Heartbeat of Toledo is a life-affirming organization whose mission is to be the best source of information and support to women facing pregnancies and to help moms, dads, and babies in need. What began as a dream of Dr. John Hillabrand and Mrs. Lore Maier nearly 48 years ago has become a beautiful reality of intentional care for women in our great city. The heart of Heartbeat has always been to serve women, walking alongside each of them as they share their journey with us.
When Heartbeat of Toledo was founded in 1971, Dr. Hillabrand and Mrs. Maier’s initial focus of care was providing free pregnancy testing to women in the community. This focus has now grown into providing free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STI testing, options counseling, parenting education, adoption birth parent support, and post-abortion care.
Heartbeat was a volunteer run organization for the majority of our history until 2009. Since 2009 Heartbeat has grown to 14 staff members with 70 active volunteers serving our community through our Your First Look Women’s Center and Heart to Heart Parenting Education programs. Since we began using a database in 2000 we have served 12,094 women and families through 37,317 visits with us, meeting their specific needs! That is 37,317 opportunities to empower, encourage, and educate women and families.
While we have met the tangible needs of each woman acquiring our services, we are focusing on digging in with each of them to help them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We have taken steps towards this focus by adding social workers in the patient advocate role to help provide additional community resources that are needed in each woman’s life and be an ongoing support person through follow-up. We have also added Sharing Hearts, which is our adoptive birth parent support group. We found that we were seeing a number of women pursuing the option of adoption, but with little to no follow-up care and support once the baby was born. In our research we found that this is the only group of it’s kind within a 200-mile radius!