Clinic Marks 30 Years of Helping Moms
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
March 15, 2018
SOUTH ELGIN—Peace embodies the atmosphere and care at the Corbella Clinic here. Formerly known as the Fox Valley Pregnancy Center, its new name launched last year, corbella, means “beautiful heart.” 
“This is a place where women and couples make lifetime decisions when facing unexpected pregnancies,” said Kathy Hopkinson, board chair. “It is very traumatic for women. We are a beacon of hope and want them to experience love.”  
Jeanna Desideri, the clinic’s executive director, adds, “All women are abortion-vulnerable. Our clients aren’t all young, poor, and single. Many married couples come to Corbella and choose life. We want women to thrive.”
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the clinic serves Fox Valley area women of all faiths, age 14 to 40. Clients come from Aurora, St. Charles, Geneva, Elgin, Carpentersville, and Algonquin. 
More than 2,000 clients visit annually to receive compassionate guidance and life-affirming services. 
With gentle and non-judgmental counseling, clients are able to make a choice for life and for the safe and healthy births of their babies. All services are offered in English and Spanish.
When clients walk in to the clinic, they are in for a surprise. The refreshed indoors has been transformed with soothing blue walls, light vinyl “wood plank-like” floors, coastal artwork, and light-filled rooms. 
What sets Corbella apart is its confidential assistance with free medical and support services. Two registered nurses on staff, Cathy Anderson and Trisha Kopeck, provide services, such as pregnancy testing, pregnancy verification, ultasounds, infection and disease testing and treatment, and medical and options counseling. They also provide adoption information and post-abortion counseling and support.
In addition to its staff, Corbella relies on many volunteers, including Dr. Craig Nasralla, medical director and a radiologist at Delnor Hospital in St. Charles. He opened the medical clinic operations at Corbella in 2010 and reads every client’s ultrasound.
Anderson, an eight-year staffer, said “When a client sees their baby on an ultrasound and finds out that a baby’s heart starts beating after three weeks,  they change from being terrified into being in love with their baby. We tell the truth here.” 
What surprises many of the clients is that all services are free. “We tell clients we have nothing to gain and our only purpose is to be here for you,” said Kopeck, who’s been at Corbella for four years. “We aren’t worried here about the bottom line.”
Once a client affirms life of her baby, she is given a vast array of support services: prenatal and parenting education, sexual health education, material assistance, and mentoring with a volunteer, which includes biweekly visits for up to 24 months. 
Clients are given essentials for the baby and can buy items with “baby bucks” earned from education participation. The “baby boutique” is filled with baby clothes, diapers, formulas, blankets, car seats and more. 
All services and baby items are free due to the vast amount of volunteer support and donations from individuals, organizations and area churches of all denominations. “We receive avid support from pastors Monsignor Stephen Knox, St. Patrick Church and Father David Peck, St. John Neumann Church,” said Desideri. “We are grateful for all they do for us.” 
The clinic is amidst a campaign to raise $30,000 to purchase a much-needed new ultrasound machine. Several fund raising efforts will be held this year: a luncheon in April, a Knights of Columbus Council 12497 golf outing this summer, and a banquet in the fall.
Fundraising is crucial for Corbella Clinic as it provides support for all of its operations, staff, and client services.