PETOSKEY — The Pregnancy Care Center of Petoskey recently became certified as a medical clinic, in order to provide ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy.

      Since April, Sound Answers Medical Services have been available on Tuesdays.  Services on clinic days also include pregnancy testing.

      “The past year has been a blur as we prepared to ‘go medical,'” she said. “The generous donation of ultrasound equipment was just the beginning of the process. We also had to undergo an extensive legal audit, followed by training for our board, staff and volunteers. We are pleased to have been able to undertake all that is necessary to offer this additional service.”

      One of the first steps in the process was the move to a new location in 2010. A former medical office suite became available at Mitchell Park Center near Mitchell and Division roads in Petoskey, and this location provides the space and functionality needed for the medical clinic. The organization is currently leasing this office suite, but is raising money for the purchase of the property.

      Another boost was provided in 2011 by the donation of a new ultrasound machine. The Petoskey Knights of Columbus conducted a fundraiser in February 2011, and the funds raised were matched by a donation from a local obstetrician. The proceeds covered the purchase of the machine, and also funded some of the required training. Another Knights of Columbus fundraiser conducted this year made it possible for medical staff and volunteers to complete extensive ultrasound training.

      Dr. Bruce Deckinga serves as the center’s medical services director, and registered nurse Tanya Drinkall is the nursing manager. Registered nurse Sandy Hill serves on a volunteer basis on clinic days. Becky Mathers is director of client services for the resource center.

      A number of volunteers also assist in day-to-day operations.

      In addition to medical services, the center offers counseling for all individuals in a crisis pregnancy, as well as referrals to local organizations that offer assistance. Free material aid including diapers, clothing and equipment is available at the center. Parenting classes are offered twice a year. All services are free of charge, with no income or residency restrictions.

      The resource center is open noon-6 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Sound Answers Medical Services is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The center is closed on Monday.

      Walk-ins may be accommodated, but it is recommended that clients call the office at (231) 348-3388 or email petoskeypcc@gmail.com for an appointment.

      Pregnancy Care Center of Petoskey is located at 2206 Mitchell Park Drive, Unit 9. For more information about the center and its services, contact Judy Hunt at (231) 348-3388.