BERLIN — Through a grant from AmeriCorps, the Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health in Berlin was awarded 175 hospital grade hCG pregnancy tests.
The stock is arriving at a timely moment as the pandemic exhausted the Grace Center’s supply of pregnancy tests. Executive Director Jasmine Dennis shared the volume of pregnancy exams conducted earlier this year was twice the rate as the same period last year.
Nurse Manager Jackie Failla and Maternal Newborn Specialist Bobbi Hauck conduct the pregnancy exams and prenatal check-ups. Additionally, they teach one-on-one prenatal and parenting classes tailored to each woman’s pregnancy.
“The difference in us is that we’re personalized — we are a small, flexible program,” said Hauck. “We are not just looking at the pregnancy. We are also looking at the psychological, social and addiction issues in order to treat them as a whole person to assure that there will be a healthy (pregnancy) and healthy parenting skills.”
Failla emphasizes the pivotal importance of the pregnancy exam.
“The test can be the difference for people who are in active addiction getting into treatment and getting (additional) prenatal care,” she said. “That’s why we are so important: because we realize that there’s a certain population that’s not accessing care, and through us we can make sure that they’re accessing care by getting them onto state insurance and all the state benefits that they can have.”
Hauck shares that after the trust is built, clients tend to be more honest about such issues. Rather than have a judgmental mindset, the nurses are solutions-based and see this honesty and disclosure as an opportunity to address needs that can be met that lead to healthier families. The pregnancy exam is what brings people in the door.
To learn more about the breadth of free services provided by the Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health, visit gracematernalhealth.org, search the center on Facebook or call the office at 443-513-4124 to schedule an appointment.
The grant was submitted by Jennifer Jasmin McClure, the Grace Center’s 2020/2021 member of ShoreCorps, AmeriCorps at Salisbury University.