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Eye On Health: A Step Ahead Foundation

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Ashley Anderson is ready to start the next chapter of her life

Ashley Anderson says "I just graduated and recently got married, transitioning from college to adult life."

But she wants to plan her pregnancies and her future, and that's where A Step Ahead Foundation comes in.

Rachel Schulson is the Executive Director.

Rachel says "We're making sure that when a woman is seeking birth control that she can have access to the best methods."

Those methods include an IUD or the implant that goes in the arm.

Rachel Schulson says "We just want to make sure that all women have access by removing obstacles such as transportation, we provide free door to door transportation, and they also cover the costs for those who qualify.

For one local doctor who works with the program, her focus is on the medical implications and potential harm to babies whose moms don't get off to a healthy and prepared start.  

Dr. Vonda Ware is an OB-GYN.  She says "Mothers that have unintended pregnancies, they enter prenatal care late, so therefore the risk of premature births is higher, the risks of complications during labor is higher."

According to statistics,  out of 4,491 births in Hamilton County in 2014,
30% were to women living in poverty
41% were to single mothers
40% were to mothers with a high school degree or less

A Step Ahead Foundation has been in Chattanooga for just over a year, about 15 months and Schulson says during that time's they've served 400 women.  

Rachel Schulson says "Outreach is a big emphasis, we attend health fairs, we make sure we have literature in everywhere we can go to."

Ashley is just glad they reached out to her.

Ashley Anderson says "Eventually I want to start a family and I just think to start a family you have to  have a solid foundation, so it's been a good choice."

Click here to learn more about the foundation, or call 423-265-STEP (7837).

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