Pregnancy center changes the direction of the organization | News, Sports, Jobs

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The former executive director of the Women’s Care Center of Erie in Erie, Pa., Speaks Thursday during a public awareness meeting for Options Care Center, formerly Women’s Services of Jamestown. Center board chair Kelly Wittenbrook watches. The center is asking for donations of money and materials for the installation of an ultrasound machine in its Third Street office. Photo of PJ by William Mohan

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

Women’s Services of Jamestown has announced its new name as Options Care Center. Originally founded in 1986, the organization offers free pregnancy tests, education and material assistance to pregnant women, as well as school counseling for 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 took place after members of the Women’s Services Board of Directors visited 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 the Women’s Care Center of Erie.

“We were amazed at what we saw and we thought why can’t we do it here” said Kelly Wittenbrook, Chair of the Board of Directors of Women’s Services.

Women’s Services of Jamestown announced its new name at a community outreach meeting on Thursday. The organization changed its name to Options Care Center. From left to right, Amy Atwell, Board Member, Board Chair Kelly Wittenbrook, CEO Sharon Hamilton, Financial Secretary Lois Weiss, Secretary Kim Marsh, Board Member Richard Johnson and Treasurer Sylvia Costanza . Photo of PJ by William Mohan

Options chief executive Sharon Hamilton said a modern ultrasound machine would cost $ 30,000.

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

The changes would include renovations to two rooms in the center. One would be transformed into an office space and the other would be converted into a space that could accommodate an ultrasound unit. During the renovation, the center would be closed and employees would be machine-trained by the National Institute of Live Family Lawyers. A NIFLA ultrasound specialist would also be on hand to help the center adjust to the use of the new machine when services resume.

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

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

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

Wittenbrook also said Options plans to eventually offer services to husbands and male relatives. In the past, the organization only offered services to pregnant women.

Additionally, Brenda Newport, former executive director of the Women’s Care Center of Erie, explained how an ultrasound would benefit pregnancy centers like the center.

The center also announced that it was looking for a new executive director, with applications being accepted until April 5.

For more information on customer service at the 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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