Monday, August 07, 2006

First Choice Clinic, Fargo North Dakota


Thank you for coming back this week to learn more about these centers. This particular center in North Dakota is eager to reach out to women ages 18-24. They provide an amazing amount of services, and have been gracious to share some testimonies of their clients.

True Choices How did your center get started?

FCC: It was started in 1984 by a group of Pro-life individuals who saw a need for a pro-life presence in Fargo

True Choices: What services do you provide or focus within your community?

FCC: FirstChoice Clinic, a nonprofit Christian clinic, provides education and healthcare services to empower individuals to make informed, life-affirming choices. All of our services are free and provided by professional, medical personnel. We provide pregnancy testing and counseling, all of which are done by registered nurses. Limited ultrasound exams are also provided free of charge by volunteer sonographers, registered nurses or our volunteer radiologist. We also provide prenatal and postnatal client education through a program called Earn While You Learn (EWYL). Expectant mothers and fathers attend classes at our facility, receive education on health issues, parenting skills and child safety. By attending these classes they earn points which they can spend in the Clinic Boutique on diapers, baby items or personal care items. Natural family planning is also taught at the clinic. The Creighton Model and Marquette Model, both medically based methods are taught by accredited Registered Nurse instructors.

True Choices: Sometimes the other side asks, "Are these centers helping solve the problem of unplanned pregnancies?" I think your center has an answer?

FCC: Yes, the clinic also has a prevention department called Make a Sound Choice (MSC) which teaches sexual integrity and abstinence until marriage programs to area youth. This program is designed to empower youth to live with sexual integrity for their entire life. In our culture we have seen some breakdown where the body is viewed as an instrument, and sex is viewed as recreational…that attitude speaks a lie about how we are designed as male and female. Sex has a noble virtue to it― for life and love. When our bodies are respected, and we speak the truth with our bodies, we find true freedom, happiness and authentic sexuality.

There is need within our community for our programs particularly because of the high concentration of young adults (those at greatest risk for abortion are those between the ages of 18-24 years of age) The Fargo/Moorhead area has a large concentration of young adults due to three major college campuses and several other educational facilities. The Clinic is blessed to network with Collegians for Life chapters on the three campuses. The students help in getting our brochures and information out to the campuses.

True Choices: With all these services, how many people come to you for help?

FCC: In 2005 our nurses logged over 1500 client visits. In addition to that, hundreds of phone calls and internet questions were fielded by our medical staff. We have an “Ask a Nurse” feature on our website that is very popular. The Clinic’s Make a Sound Choice program presented to over 15,000 area youth in the last academic year – it is a dynamic program and is well received.

True Choices: Amazing, what do you find to be your biggest need?

FCC: Our biggest need – prayer support for our clients who are struggling with a challenging circumstance and also that the ministry continues to follow God’s plan for serving in this region. In the last year – our board of directors and staff prayerfully considered a strategic plan to better serve the region. Our hope is to bring the services of FirstChoice Clinic to the rural areas of North Dakota. North Dakota has one abortion center in the state – located in Fargo, ND (where FirstChoice Clinic is located). We know that women drive in from the rural areas to the abortion center. They are no pregnancy help medical clinics in central or western North Daktoa. Our vision is to have two satellite centers opened by the year 2008 to allow us to better reach women in the rural communities – we feel we have a responsibility to be an agent of change in these communities and provide the most vulnerable expectant mom with state of the art ultrasound equipment, well trained staff and support and education they need to ensure the health and well being of their baby. We need to provide hope for women before the despair of an abortion decision is made – that can only be done by going out to those who are most at risk. To make this happen please pray that God brings the right people to facilitate this and the funding need to provide professional services.

True Choices: What is your biggest challenge?

FCC: Probably our biggest challenge is reaching our target audience, i.e., women at risk for abortion. It takes a tremendous amount of marketing and outreach to simply make people aware of our services. Our competition, the abortion centers, have a tremendous amount of marketing funds available for market research and advertising. We work with a limited budget – we need to wisely use our marketing dollars. Our biggest source of clients is word of mouth – from previous clients who had a positive experience at FirstChoice Clinic. This is wonderful, but we need to keep up with the new marketing areas that young people tap into, like internet advertising, web searches, and television and radio advertisements. It’s challenging to keep up with the changing trends and also to have the funding for a strategic marketing plan to reach our audience of at risk women ages 18-24.

True Choices: Do you have a recent success story that you would like to share?

FCC: We hear stories each day of how the clinic’s professional staff mentors, encourages and provides hope. The following are a couple recent testimonies clients have shared with our supporters:

“It was a night I will never forget…I walked down the hall into the bathroom where the home-pregnancy test sat waiting to be read. When I saw the bright pink strip, indicating a positive result, I thought my heart was going to stop. Surely, it must be a mistake. I was standing face-to-face with the cold, harsh reality of the consequences of my actions, and I didn’t have a clue what to do....

