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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Hope Clinic participated in a special event on Saturday, October 15 at Centennial Park to honor those affected in our community. Hope Clinic Intern Katie Ward attended the event and shares her thoughts below…

How long have you been interning at Hope Clinic?
I started my fall field placement for my undergraduate degree in social work in late August. I am loving my time here at Hope Clinic!

What has been one thing that you have learned from this internship experience?
One of my biggest take-a-ways from my internship so far has been the importance of human relationships, which is one of the core values of the social work profession. One of the reasons why Hope Clinic is such a great place is because we really focus on building healthy relationships with our clients, making them feel loved, and empowering them to make healthy decisions.

Had you heard of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month before joining the Hope Clinic team?
No, I hadn’t. Before working on this project, I had no idea how prevalent infant mortality is in our state. I also did not know how often miscarriages occur. It is truly a devastating loss that so many people experience.

When did you first hear about the Remembrance Day Event? Who hosted the event and who contacted Hope Clinic about it?
The 2016 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Event was hosted by the Metro Public Health Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and the Behavior Wellness Subcommittee. Alison Butler, a member of the FIMR program, contacted Hope Clinic about the event. Since HCFW provides wonderful care for pregnancy loss patients, it was a natural collaboration.

What was the event like?
The event was absolutely beautiful. There were speakers, a spoken word artist, a harpist, arts and crafts for the siblings, and resource tables to inform families about the post-loss services offered in our community. It was truly a special time for families to honor and remember all of the babies who never made it to their first birthday.

Did attending the event give you any new perspective on pregnancy and infant loss that you didn’t have before?
One of the speakers pointed out something that I thought was very profound: There is no word in the English language for a parent who has lost a child. Children without parents are called orphans, and people who have lost a spouse are called widows or widowers, but there is not a word for parents who have lost a child. Sometimes people who experience such a loss may feel especially lonely since often times miscarriages occur before they have told family or friends that they are pregnant.

Is there anything else you want to say?
Bringing issues like infant mortality to light is so important for our community. I think all of us envision a city, state, and country where all babies live long and healthy lives. The work of the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review is so important because they are working to make this goal a reality in our city.

Just…thank you

There is SO much going on in the world right now. Lots of thoughts and opinions. Very passionate thoughts and opinions. So I thought I would keep the focus of this letter quite simple. Thank you. We closed our fiscal year the end of September and thanks to YOU we met our total financial goals for the year. We raised just over $1 million. Less than 4% of that came from the fees we charge prevention and counseling clients. That means because of your generosity, we were able to meet the needs of well over 1,000 individual clients (client numbers are still being tallied for the year). Well over 500 women facing an unplanned pregnancy were able to have access to free medical care, profession counseling, case management, mentorship, education classes and material assistance. Babies were not only born this year because of you, but they were born into the home of a woman that is more equipped to be a successful mom.

I am aware that there are over 1,000 nonprofits in middle TN… So many of them incredibly worthy of your time, talents and treasures and I am just grateful that we receive them from you. I do not take your support lightly and always work to ensure we provide excellent care, meaningful volunteer experiences, and use your financial gifts as efficiently as possible.

The annual report will be available in print and online by January and I look forward to you celebrating with us many of our accomplishments. This coming year our focus is on ensuring our services can be even more accessible to clients, especially those who cannot travel to the clinic easily. Be on the lookout for updates in our monthly EMMA blast, newsletters and social media.

Please keep Hope Clinic in your prayers. We welcome prayers for our clients, our volunteers, our staff and you, our donors. I pray for God’s protection and blessing on all of us as we enter into the holiday season and year-end. Finally, I humbly encourage you to consider how you can help spread the word about our ministry to other potential volunteers and donors.


Renée Rizzo