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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:00 am

Pregnancy services agency closing office, going mobile

Journal Gazette

A Hope Center will close its Illinois Road location next week, shifting the free pregnancy tests and other services it provides to a mobile unit.

The location at 4705 Illinois Road will close its doors Sept. 22, the nonprofit pro-life organization said.

The center plans to operate a mobile medical unit that will have the ability to perform free pregnancy and STD testing, limited ultrasounds and counseling on pregnancy options, according to a news release issued this week.

The organization, which has been in Fort Wayne for more than 30 years, said it will collaborate with Heartline Pregnancy Center to provide the Image Clear Ultrasound mobile medical services every Monday and Tuesday starting Oct. 9. A Hope Center will use its website and social media to let clients know where the mobile unit will be parked those days.

“A Hope Center desires to reach more clients by removing transportation and other barriers by going to the client instead of the client coming to them,” according to the release.

Fort Wayne has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Indiana, and the neighborhood most affected is in ZIP code 46806, the release states.

“We are breaking out of our bricks and mortar to serve the women and families of Fort Wayne,” said Jo Faulkner, executive director of the center, in the statement.

A Hope Center works with Brightpoint, Allen County Board of Health, Healthier Moms and Babies, Fetal and Infant Mortality Committee, Prenatal and Infant Care Network and other organizations addressing infant mortality. More than 2,300 clients were served last year, said Mary Whybrew, events and communications coordinator, by email.