Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City recently conducted a farewell luncheon program to honor the services of Birthright, an international, nonprofit organization based in Canada, the local branch of which has served women since the 1970s and was most recently led by Mary Rasmussen (third from left) who spent 42 years with the group, the last 30 of which as director.
The Michigan City branch is closing at the end of August; another is located in Valparaiso. Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairperson of the Franciscan Alliance Board of Trustees, was among those instrumental in bringing the program to the Michigan City, along with the late Josephine Corbett, a former Franciscan St. Anthony Health nurse. The hospital provided low-cost locations for Birthright offices, most recently at 1410 Buffalo St., and other support services.
Birthright provides free and confidential help, including pregnancy testing, medical support programs, legal referrals, education and social assistance and counseling. Rasmussen reflected the thoughts of other staff members on hand when she said her reasons for joining the group included a desire “to do something worthwhile to help in any way possible” to meet clients’ needs.
“I just couldn’t say no. When God is talking to you, you just say, OK,” she said. Also shown, from left, are staff members Doris Gavin, Helen Hathoot, Rose Marie Krueger and Geraldine Meyer. John Kessler, Franciscan Alliance regional vice president of mission integration services, praised the group for its work.
For more information on the organization, call (800) 550-4900.