Friday, May 8, 2015

Reid Community Benefit helps pregnancy center expand access to care

A new partnership with Reid through Community Benefit is helping Hope Pregnancy Care Center in Connersville enhance its services to men and women facing an unplanned pregnancy.

The center offers confidential counseling and advice, free pregnancy testing, baby formula, diapers, strollers, car seats and referrals to community resources. In recent years, the center’s board of directors began to think about adding medical services, including free prenatal ultrasounds and free lab tests to detect sexually transmitted diseases. The big question: how to pay for them.

“A pregnancy center in Indianapolis donated an ultrasound machine, but we knew we would have to pay for some start-up expenses, as well as the ongoing cost of providing lab tests,” said Marla Steele, executive director. “We learned about Reid’s Community Benefit grant program and decided to apply.”

Reid approved the grant application, donating several thousand dollars to pay for computers, iPads, a printer and the cost of training staff members how to administer the lab tests. In addition, the hospital offered to donate all testing kits and cover the cost of processing the lab tests. A volunteer nurse at the center receives test results by computer and shares them with clients in person.

“The lab tests are so important, because sexually transmitted diseases can harm an unborn baby or cause problems during pregnancy,” Steele said. “If we detect a disease early in a pregnancy, we refer the client to a local physician, who can provide treatment quickly. Without Reid’s support, the center would likely have to charge for the lab tests—a cost that most clients would not be able to afford.”

Steele added that offering the free lab tests has led to an increase in first-time client visits. “Men and women come for the tests, and then learn about all the ways we can support them,” she said. “We are really thankful for Reid’s support. It has allowed us to increase our impact in the community and serve more women and men who need help during pregnancy and beyond.”

Community benefit is the basis of the tax-exempt status of not-for-profit hospitals. Reid, like all not-for-profit health care organizations, demonstrates commitment to community service through organized and sustainable community benefit programs by providing free and discounted care to those unable to afford it, care to low-income beneficiaries of Medicaid and other indigent care programs, and services designed to improve community health and increase access to care.

For more information about Reid’s Community Benefit program, visit:

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