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Hope Clinic for Women is now a licensed free primary care medical clinic


Last updated 9/20/2020 at 9:51pm

Hope Clinic for Women's medical staff, from left, Kelly Roane, ultrasound tech; Gabriella Carenza, nurse practitioner, and nurse manager Brenda Robinson take part in an ultrasound training session.

FALLBROOK – Hope Clinic for Women is a charitable nonprofit organization committed to provide safe, confidential, supportive medical care that promotes sexual health and well-being. Its demographic, 17-24-year-olds, is 10.9% of the Fallbrook population.

Many local residents may know HCW better by its former name of Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center, which has been in Fallbrook for over 20 years serving young women facing a planned or unplanned pregnancy.

HCW clients receive free pregnancy testing and first trimester ultrasounds, previously via a mobile clinic, to confirm pregnancy and gestational age of the baby, educational resources for childbirth, parenting, safe relationships, etc., and resource support or referrals in caring for children under the age of two.

In 2019, HCW hosted 629 client visits where young moms and dads received over 2,425 free services. The clinic welcomed 31 babies who were born to moms in its programs. These clients benefited from one-on-one time with trained, caring volunteers who listened, learned and shared valuable education resources, physical resources, referrals and spiritual encouragement.

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCW received its state of California Department of Public Health license to open a free primary care medical clinic at 125 E. Hawthorne St. in Fallbrook. It took a year from the time of application before the final site survey July 31, for HCW to receive notice that their application was approved.

Licensure has been a goal for HCW for over nine years. It was not an easy process, but the board of directors, HCW staff, volunteers and faithful donors to the organization will tell you that the wait was well worth it.

Leading the charge for HCW's licensure with oversight of medical director Dr. Theresa Stigen was nurse manager Brenda Robinson, along with nurse practitioner Gabriella Carenza. Ultrasound technician Kelly Roane joined the team to assist Robinson and Carenza in their hands-on ultrasound training which should be completed by the end of the year. HCW looked forward to a ribbon cutting at its "Home on Hawthorne" with the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Sept. 16.

Carolyn Koole, executive director of HCW, said that for HCW to be successful in uniquely meeting the needs of the community as a free primary care medical clinic initially offering free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, everything had to align at the right time.

The new sign for Hope Clinic for Women is the work of Gary Votapka, a former board member and former resident of Fallbrook who now lives in Montana.

They needed administrative and medical staff with specific skills and training, a building of their own that was constructed as a medical facility and accessible to their demographic with off street parking, which HCW purchased in 2016 and completed a full remodel in October 2018.

Finally, they needed a faithful group of supporters who assured sustainability. As a private, faith-based nonprofit charitable free primary care medical clinic, HCW receives little to no government funding. Koole said that for HCW to reach its potential – fully staffed and open five days a week with possible evening and weekend hours – they will need to double their financial support in the year to come.

Koole said that as a Christian organization it leaves a lot of room for God to accomplish what seems impossible.

For more information about HCW, contact Koole at 760-728-4105, ext. 10, or visit and HCW on Facebook.

Submitted by Hope Clinic for Women.


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