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Dallas Barnes: Personalized and Collaborative Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare

Dallas Barnes: Personalized and Collaborative Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Dallas Barnes, the founder and CEO of Reya Health. Let’s learn what’s happening at Reya Health and how Dallas is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Dallas, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Reya Health?

Dallas: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Birth control is often misprescribed. This leads to a grueling trial and error process where 75% of people describe their experience with birth control negatively. It’s also extremely time consuming, taking an average of two years for someone to find a method that they like. Not to mention, this trial and error is harmful to a person’s wellbeing. Reya provides personalized and collaborative reproductive and sexual health care and support for people with ovaries globally.

Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?

Dallas: I spent years trying different birth control options in order to find the right fit for me. All the while experiencing unwanted side effects and a lack of support. Due to one birth control method, I developed ovarian cysts, chronic UTIs, and perpetual bacterial infections. The side effects were so debilitating that I was hospitalized twice. Once I started talking about my experience, I quickly learned that I was not alone, and that contraceptives affect nearly half of the world's population.

Spiffy: How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?

Dallas: When people use a birth control method that they feel confident with, they are more likely to continue to use that option properly. As a result, they are more likely to attend and finish post secondary education, enter the workplace in professional fields, and go on to lead healthier lives and families. Reya makes navigating contraceptives easy, effective, and empowering. Our process focuses on the uniqueness of individuals. We prioritize equal access, personalization, and affordability.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Dallas: We are in the final testing phase before launching our fully automated mobile application. We will launch in September 2023 available to the public on app stores, and launch through universities and colleges. This will help us work towards addressing the 19.2 million female post-secondary students in North and Latin America in need of proper contraceptive support.

Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from it?

Dallas: In 2022, I set out to raise investment to help us expand our impact. The market turned, and we didn’t secure the money we needed. I felt defeated and unmotivated to continue. I decided to push forward and focus on sales. Now the company is better than it has ever been! We have the right team, the money we need, and we’re growing in a way that aligns with our values. I learned to remember the “why” of what I’m doing. I try to connect with our community regularly to stay grounded in our purpose.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Dallas—it’s been an honor!

Dallas Barnes is a reproductive rights and sexual health activist. She is a board advisor for Femtech Canada. Dallas coaches and mentors impact-focused entrepreneurs and has a degree in business from University of British Columbia. As the founder of Reya Health, she gets to merge her passion for growing companies and expanding impact globally. (Nominated by Kayla DiPilato at StartOut. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 26, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.