Free prenatal services for qualified moms-to-be
Helping hand: Prenatal Assistance Program manager Kathryn Copak (far right) is shown wih a group of area residents who donated a large number of items to the program in memory of on one of the donor's late daughter, who was a former client. | Supplied photo
Since 2002, the Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point Prenatal Assistance Program has provided free services for expectant area women who have limited family income.
The program is housed at St. Clare Health Clinic, 1121 S. Indiana Ave., which also offers free primary health-care services to residents of six area counties.
Prenatal services include:
Referral and assistance with accessing community and hospital resources.
Nutritional and pregnancy-related education.
Regular and supportive contacts during pregnancy.
Mother and infant care teaching after delivery.
A clothing closet for expectant mother and baby needs.
Former client Liliana Coronado, of Crown Point, found the program invaluable.
“To me, family is everything. So when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was thrilled, and called my sister-in-law in Wyoming to tell her the good news and ask her advice. I wanted to make sure the pregnancy would go as smoothly as possible,” she said.
“More than anything, the most important thing for me was to have a healthy baby. She suggested that there might be a local outreach program to help expectant mothers and looked it up online while we were talking. Sure enough, she found the Prenatal Assistance Program from St. Anthony, right here in Crown Point.”
Coronado said she appreciated the program’s free routine tests, nutrition education, assistance with finding health-care resources and other services.
“It was great. What I liked most about the program were the visits to my home by a registered nurse. She came over every month and spent a lot of time answering my questions and easing my concerns. It was really nice to have someone to talk to — someone experienced, who wanted to help, especially since this was my first time. I think it made a difference in my pregnancy.”
Another of the program’s offerings is an annual “baby shower,” where clients receive information on health, nutrition, vision and dental and mental health programs, and receive lunch and door prizes.
This year’s second-annual event was sponsored by MDwise Hoosier Alliance, a health-care network that since 1994 has provided assistance for members of the Hoosier Healthwise program, Indiana’s health coverage program for low-income families and children.
The program was hosted by Kim Eldridge, MDWise Northwest consultant, and Kathryn Copak, prenatal program manager. Free pregnancy testing was available, as was assistance with Indiana Medicaid.
Besides representatives of the Prenatal Assistance Program were others from Kool Smiles of East Chicago, Mental Health America of Lake County, HealthVisions Midwest-Promoters of Maternal and Infant Health, of East Chicago, and the Purdue Extension Food and Nutrition Program.
The Prenatal Assistance Program, led by program manager Kathryn Copak, is in constant need of diapers, formula, baby items and new or gently used clothing, sizes newborn through 3T. The program likewise provides free assistance to needy area residents.
For more information, call (219) 663-5349.
Provided by Franciscan Alliance