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New ultrasound machine will benefit high-risk pregnant women at Manassas clinic

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge blessed a new, high-tech ultrasound machine at the Manassas Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic July 20. The $32,000 machine was donated primarily by the Knights of Columbus Fr. Julius J. Cilinski Council 10947 in Clifton. 


Alexandra Luevano, program director at the clinic, said the new machine takes higher-quality images and works faster than the old machine it replaced, allowing the clinic to serve high-risk patients more effectively. 


“A lot of our patients are high risk and require growth scans frequently,” Luevano said. “Instead of sending them somewhere else where they would have to pay to get these growth scans, they’re able to have those scans done here at the clinic.”


Many of the patients at the clinic have gestational diabetes, while some are at risk from high blood pressure, age or previous pregnancy loss.


“This machine will continue to allow us to see pregnant women (who) are in need of more extensive services that would cost significant amounts of money if we were to send them anywhere else,” Luevano said. The new equipment will help the clinic expand previously unavailable services.


Dr. Rachel Home, a volunteer obstetrician and radiologist at the Manassas clinic, is able to do high-quality scans and take measurements on the new machine, which was recommended by a maternal fetal medicine specialist, with the click of a button. 


“I’m very thankful to have this machine,” Home said. “It’s very helpful for me in terms of managing my patients.”


The Knights of Columbus approached the clinic in March 2020 to provide this gift. After research and overcoming issues with the pandemic, the clinic was able to accept it in May 2021.


“We feel extremely blessed to have the support of the Knights of Columbus of all of Northern Virginia, because they have just gone above and beyond to support our ministry and the patients that really need it,” Luevano said. “It’s wonderful to be able to work with such a great organization.” 


In the 2021 fiscal year, the Manassas and Woodbridge clinics saw 1,465 clients, offered 9,719 appointments and provided care with the help of 11,489 volunteer hours.


An earlier ultrasound machine, which the Knights gave to the clinic in 2019, will be sent to the Mother of Mercy clinic in Woodbridge.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021