jones, an MPH in Health Systems and Policy from John Hopkins University and Victoria Mesquita, an MPH in Health Policy and Management from UC Berkeley, will be mentored by PPAC CEO and President, Jodi Hicks. Currently, Jones is a Senior Field Representative for Congresswoman Matsui with a reputation for fostering dynamic relationships between community partners, constituents, and the office. She exhibits a strong commitment to using health policy to address health disparities. Mesquita’s lived experiences have made her acutely aware of how essential policy is in protecting health access. She brings project management experience from positions at the Office of Healthcare Affordability and Stanford’s School of Medicine in addition to a deep dedication to maternal and child health issues.

Due to the quality of this year’s applicants and the critical importance of protecting access to reproductive health, the Harbage Fellowship and PPAC will be welcoming not just one, but two fellow thanks to some additional support this year from Aurera Health Group. “At Aurrera Health Group, our mission is to advance access to affordable, comprehensive, equitable, high-quality health coverage and care. We couldn’t be more thrilled to support the work of PPAC in protecting the right of all Californians to access the reproductive health care they need,” said Aurrera Health Group President, Hilary Haycock.

“We had an extremely impressive and committed applicant pool,”  Ingrid Aguirre Happoldt, Executive Director of the fellowship, said. “We know the chance to work with change maker Jodi Hicks and the PPAC team was a huge draw. Victoria and Nia stood out for their compelling personal connections to health equity issues, their passion for women’s health, and their shared desire to develop the policy skills needed to achieve meaningful change. They are both an amazing choice for PPAC and the fellowship."

The Peter Harbage Fellowship was established after Harbage’s untimely death in 2015. Harbage dedicated his life to making high quality health care accessible. According to the fellowship’s website, “Peter’s belief in what health care could become was responsible for his success in developing national health care policy and advising policy makers at all levels of government. His intelligence, compassion and positive attitude gave him the strength to face challenges with courage, humor, and resilience.”

“PPAC is thrilled to host Nia and Victoria for their Peter Harbage fellowship year,” said PPAC CEO and President, Jodi Hicks. “This year, our work to protect our rights in California and beyond has never been more urgent and important. Nia and Victoria bring to PPAC their policy knowledge, lived experiences, and deep commitment to health equity and will help advance state policies that expand equitable access to reproductive and sexual health care for any person who seeks it in California.”


The fellows will being work at PPAC in September and the fellowship will last a year.


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