Ashley Hooper

Communications + Engagement Coordinator

Ashley has lived in Bend, OR since 2018, moving west from Raleigh, North Carolina. She found ReachAnother through a happy accident while researching volunteer opportunities with international nonprofits in Central Oregon. After connecting with ReachAnother’s Founder and Medical Director, Dr. Marinus Koning, she began supporting ReachAnother through grant research and communications work. She was thrilled to receive an official invitation to join the team in February 2020. Her main responsibilities include developing and executing strategic communication plans for high-priority projects that support ReachAnother’s work to increase medical capacity in Ethiopia and coordinating communication efforts through social media platforms, website development, media relations, and outreach events. She is passionate about ReachAnother’s partnership-focused approach through local collaboration, which has moved the needle on neural tube defects in Ethiopia—truly making a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families.

In addition to Ashley’s role at ReachAnother, she also serves as the Community Outreach Specialist for the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), where she builds trust and cultivates long-lasting relationships with community partners to ensure public support for critical transit improvements in Central Oregon. Prior to joining the staff at COIC, Ashley worked for a regional transit agency in Durham, NC, where she was responsible for community engagement on behalf of a $2.3 billion transit plan in one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. She is also a board member for Commute Options, a local nonprofit that promotes and encourages active transportation, and she serves as a program committee member for the City Club of Central Oregon, which creates community conversation about timely topics through monthly forums. In her spare time, she loves to hike with her partner and their boxer-mix pup, ski, camp, and float the river.

What are spina bifida and hydrocephalus?

Spina bifida and hydrocephalus are neural tube defects (NTDs), which are birth defects that affect a baby’s spine, spinal cord, or brain.

Normally, a fetus’ neural tube develops into their brain, spinal cord, and spinal column, but if a mother does not have sufficient folic acid in her diet during pregnancy the neural tube does not fully form or close completely.

Spina bifida, “open back,” occurs when the spine has failed to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. Surgery is needed to close the defect immediately after birth to prevent infection and preserve the existing function in the spinal nerves. Approximately 90% of babies born with spina bifida are also impacted by hydrocephalus, “water on the brain.”

Babies born with hydrocephalus suffer a fluid build up in their brain, which causes an enlarged head and, if untreated, will cause brain damage and death. Treatment of hydrocephalus consists of implanting a shunt to drain the excess fluid. When treated in a timely fashion, the overwhelming majority of these babies can go on to lead healthy lives.

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“It was incredible to be able to volunteer in the hospital as a medical student and watch as the life of a child with hydrocephalus was forever changed. But it also gave me the chance to realize that giving a life to one child also means helping that child's mother, father, family and loved ones. It provides the community with hope to know that someone cares and is willing to help.”

Lacey Menkin MD

Orlando, Florida Medical Student

We are committed to

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

John Moseley, PHD

Board Member

John received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has received multiple awards for his research there, at SRI, and at UO. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the AAAs, is listed in Who's Who in Frontier Science and Technology, in America, and in the World. He has participated at the National and International level in numerous scientific and educational committees and activities. At the local level, he has participated in a number of research, economic development, and arts related initiatives.

Dr. Moseley retired in 2006. He and his wife, Susan, live in Eugene, OR.
John has participated in visits to Ethiopia as a volunteer member of the ReachAnother Foundation team 2015 and 2017.

"My wife Susan and I first became interested in the work in Ethiopia through our friendship with Dick and Patricia. After attending a fund-raising dinner in Bend in 2012, my wife we hosted one in Eugene, and became increasingly involved, so when I was asked to join the Board in 2014 I was more than happy to do so. Participating with the team in Ethiopia in 2015 helped me to realize the effectiveness and potential of this effort, and I have appreciated the opportunity to help ever since."

We’re in it for the babies. For the families.
For Ethiopia. For the world.
We are dedicated to this work, our human family and to one another.
We are united to transform.
We are a catalyst for change.