A Yukon women’s clinic will soon have an ultrasound machine of its own after receiving a donation from the Knights of Columbus.
The Catholic men’s organization presented Gateway Express Testing Executive Director Julia Seay with two checks Wednesday that totaled $35,000.
The money will be used to purchase an ultrasound machine, which provides expectant mothers with an image of their unborn child.
It was a gift that had been expected for several months.
Seay said the machine already has been ordered and is expected to be delivered in the next few weeks.
Previously, Seay said the clinic has been using a machine that had been on loan from the clinic’s medical director, Dr. Mary Martin.
And while the loan is appreciated, having its own machine is the next step for the clinic.
The checks were presented by Otto Nieman, who is the ultrasound director for the Knights of Columbus, and John Pierce, the organization’s state deputy director.
Nieman said the cost of the machine is being split between the 75 state councils of the Knights of Columbus and the national Supreme Council.
“The cost of an ultrasound machine is outrageous. … Most of the clinics we deal with are small nonprofits, like Gateway, and $35,000 just isn’t in their budget,” Nieman said.
Seay said obtaining a machine on their own would have been virtually impossible because of the associated costs.
The value of the machine is more than the money involved, she said.
“We will be able to show women their babies at the earliest possible time. The sooner we can help them get prenatal care, the better off we all are. It will keep the babies healthier,” she said.
Seay also pointed out that 8 of 10 women who see a photo of their baby or hear the heartbeat, are more likely to bring the child to term.
Pierce said the money was raised through the Knights of Columbus’ fundraising program called Culture of Life. Money raised through the local organization is matched dollar for dollar by the national organization.
“The great thing is, we can buy Gateway an ultrasound machine, and we only have to raise half the money,” he said.
Over the life of the program, which began 8½ years ago, the organization has purchased 25 ultrasound machines in Oklahoma. This year, the goal is to purchase three.