At the time, I had no idea what all was entailed in such a procedure…I wondered how I would pay for the abortion…and the more I thought about it, the question came to mind, who am I to deny someone else the right to live? God truly blessed me with a great resource in the FirstChoice Clinic. They nurtured me into motherhood. Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. God’s purpose took into account human error, and even sin. While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children. Romans 12:3 says the only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us.” - JTW – chose to be the best parent possible

“I am growing stronger in the Lord every day. I have experienced true freedom and joy and walk in grace. My son lives with his adoptive parents...I know I would have been supported if I had chosen to raise him myself, but if not for the support from the clinic I may have died in my grief. It was the hardest decision I have made, and the best one for me and my son. FirstChoice Clinic saved my life. Because of their support, I gave my life back to the Lord, and now have a heart for needy women who are in the place I once was. I support the clinic with prayers and small financial gifts. I believe if they had such an impact on my life, they can impact and change many lives”. GPN – chose the extraordinary choice of adoption

What is your contact and donation information?

FirstChoice Clinic
1351 Page Drive, Suite 205
Fargo, ND 58103
(888) 237-6530
Web page: www.firstchoiceclinic.com
General Information: admin@firstchoiceclinic.com
Executive Director:
Pauline@firstchoiceclinic.com

True Choices: One last question, what is your dream or wish for your center?

To expand the outreach of FirstChoice Clinic to communities throughout North Dakota and western Minnesota, all of them being satellite medical clinics with professional staff. This would allow us to better realize our goal of empowering all area women to make healthy choices while preserving the sanctity of life.


N.B The Wash for Life is anxious for youth groups to help out this center, if you know of any churches or schools in North Dakota, encourage them to sign up to do a car wash for them!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Some Technical Difficulties

I apologize to those who were hoping to still be able to view last week's post. I accidentally deleted it, but if you have any questions or would like to have a copy of the information please email us at Truechoices@washforlife.org

Care Net Of Albuquerque- East Mountain Center

This week we are moving a little bit east, and featuring a center in New Mexico, Care Net of Albuquerque. Again, any suggestions on how we can improve, or centers to highlight please email TrueChoices@washforlife.org

True Choices: How did your center get started?

CareNetEM:
Care Net Pregnancy Center of Albuquerque was started in 1983 by a group of concerned Christians, under the name Albuquerque Pregnancy Center. In 2000 the center became affiliated with Care Net and changed its name. In 2002 plans were undertaken to start a satellite center in the East Mountain area of Central New Mexico. In August 2003 the East Mountain satellite office was opened. Since then three other satellite offices have opened in the Central New Mexico area.

True Choices:
Which services do you provide or focus on in the East Mountain area?

CareNetEM:
We offer pregnancy tests, limited ultrasound, peer counseling, Earn While You Learn parenting classes, a clothing closet, individual and marriage mentoring, post abortion counseling, two annual abstinence-support events, and a client wedding program, all free of charge.

True Choices:
Wow! How many people do you see a month, a year, etc.?

CareNetEM:
The East Mountain Center, where I am Director, saw 87 new clients last year, with 348 total client visits for 2005. We average 24 client visits per month.

True Choices:
What is your biggest need?

CareNetEM:
Besides prayer and volunteers, our biggest need is consistent financial support for the ministry.

True Choices:
In your day to day work, what is your biggest challenge?

CareNetEM:
Spiritual warfare, discouragement

True Choices:
Do you have a recent success story that you would like to share?

CareNetEM:
Seeing a young woman recommit her life to Christ and decide to keep her baby. She had an ultrasound and signed up for our Earn While You Learn program; now she wants to learn more about her relationship with God and as much as she can about being a good mother.

True Choices:
If our readers would like to contact you, what is your contact and donation information?

CareNetEM:


Lisa Constantineau

Care Net Pregnancy Center East Mountain Satellite,
150 State Road 344, Edgewood, NM 87015;
email: carenetem@yahoo.com;
phone: 505-281-5408

True Choices:
If you could have anything you want, what would you want for your center?

CareNetEM:
We are about to realize our goal of having an up-to-date ultrasound machine (to replace the 16-year-old machine we have had since January). I would like to see us offer STD testing and prenatal care as well. I would also like to see all the churches in our area actively involved in supporting our center with prayer, volunteers, financial support and discipleship of people who accept Christ or rededicate their lives to Christ through our center.

True Choices:
Thank you so much for sharing your story, God Bless you in the years to come!