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Pregnancy Help Center working on mobile unit
pic phc-1a
From left, Laureen Tomlinson and Janice Laplume of the Manteca Pregnancy Help Center display the banner for the future home of the PHC Mobile Medical Unit. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

The Manteca Pregnancy Help Center is looking to go mobile soon.

By that, the non-profit, faith-based organization will turn the recently purchased 33-foot Coachmen Catalina RV into the future home of the Mobile Medical Unit.

“This will enable us to go out into some of the communities,” said PHC executive director Janice Laplume on Wednesday.

Plans call for licensed medical professionals to provide free ultrasounds, counseling and, possibly, STD testing from the RV made possible via fundraisers. Coverage areas for the mobile unit will be Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, French Camp and Escalon.

“We’ll have regular schedules and locations,” Laplume said.

Services are free and confidential.

Still needed are doctors – ideally, retired but still licensed physicians, according to Laplume – along with four RNs.

 An OBGYN and an advocate will also be aboard the converted RV.

The sleeping quarters of the RV will accommodate an exam table and an ultrasound unit while the bathroom will be transformed into a changing room. The main space of the RV will double up as a greeting and counseling area, Laplume noted.

The Pregnancy Help Center is located at 640 N. Main St., Manteca. Founded in 1988 under the auspices of the Manteca Right to Life, the center has a broad base of support. Included are the Manteca Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Manteca Ministerial Association, the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent DePaul, the Raymus Foundation, Crossroads Youth Group, Sister Ann’s annual Baby Shower for Jesus, 4-H Clubs, and the Del Webb at Woodbridge homeowner’s association.

Laplume indicated that male advocates for expectant dads were recently established. Thus far, two volunteers handle new-parent concerns for the young, expectant fathers, with more still needed.

“The boys come in here just as scared as the girls,” said Laplume, who has been with PHC for five years, serving as executive director for the past four years.

The advocates are trained to work with parents by developing a course to study and keeping them on schedule towards their educational goals.

In doing so, clients can earn “Baby Bucks,” which allows them to make purchase at the PHC store for, say, diapers, wipes, and formula.

Laplume indicated that center serves as an option other than abortion for expectant young mothers.

For first-timers, the initial step is the pregnancy testing.

“They come here feeling anxious, scared and even betrayed,” said Laplume. “We offer them a safe place to explore their feelings one-on-one with a trained volunteer.”

The programs can be designed to help parents with both the baby and older children. The requirements call for those to be pregnant or already with a baby younger than four months.

The center also relies on various fundraisers throughout the year. Included are the Walk-A-Thon, spaghetti dinner at St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Escalon, spaghetti dinner / dessert auction, the PHC banquet (Oct. 25) and the Baby Bottle Drive.

For more information, call 209-239-9899 or log on to