A brand new 3D/4D ultrasound machine will give moms at the Women’s Care Center one of the best gifts of all: a first look at Baby.
The Women’s Care Center was struggling with their old 2D machine, which was in need of repair. A generous donor paired up with OSF HealthCare Foundation to supply the center with the new 3D machine. It was installed and blessed just in time for Mother’s Day.
“This new 3D ultrasound will be just amazing for all our clients,” says Donetta Jenn, a nurse volunteer who performs ultrasounds at the Women’s Care Center. Donetta and her husband Tom donated the original ultrasound unit for the Women’s Care Center about six years ago. “To know you are pregnant is one thing, but to be able to see your baby–that makes it real,” she says.
A better ability to see Baby
Elaine Frye is a board member of the Women’s Care Center and director of surgical services in nursing at OSF Healthcare Saint Francis Medical Center. She sees great value in the ultrasound technology, which goes beyond black and white images.
“The ability to see the baby in detail makes a huge impact on moms and their ability to make good decisions,” Frye says. “You can have many conversations, but once you see that baby, you cannot unsee it.”
“This ultrasound is a miracle worker!” says sonographer Julie Tarantino, who regularly witnesses lives changed when parents recognize their child for the first time. She says it’s not uncommon for moms and dads to cry when they realize the pregnancy is about a baby.
“You can see the transformation of people’s hearts when they see that heartbeat,” Tarantino says.
A gift for women, inspired by a woman
Jack McSherry has a lot of respect for women who overcome challenges. The father of six was married to his beloved wife for 62 years. Cancer struck Joan McSherry when she was just 25 years old, and she lived with it bravely until her death at 85.
“She really enjoyed life,” Jack says, noting Joan’s spirit of independence and determination. When cancer eventually took Joan’s leg, she didn’t let that stop her from tending her cherished gardens from a golf cart. “My wife was a very strong woman,” Jack says proudly.
Jack’s relationship with the center started a few years ago when he joined with fellow pro-life parishioners from St. Mary of Lourdes in Germantown Hills to pray the rosary. When Jack learned about how the Women’s Care Center helps empower struggling mothers, he knew his wife would have loved the place. So he started donating items the moms needed, and the relationship with the center grew.
“The timing of Jack McSherry’s generosity couldn’t have been more perfect,” says Christine Dennis, board president of Women’s Care Center. “We are overjoyed and so grateful for this unexpected and most welcome gift. Our thanksgiving to Jack and OSF will be the love and care we continue to offer each woman who comes to our Women’s Care Center.”
Pleased to partner
Taking care of the women and children in our community is a priority for OSF HealthCare and for the Women’s Care Center. “One in five babies born in Peoria County start at the Women’s Care Center,” says board member Ann Kube. Helping them and their moms get a healthy start is a great gift to the entire community.
Kube points out that the model for the center is focused on treating women with dignity and respect and caring for them over the course of their pregnancy. “We are about meeting a woman where she is and meeting her needs.”
Moms can attend classes on a wide variety of topics: childcare, parenting, and even resume writing and designing a family budget. They earn coupons to use at the on-site “shop” to obtain items they will need for their child, from diapers to cribs. Dads are invited to attend classes as well, because part of the center’s mission is to help men step up and be there for their family, explains Kube.
“OSF is happy to be able to be part of the services provided at the Women’s Care Center that are so important for the community, and that align so well with the Mission of the Sisters,” says Bob Anderson, president of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.
“We are grateful to Jack McSherry for his longtime philanthropic service and his leadership in making this gift happen,” says Anderson. He notes McSherry has been active on various boards for OSF Saint Francis for 40 years. Currently, McSherry sits on the Saint Francis Medical Center Community Advisory Board.
Anderson wants greater visibility for the work being done at the Women’s Care Center. “People don’t necessarily know what they offer here. Once the decision to keep a baby is made, there’s still a lot to do to help these moms,” he says. “The Women’s Care Center is a wonderful resource.”