Medical clinic work started at care center

Published: 2/16/2017 11:00 AM
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By Sarah DeSantis

THE NEWS-ITEM sarah_d@newsitem.com

SHAMOKIN — Leaders at the Pregnancy Care Center have long had a vision of creating a comprehensive facility where pregnant women can have all their needs met at no cost.

That vision is becoming a reality.

Work is underway to convert a former electrical workers apprentice workshop at the rear of Pregnancy Care Center office, 150 S. Market St., into a medical clinic.

Executive Director Margie Conrad said once completed, the clinic will offer ultrasounds, STD testing and pregnancy testing at no cost.

“There is not a free clinic in this area,” said Conrad. “All our services are free.”

The facility is being paid for using donations from local churches, businesses and individuals. The

Knights of Columbus have committed to donating the $25,000 to $30,000 needed to purchase the ultrasound machine, Conrad said. An anonymous donor chipped in some medical office equipment, including an exam table.

“There’s still a need for many, many other things,” said Conrad.

Because of the nature of services being offered, the facility will be on par with a doctor’s office. Dr. Stephen Solomon, an obstetrics/gynecology specialist affiliated with Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, will oversee the clinic at no charge, Conrad said. Clinic manager Jayne Jones, a nurse, is undergoing specialty training to provide the ultrasounds.

“We’re crossing all our T’s. We’re doing everything required by the state,” said Conrad. “We want to do it right.”

The 800-square-foot building will house a waiting room, nurse’s office, ultrasound room, ADA-compliant bathroom and meeting room. Construction is expected to be completed the first week of March, and Conrad tentatively anticipates the clinic to be open in May.

The Pregnancy Care Center currently provides a slew of non-medical support services to pregnant and postpartum women and their partners. About 60 new clients in 2016 and 100 in 2015 received services including mentoring, parenting classes and sexual integrity programs. The center offers a popular “earn while you learn” program where participants receive coupons good toward items like clothing and diapers in exchange for attending classes.

With adding the medical services, “We’ll expect to see a boom of new clients,” said Conrad. “There’s such a need in the area with what we’re offering.”

Center Director Susan Roehs said if the clinic is a success the center will expand its variety of services.

“I’m hoping we’ll offer a well women’s clinic and possibly prenatal care,” she said.

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