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Care Net adds service, changes name to reflect mission

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Care Net Pregnancy and Family Center of Greater Orleans started offering free HIV testing last week. The center in Albion also provides free ultra-sounds, pregnancy tests, sexually transmitted infection testing and resources to families in crisis. Center Director Gloria Lear, left, is pictured with nurse manager Mary Jane Jimenez, center, and Sara Moore, the nurse manager in training.

ALBION – A center with a 25-year history in Orleans County has expanded its services and also changed its name.

The Care Net Center of Greater Orleans is now the Care Net Pregnancy and Family Center of Greater Orleans. That name more clearly reflects the center’s work and mission, said Director Gloria Lear.

She started working at Care Net in September and many people have told her they weren’t sure what the center did. Care Net is funded with donations from churches and community members. It provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, tests for sexually transmitted infections, and other resources for families, including peer support and material aid.

Last week it started offering free HIV tests. The center takes a blood draw for those tests. If there is a positive test, Care Net will connect the person to medical professionals in Buffalo or Rochester.

A detection is needed to help people access HIV treatment and care. Many people with HIV live long and productive lives with proper medication, Lear said.

The Care Net center worked with 155 new clients last year, and already has served 102 new clients since Jan. 1.

Mary Jane Jimenez has worked as the nurse manager for the center the past eight years, and has watched the organization add ultra-sounds, STI testing and now HIV testing. It also moved from the Arnold Gregory Memorial Complex to the former Lipton’s office building across from McDonalds on Route 31.

“It’s getting better and better and we’re serving more people,” she said.

For more on Care Net, click here.