THRIVE’s free prenatal clinic off to great start

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Cynthia Minor From left to right are Fran Schreiber-Custer, PA-C, Dr. Carole Nasralla and Robin Koffman, BSN, RN. The trio of providers is part of THRIVE’s expanded prenatal care program.
Cynthia Minor
From left to right are Fran Schreiber-Custer, PA-C, Dr. Carole Nasralla and Robin Koffman, BSN, RN. The trio of providers is part of THRIVE’s expanded prenatal care program.

By Cynthia Minor
Special to The PREVIEW

The community of Pagosa Springs shared the excitement of its pregnant women as THRIVE, Pagosa’s first completely free prenatal clinic, opened its doors at 602 South 8th St. on Sept. 7 and sailed smoothly through its first days, which were booked solid.

THRIVE has been providing free pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins and ultrasounds for years, but has now expanded the scope of services to include free prenatal care up to 36 weeks, as well as well-woman exams.

Prenatal care for expectant mothers ensures the best start in life for the baby, and studies have shown that late or no prenatal care can lead to poor birth outcomes.

To encourage and enable pregnant women in Archuleta County to see a physician early in pregnancy, THRIVE is now open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free prenatal care provided by Medical Director Dr. Carole Nasralla and her colleagues, Fran Schreiber-Custer, PA-C, and Robin Koffman, BSN, RN.

Appointments are encouraged and can be made by calling 264-5963, but walk-ins are welcomed with the understanding that there may be a wait.

“With this service expansion, we can play an even more valuable role in helping families thrive,” said Nasralla. “THRIVE connects and works with delivering physicians and midwives, as well as other providers to better support the increasing demands for affordable and accessible prenatal care.”

THRIVE will continue to provide free pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, and STD testing and treatment Monday through Wednesday, working collaboratively with providers to support and complement a patient’s physician care plan.

“We know that traveling to Durango every month for prenatal exams can be a hardship for some of our clients, especially in the winter months,” said Koffman, nurse manager. “In addition to transportation barriers, women must frequently take a day off work, which can create a financial burden.”

The goal is to improve pregnancy outcomes by providing free and convenient access for expectant women in Archuleta County and to support the lifelong health and well-being of families with an emphasis on prenatal care and education. Besides prenatal classes, the education component includes support and instruction in childbirth, breast feeding, parenting and life skills.

“Free and convenient access to quality prenatal care,” Schreiber-Custer said, “will mean healthier moms, healthier kids and healthier communities.”