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Pregnancy Center Changes Organization Focus

Former Executive Director of Women’s Care Center of Erie in Erie, Pa. speaks at a public outreach meeting for Options Care Center, formerly Women’s Services of Jamestown on Thursday. Center board president Kelly Wittenbrook looks on. The center is asking for monetary and material donations for installation an ultrasound machine at their Third Street office. P-J photo by William Mohan

The only pregnancy center in Jamestown announced new changes to its name and organizational focus during a community outreach meeting at the Venue 31 event center on Thursday.

Women’s Services of Jamestown announced its new name as Options Care Center. Originally founded in 1986, the organization provides free pregnancy testing, education and material assistance to pregnant women, and school counselling to students.

At the same time the organization also appealed to the community for financial and physical donations for a new ultrasound machine and subsequent renovations. Ultrasound services would be provided at their West Third Street location.

The discussion came after Women’s Services board members toured other pregnancy centers in Warren Pa. and Erie, Pa. to see how they could improve their facility. The organization was particularly inspired after seeing an ultrasound at one of the locations of Women’s Care Center of Erie.

“We were amazed at what we saw and thought why can’t we do it here,” said Women’s Services board president Kelly Wittenbrook.

Women’s Services of Jamestown announced its new name during a community outreach meeting Thursday. The organization has changed its name to Options Care Center. From left are center board member Amy Atwell, Board President Kelly Wittenbrook, Executive Director Sharon Hamilton, financial secretary Lois Weiss, secretary Kim Marsh, board member Richard Johnson and treasurer Sylvia Costanza. P-J photo by William Mohan

Options Executive Director Sharon Hamilton said that a modern ultrasound machine would cost $30,000.

The center asked attendees for monetary and physical donations to make the project a reality.

The changes would include renovations of two rooms in the center. One would be changed into office space and the other would be converted into space that would accommodate an ultrasound unit. During the renovation, the center would be closed and employees would be given training for the machine by the National Institute of Family Live Advocates. A NIFLA specialist in sonography would also be on hand to help the center adapt to use of the new machine upon resumption of services.

During the renovations and the training, center volunteers and counselors would be on call to handle the organization’s workload. Counselling for women in crisis would also be available for emergency situations.

The change and transition would take place from June to August.

“This would greatly expand services and would be an important contribution since we are an non-profit,” Hamilton said.

Wittenbrook also said that Options eventually plans to offer services for husbands and male loved ones. Perviously the organization only offered services to pregnant women.

In addition, former Women’s Care Center of Erie Executive Director Brenda Newport spoke on how an ultrasound would benefit pregnancy centers like the center.

The center also announced that it is seeking a new executive director with applications being accepted until April 5.

For more information on client services at Options Care Center call 484-1234. To reach the main office or to find out how to donate call 664-5459. Find them on Facebook or visit pregnant-help.org

Options Care Center is located at 560 West Third St. in the Westgate Building in Jamestown.

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