Through a grant from AmeriCorps, the Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health in Berlin, MD was awarded 175 hospital grade hCG pregnancy tests – a staple at the Grace Center for providing free early and preventative prenatal healthcare to the Delmarva community.
The stock is arriving at a timely moment as the fruits of Covid-19 exhausted the Grace Center’s supply of pregnancy tests. Executive Director Jasmine Dennis shared that the volume of pregnancy exams conducted was twice that of the same period last year.
Nurse Manager Jackie Failla, RN, and Maternal Newborn Specialist Bobbi Hauck, RN are the heartbeat of the clinic as they conduct the pregnancy exams and prenatal check ups. Additionally, they teach one-on-one prenatal and parenting classes tailored to each woman’s pregnancy. They have a gift for building trust with clients that results in meeting below-the-surface needs of families. “The difference in us is that we’re personalized: we are a small, flexible program”, explains Bobbi Hauck. She emphasizes meeting the clients where they are at in life. “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.” Jackie 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. 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.” Bobbi 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 them on the web at https://gracematernalhealth.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/gracematernalhealth. Call the office at 443-513-4124 and speak with Receptionist Ms. Kay 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. To learn more about partnering with AmeriCorps visit https://www.salisbury.edu/administration/americorps/.