Life’s Choices offers free ultrasound services to Kutztown, Hamburg clients
Ultrasound machine dedicated and celebrated at open house
Free ultrasounds are now offered to clients of Life’s Choices of Kutztown and Hamburg.
The nonprofit organization has been in existence for over three decades offering pregnancy, family and relationship support and ultrasounds are the newest op- tion for clients.
Staff, friends and board members gathered for an open house and dedication of ultrasound services on Dec. 7. In addition to viewing the ultrasound machine ( affectionately dubbed “Betty Lou” by staff members), visitors to the open house admired a redecorated office including soft grey walls, comfortable furniture in the lobby and seasonal decorations throughout the building. Christmas cookies were also offered.
Tamela Seitz, nurse manager and sonographer, thanked the 30 people gathered for the open house. She said she appreciated the opportunity to offer the scans and walk alongside women in an important crossroads of life.
“I think this is a marvelous time,” she said to the open house group, “to celebrate what we’re doing here. To celebrate life. And I invite you all to cel- ebrate with us.”
Seitz is a registered nurse with a background in labor and delivery and is trained in limited obstetrical ultrasound. Appointments are required for the scans and are typically offered in the Kutztown office, 443 West Main Street, on Thursday afternoons.
“A limited obstetric ultrasound appointment,” Seitz explained, “can inform an expectant mom of the approximate gestational age of her pregnancy, [ confirm that] the baby’s heart is beating and if her pregnancy is in her uterus. A lim- ited obstetrical ultrasound does not reveal the gender of the baby.”
The center had considered adding ultrasound for several years, noted Executive Director Joy Stutzman. It was in late 2016, however, when Stutzman and her staff began seriously considering the endeavor, which involved upgrading to a medical facility, adding staff and, of course, obtaining an ultrasound machine. After a year or more of work, scans began in the office in early November 2017.
“We want to be there for our community, to be a place of hope,” Stutzman said at the open house.
Following comments by Stutzman and Seitz, board member Austin Crow led a group prayer of dedication and Danny Williams, pastor of Trinity Bible Fellowship of Blandon, closed the time of prayer.
All ultrasounds are offered at no charge to clients of Life’s Choices. The center is also accepting “models” for ultrasound scans ( women who have a diagnosed pregnancy and are already under a doctor’s care). To set up an appointment, women can contact the Kutztown office at 610.683.8000 by phone or text. They may also send an email to LifesChoices@ hometownu. com.
Life’s Choices offers a full range of free, confidential services to clients. In addition to ultrasound, both branches offer pregnancy tests; STI testing, treatment and referrals; mentoring and individual education for prenatal development, parenting, budgeting and healthy relationships; and community education on Sexual Risk Avoidance. Further information is available at LifesChoicesSupport. org.
Staff and board of Life’s Choices, from left, Dr. Jamie Long, Steph Derstine, Laurie Williams, Alexis Dawkins, Tamela Seitz, Joy Stutzman, Kolleen Long and Heidi Young. Life’s Choices has offices in Kutztown and Hamburg.