Pregnancy center opens in downtown Elkton
ELKTON — Heritage Pregnancy and Family Health Center opened in the downtown earlier this month with the goal of providing educational and practical assistance to pregnant mothers, fathers and families.
The nonprofit, faith-based center opened on Nov. 6 at 103 E. Main St., which had previously housed Khan Pediatrics. The goal of Heritage, which is run completely by volunteers, is to provide both educational and practical assistance not only to pregnant mothers but to fathers and families in general, said Lisa Tallman, executive director of the center.
“We decided we wanted to broaden the scope of the services the community has available,” she said. “We serve pregnant women but it’s also family health, which includes the family as a whole.”
While the center’s goal is primarily educational, because of Elkton’s current moratorium on medical practices, the town had been looking into whether Heritage would be allowed to open. Since Heritage signed its lease in August, before the moratorium was imposed on Sept. 28, the town allowed the center to open, said Charles Bromwell, Elkton’s director of building and zoning.
“It’s a gray area with the medical practice, but because the lease was signed in August, we’ve allowed them to open,” Bromwell said.
The center opened as scheduled on Nov. 6 and currently offers almost 300 educational classes, covering topics such as pregnancy, fetal growth and development, child growth and development, discipline, relationships and practical fatherhood. Those who take the classes can then earn points that can be redeemed for a variety of baby-related items, including diapers, formula, blankets, new and used clothing for newborns to 5T and other baby equipment, excluding car seats. While anyone can take the free educational classes, those who wish to receive the donated items must take the classes and also need either a referral from another community organization or a birth certificate or other similar document proving they have a child.
The classes consist of both videos, which are part of the Earn While You Learn curriculum, and some discussion time, Tallman said.
Heritage also provides free, self-administered pregnancy tests as well as information on the adoption process and on abortion. The center also hopes to eventually partner with other local organizations to provide resources for those struggling with postpartum depression and those who are breast-feeding. Starting in January, Heritage also hopes to start offering some educational play groups, Tallman said.
And while some of the services Heritage offers are similar to other local organizations, Tallman said there’s always a need for more services and pointed out that Heritage hopes to broaden the scope of resources available by including men and families as a whole. In the end, the center’s goal is to inspire growth and change in those who take its classes or walk through its doors, she said.
“That’s our mission, to create a desire in people that they want to grow and change and then turn around and invest in the community themselves,” Tallman said.
The center is grateful for the support it has received from individuals, churches and businesses in the community so far, said Linda Arches, president of the center, though more vol- unteers and donations — both monetary and otherwise — are always needed. Heritage will hold its first classes this week and plans to add more offerings as its volunteer base solidifies — currently the center has about 14 volunteers, she said.
While the center gets its staffing set, Heritage will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, with the goal of eventually being open until 6 p.m. However, until then, Heritage will schedule classes at 5 p.m. by appointment only.
To register for a class, make a donation or find out more about the center, call 667-215-0143, visit the center’s website, www.heritagepfhc.com, or stop into the center on Main Street.
A painting of the Heritage logo, which was done by Sevannah Arches, adorns a playroom at the center on Main Street in Elkton.
Heritage Pregnancy & Family Health Center opened at 103 E. Main St. in Elkton on Nov. 6.
The lobby at Heritage Pregnancy and Family Health Center is ready for clients.