New Choices location breaks ground

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Keeping women from being a statistic. That's what Memphis Choices, a health care provider, aims to do when it comes to the high numbers of pregnant who die in childbirth related issues.

At just 8-weeks-old, Ketrice Page's baby boy Elon is happiest in the arms of his mom.

She had him with the help of midwives from Memphis Choices.

"They created a relationship with my two younger kids and made it really accommodating."

She says their help was invaluable, especially compared with her experience having her first two.

Now, Memphis Choice is expanding those options with a groundbreaking on Thursday.

"Choices is building a new reproductive health center that's going to be comprehensive in scope. That will include a birthing center that will be the first Memphis has experienced," Rebecca Terrell, executive director of Memphis Choices, said.

Terrell explained that a birthing center gives women an alternative to a hospital.

"You'll be able to give birth in water, walk around, move and you can eat as you desire. Family can be there with  you. It's a little bit more flexible."

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 370 women died between 2012 and 2016 due to pregnancy-related issues, and it disproportionately affects black women.

There are a lot of reasons for that, one of them is affordability.

Terrell says they address that.

"Many people on Tenncare right now cannot have access to a midwife because midwives aren't able to accept insurance. We'll be able to take Tenncare."

They're also located in Midtown, while most other obstetric providers are farther east.

"It's inclusive of people in this area. So, as far as transportation and those who have a difficult time getting around the city - it's a great location," Page said.

The new building is set to finish construction June of next year and will be located on Bellevue Avenue.