As part of a national initiative to place 1,000 ultrasound machines in pro-life pregnancy centers, hospitals and clinics throughout the country, the Knights of Columbus along with the Diocese of Buffalo, are donating funds to purchase additional hand-held sonogram machines to benefit Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Catholic Health. In a ceremony at the hospital's main campus on Military Road in the Town of Lewiston, representatives of Mount St. Mary's and Catholic Health were joined by the Diocese of Buffalo to accept the funds from the of the Knights of Columbus, which will bring the most up-to-date hand-held ultrasound machines to two OB-GYN provider offices in Niagara County operated by Mount St. Mary's.
In 2017, The Knights donated funds to purchase two units that are being used at the Ken-Ton Family Care Center in Tonawanda and the Mercy Comprehensive Care Center on Louisiana Street in Buffalo. The Knights of Columbus have a longstanding program of trying to equip pro-life pregnancy care and OB-GYN health centers with modern technology that will enable expectant mothers to see and hear their babies in utero. The Supreme Council matches funds raised by local councils and together the partnership benefits OB-GYN health centers across the region and the United States under the Catholic umbrella.
The hand-held machines are focused not only on seeing the fetal heartbeat early in pregnancy, but looking at the position of the baby near the end of pregnancy. The portable units, slightly larger than an iPhone, can reach women during their office visit displaying a fetal heartbeat at seven weeks. In addition to monitoring fetal growth and development, ultrasounds can also screen for any potential problems. These units can reach more people in outpatient settings than standard hospital models, which are about the same size as the technicians who use them. The diocesan Office of Pro-Life Activities works in conjunction with Catholic Health and several lives have been saved through graces such as this.
Ultrasound exams, which are medically indicated throughout pregnancy for a variety of diagnostic reasons, use ultrasound waves to scan a woman's abdomen, creating a picture or "sonogram" of the baby in her womb.
The machines provide a "window on the womb" allowing mothers to see her developing child, hear her baby's heartbeat, and recognize the miracle of the new life within her. The new machines will be used at the Mount St. Mary's Neighborhood Health Center at 3101 Ninth Street in Niagara Falls.