Life’s Choices of­fers free ul­tra­sound ser­vices to Kutz­town, Ham­burg clients

Ul­tra­sound ma­chine ded­i­cated and cel­e­brated at open house

The Hamburg Area Item - - Religion - By Kolleen Long Life’s Choices

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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