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Two Hearts Center Grand Opening

Torrington opens free women's health center Facility modeled after volunteer service in Waterbury

BY KURT MOFFETT | REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN | 10/22/12

Rep-Am Image 1 Grand Opening Deacon David Reynolds welcomes people during a ribbon cutting at the Two Hearts Pregnancy Center in Torrington on Sunday. Catholic churches in the city have opened a free women's health center, modeling their faith-based service after a similar program in Waterbury. The Two Hearts Pregnancy Center is intended for women facing an unplanned pregnancy, but volunteers can offer education and advice on related health matters, such as free pregnancy testing, information about adoption, baby clothes, cribs and diapers. Everything is free at the center, and no health insurance is necessary. Steven Valenti/RA

TORRINGTON -- The city's first free women's health center for unplanned pregnancy is now ready for clients.

The Two Hearts Pregnancy Center at 116 Grove St. held its grand opening Sunday afternoon at the Sacred Heart Church's former rectory. The center is on the second floor.

The center is a nonprofit founded by the Torrington Cluster of Roman Catholic Churches and modeled after the next closest center, Carolyn's Place Pregnancy Care Center in Waterbury. It is run entirely by volunteers, and survives on donations.

The center offers free pregnancy testing; help in arranging financial, legal and medical aid; adoption information; education about fetal development; information about abortion; baby clothes and referrals to social services and shelter homes.

Health insurance is not required for clients.

Rev. Christopher Tiano, pastor of the cluster, said many volunteers come from different denominations and surrounding parishes.

"It's a good example of what people of faith can do together in responding to a need," he said.

Volunteers Diane Geiger and Lorraine DiMartino said they are in charge of a room that is full of baby clothes, baby food, blankets, afghans, car seats, toys, strollers, playpens and high chairs.

Volunteers go through six weeks of training so they are armed with information pregnant women need, and can provide proper guidance.

"Most of them have no one to go to, and that's why they come to us," Geiger said.

"The first thing they think of is abortion, and we're here to show them there are other options," DiMartino said.

Executive Director Patricia Magaldi said while Catholicism is opposed to abortion, the center cannot tell women what to do; it can only offer options, guidance and information.

As for the help women need, the center will take each client on a case-by-case basis, Magaldi said.

The center has not had any clients yet, so for now it is just trying to let the public know it is open.

Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment. Call 860-482-0672.

Rep-Am Image 2 Grand Opening From left, Lorraine DiMartino and Diane Geiger show off the room they stocked and are in charge of at the Two Hearts Pregnancy Center in Torrington on Sunday. Steven Valenti/RA

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Two Hearts PCC
116 Grove Street 2nd Floor
Torrington, CT, 06790
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(860) 482-0672
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