May 7, 2009
(320) 251-2700, ext. 74980
Long Prairie midwife provides prenatal care for women in the community
LONG PRAIRE, Minn. – After recognizing the lack of prenatal care that local Amish and Mennonite women were receiving, Ruth Wingeier, a certified nurse midwife with CentraCare Clinic – Long Prairie, took action.
With the assistance of Project H.E.A.L.*, Wingeier set up a monthly prenatal screening clinic at the Reynolds Baptist Church, 19556 210th Street, in rural Long Prairie. Since November 2008, Wingeier has seen an average of 2-4 expectant women on the second Saturday of each month. In addition to Wingeier, nurses from Long Prairie Memorial Hospital, CentraCare Clinic, the church congregation and the community (including one Amish mother) are volunteering to work at this free clinic.
“We have worked hard to get the word out into the community, and each month, we seem to connect with new, expectant mothers,” Wingeier said. “The clinic is open to all women who don’t have health insurance that covers prenatal care or have high deductibles.”
Project H.E.A.L. (Health, Education, Access, Link) is a good model for extending prenatal care to women without health insurance as it is designed for screening and education. Good prenatal care involves screening for risk and complications. Wingeier also educates women about what to expect and how to prevent problems during their pregnancy by improving their nutrition and encouraging healthy lifestyle behaviors.
“The service is definitely meeting a need in our community,” Wingeier added.
*Project H.E.A.L. is an outreach program of Mid-Minnesota Family Medicine Center. With support from St. Cloud Hospital and several community partners, Project H.E.A.L. offers free health screenings and basic care at various Central Minnesota locations for those who have little or no insurance.
For more information about Project H.E.A.L. or if you would like to volunteer for programs like this, please call Paul Knutson, mission development specialist, at (320) 240-3157, ext. 25155.
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