The CEO of Charity Short poses with photos of the children they have helped support.…
WAXAHACHIE, Texas – July 15, 2021 – On July 1, FirstLook opened the doors of its new state-of-the-art sexual health and pregnancy center, expanding its ability to provide residents of the region with high-quality, confidential and accessible sexual health care free of charge.
Since 1995, FirstLook has served more than 40,000 residents – many of whom face unintended pregnancies – in Ellis County and surrounding areas. After six years of strategic planning, FirstLook can now double its number of available appointments with more land, more space and more resources, according to Donna Young, CEO of FirstLook.
“Our services are unique to Ellis County in that they are free, regardless of income,” Young said. “We have registered nurses who practice in their scope of practice under the direction and supervision of registered physicians. We support our patients with a full team of loving and caring people. Trained men and women provide a holistic approach to care, including medical, educational, emotional and spiritual support, care management and material assistance.
She added that her overall vision is to reach more men and women with expanded services in a center designed to meet long-term community needs.
“We want this beautiful, comfortable and welcoming facility to convey our core message that every life, every person is precious and made in the image of God,” Young said.
The new 11,000 square foot facility sits on two acres of land donated by The Avenue Church in Waxahachie. The clinic has an expansive porch and includes four consultation rooms, four examination rooms – two with ultrasound capabilities, meeting space, a fully equipped demonstration kitchen, a classroom, a chapel, a baby shop, administrative offices and ample parking.
The state-of-the-art facility, while modern, is designed to feel right at home, and it does not lack a connection to the past through its use of stylish design features and furnishings. bygone times. The majestic wall that adorns the kitchen was made from pink bricks salvaged from the oldest house in Ellis County before it was destroyed. The cafe bar’s tile backsplash mixes new tile with detailed vintage tiles from the 1930s, each individually signed by the artist.
A sturdy Reagor Springs Church deacon’s bench and elegant 1800s dressers add prominence to the decor and provide a welcoming atmosphere. Even rooms that don’t feature antiques offer an inviting style with names like “The Man Cave”, “Serenity Room” and “Happy Days”. The beauty and level of detail put into the facility matches the level of love and service that FirstLook provides to every patient who walks through the door.
Composed of 14 employees, including three nurses and two doctors, as well as 15 volunteers, FirstLook’s full range of services include pregnancy tests, diagnostic ultrasound up to 28 weeks, tests and treatment for STIs, abortion pill reversal, counseling, mentoring, postabortion healing doula support, and much more.
In addition, FirstLook offers a wide variety of courses in Labor and Delivery, Prenatal, Parenting, Life Skills, Bible Studies, and CPR courses for adults and infants – many of which are offered virtually in due to the current pandemic situation.
The data illustrates the growing need for FirstLook’s services:
In 2020, the clinic had 2,221 visits, a 60% increase from 1,391 visits in 2019.
Of the visits in 2020, 413 pregnancy tests were administered, 347 ultrasound images were shown and 237 clients were tested for STIs.
About 60% of FirstLook customers are between 20 and 30 years old, while 20% are over 30 years old.
According to data from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and the Ellis County Development Department, Ellis County is expected to grow 150% to nearly 500,000 in 2050. The health care needs of the county is also expected to increase significantly during this period. time.
FirstLook is the only clinic of its kind in Ellis County, the first county in Texas to declare itself a “sanctuary for unborn children”. Passed in January 2020, the county resolution was defended by County Judge Todd Little and Ellis County Commissioners.
“FirstLook is a place of hope and peace. Patients with an unplanned pregnancy can visit FirstLook for advice and guidance as they discuss their options. The Ellis County Commissioner’s Court is proud to help fund this initiative to improve access to health care for women, and we hope they will choose life, ”said Justice Todd Little.
“God called us to FirstLook for a time like this, to provide positive alternatives to the abortion tragedy, while respecting a woman’s decision without ridicule or rejection,” Young said. “We are here in our community to serve, to make a difference, one person at a time, one life at a time, one baby at a time, a father, a mother, a family.”
To learn more about FirstLook, please visit www.friendsoffirstlook.org or www.firstlookcenter.org.
Based in Waxahachie, Texas, FirstLook is a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and protecting the future. Since 1995, FirstLook has provided men and women with the tools they need to make informed decisions about sexual health and pregnancy. Our services include pregnancy tests, diagnostic ultrasounds up to 28 weeks, STI testing and treatment, abortion pill reversal, prenatal and parenting classes, counseling, mentoring, doula support, recovery after abortion and much more. FirstLook provides access to experienced nurses and staff who provide confidential, quality medical care at no cost.
“The FirstLook Clinic is a place of hope and peace. Patients with an unplanned pregnancy can visit FirstLook for advice and guidance as they discuss their options. The Ellis County Commissioner’s Court is proud to help fund this initiative to improve access to health care for women, and we hope they will choose life.
– Ellis County Judge Todd Little
“Our community, like any other community, faces a tremendous situation where unwanted pregnancies and unhealthy sexual health decisions are rampant. Giving people direct and accurate information makes it possible to make a better and more informed decision, which is obviously essential when a life is at stake. ”
– Vernon L. Witherspoon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FirstLook
“I am excited about this new building. The future is wide open for FirstLook. We have a great opportunity here in Ellis County and surrounding areas to reach out to people who are in an uncertain pregnancy situation. “
– Buddy Rigotti, client coordinator
“It’s really exciting to be part of the present, but also the future. We see clients in so many different situations, and I think our center can fill a void. We can fill the gaps in support, education, medical support and listening. I think we have a great opportunity to serve in this regard. “
– Melinda Tedesco, Client Coordinator