The emergency room may see more women at the moment they learn they are expecting than an obstetrician, especially if the pregnancy is not good news.
Dr. William Musick has delivered that news many times in his 25-year career in emergency medicine, the last 18 years with Capital Emergency Physicians at St. Mary's Health Center in Jefferson City.
So many problems faced by patients in the emergency room do not have a "cure," Musick said.
As the new medical director at the Pregnancy Help Center of Central Missouri, he is glad to share with expecting mothers the possibilities available to them.
"This gives me a specific place to say, "Here's help,' and so often, that is exactly what they need at that moment," Musick said.
His hectic schedule with a family of six children and his career leaves him little room to travel on an international mission trip.
So, when the daughter of a coworker mentioned the local organization's need about six months ago, Musick didn't hesitate to take it.
"It's hard to get away on a mission trip; this is ideal for me," Musick said.
In recent years, bedside ultrasound technology has become more common in emergency medicine, Musick said. He was the emergency ultrasound director when it was introduced at St. Mary's.
So he already was familiar with the center's equipment.
As medical director, Musick makes himself available to the center.
"They're doing all the heavy lifting, the day-to-day working," he said of the staff and volunteers.
Executive Director Leslie Kerns said she is thrilled to have Musick on board because of his personality and skill, but also because he is local unlike the first medical director who traveled from Rolla.
In addition to the new medical director, the center recently has added weekly and monthly classes to stay connected with clients.
Topics include parenting, prenatal, getting a job, life skills and a Bible study. In the future, they hope to add more classes for topics such as childbirth and breastfeeding.
Thursday's banquet is the center's largest fundraiser. They hope to raise at least half of their operating budget by filling 400 seats.
The center qualifies for the state's Pregnancy Resource Center Tax Credit, so a minimum donation of $100 may be claimed for a 50 percent tax credit.
The banquet, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, will highlight how the organization has grown in the last year and how they hope to increase support and expand services in the coming year, Kerns said.
"Still, a lot of people don't know about us," she said.
Tickets for the third-annual banquet are available through Monday. Seat reservations are by donation.
The theme is from Dr. Seuss: "A person's a person, no matter how small."
Nearly 50 local singers will perform under the direction of Glen Webb. Rod Smith will emcee.
One of the more than 150 clients who have been served by the center in the last three years will share her testimony.
And abortion-survivor Claire Culwell will be the keynote speaker.
Culwell's 13-year-old birthmother did not know she had twins when she had a surgical abortion at six months. Culwell was born two weeks later, weighing 3 lbs. 2 oz. She was placed on life support and treated for injuries sustained during her twin's abortion.
Four years ago, Culwell met her biological mother and now she shares her survival story as a testimony to God's mercy and love.
For more information or to register, call 573-644-6635 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.