“This service is truly a blessing. My experience there was absolutely amazing. Very kind, informative and professional staff – truly life savers … I got to hear a little heart beat and that was enough to make mine beat strong again. Thank you so much!”
Heartfelt messages like this reveal a lot about how the team at Next Step Pregnancy Services approach their support for individuals in the Everett and the surrounding areas in Snohomish County who are facing an unplanned pregnancy.
They’re also at the heart of why the team is working to expand their services, and is currently looking for a second medical director, volunteer or paid, to help the organization increase its services, explains executive director Heather Vasquez.
A licensed pregnancy health care clinic and non-profit organization, Next Step has been serving families in the North King County and Snohomish County area since 1998, helping both women and men who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Since the beginning of this year alone, the team has supported more than 1,500 families.
Free, confidential pregnancy services include pregnancy tests and ultrasounds performed by licensed nurses, who can also address any medical questions and concerns, ranging from pregnancy symptoms, complications and nutrition, to prenatal care, follow-up care and referrals to local ob-gyn providers.
The medical director oversees medical care, including ultrasounds, testing, and medical follow-up.
Additionally, two pregnancy care advocates are available to help with referrals, appointments, supplies and simply offering a listening ear and assistance as required.
Next Step Pregnancy Services also offers adoption information, post-abortion support, and counselling, in addition to material assistance and a baby boutique, with clothing and supplies available.
Expanding services to meet local needs
The clinic plans to expand services to also include a robust STD/STI testing and treatment plan as well as becoming a ‘dispensing clinic’ for APR (Abortion Pill Reversal) services. To do so requires a second medical professional qualified to write prescriptions, such as a physician or nurse practitioner, Vasquez says, noting that an ob-gyn specialty is not necessary.
The right person will also support the non-profit’s mandate to serve with compassion the immediate and long term needs of any woman with an unplanned pregnancy, Vasquez says.
“We’re a community service and completely rely on community donors,” she adds. In addition to vital financial contributions, donations of baby gear in good condition is also accepted.
Next Step Pregnancy Services is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 19526 – 64th Ave. West in Lynnwood. A 24/7 Helpline is also available at (800) 712-HELP (4357).