Wine, salad and chocolate fund-raiser for Nucleus Clinic

Nucleus Clinic celebrates 41 years of service at the annual spring wine, salad and chocolate open house and benefit Thursday, April 26, 5 to 8 p.m., with short remarks at 6:30 p.m.

Serving the north metro and surrounding community since 1971, Nucleus is the only non-profit community clinic providing reproductive health care in Anoka County.

This event is both a celebration and a benefit for the clinic, according to Executive Director Becky Fink.

“For every person who values and respects access to affordable reproductive health care for women and men alike, this is the day, the place and the time to witness our local support,” Fink said.

“Our services are made possible with community support and pay forward many, many times.”

In addition to an evening of food, desert and beverages, guests will be offered complimentary private chair massages, door prizes and a silent auction.

Nucleus is reaching out to former volunteers and others who have supported the clinic over the last 41 years with the open house serving as a place of reunion, Fink said.

Nucleus provides family planning education, birth control, annual exams, pap smears, testing for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests and confirmation examinations, and other health care relating to reproductive and sexual health, she said.

Care is provided with sliding fee and no fee, based on income and family size, Fink said.

Eligible female and male patients are also assisted in applying on site for a state health care program, Minnesota Family Planning (MFPP), to help cover the costs of the services, she said.

“Over 1,000 patients have received care with at least one visit for care over the last year with an average cost of $200 per patient.” Fink said.

“It is a small miracle that in these times when non-profits fail as often as not, this clinic with the support of the community and the sheer will of our leaders, have provided these sometimes life saving and life giving services for over 40 years.”

Nucleus Clinic, primarily staffed with volunteers, has a total 2012 budget of just over $220,000.

Nucleus is also  a provider of SAGE health care services for women who are uninsured or under-insured.

“Women over 40 who are in need of annual mammograms and pap smears and eligible incomes have available through public health care dollars, both pap smears and mammograms,” Fink said.

“We enroll patients onsite at Nucleus and provide the annual exam then coordinate referral for mammograms. We are very pleased to be a community partner with the Minnesota Department of Health.”

Nucleus staff is also available in cooperation with Unity and Mercy hospitals to provide ongoing medical exams and treatments necessary after a women has survived a sexual assault.

“We do not provide the initial forensic exam that is done in emergency rooms after an assault; we are however providing the testing and treatment of health conditions that often follow a sexual assault,” Fink said.

“We provide confidential, supportive and professional care for women.”

At 6:30 p.m., Debra Fitzpatrick, associate director of Center on Women and Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute at the University of  Minnesota, will speak on the disparities of access to health care for women as not only a health care issue, but a family value and a compelling economic issue.

Nucleus Clinic is located at 1323 Coon Rapids Blvd., Coon Rapids, next to the Lilli Putt Miniature Golf and Crossroads School.

For more information please contact Fink at 763-755-5300.

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