Ascension grant gives significant boost to mobile unit outreach
A $10,000 community benefit grant from Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital will help the put a lot more miles on the backroads and county highways where Hope services are needed.
Walking into the new, 31-foot mobile medical unit, clients can receive free, confidential pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasound exams, STD screening and treatment and related educational services.
“We put our mobile into service in June and already, many clients are finding us and coming for essential services,” said Jack Hoogendyk, executive director of Hope. “We were blessed to receive funding for the purchase of the mobile and operational expense for the first six months. This grant will help sustain this new outreach well into the future.”
Recent indications are STD rates are hitting record highs. The CDC reports the United States is experiencing a “steep and sustained” spike in sexually transmitted diseases and two things are needed to reduce STD rates—education and testing. Hope provides both on its mobile unit. “The confidentiality and free services Hope offers will encourage many who otherwise would not get tested,” said Hoogendyk.
Also, free pregnancy testing and OB ultrasounds can help improve the health of young moms as they prepare for the birth and reduce the likelihood of low birth-weight babies. “We provide them the essential education and encouragement they need to make good choices regarding their pregnancy,” said Hoogendyk.
The Hope mobile unit is offering services in Merrill and Antigo and has plans to expand to Weston and Mosinee. Hope Life Center has served the community of Wausau since 2003 and a satellite office has been in Antigo since 2011.
“We are grateful to Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital for their partnership with us in working to improve health outcomes in the greater Wausau/North Central Wisconsin region,” Hoogendyk said.