By Anne Marie Amacher
BETTENDORF — When she was laid off from her nursing job in June, Claudia Roa began to search for employment and came across the Women’s Choice Center. Even though no paid positions were open, she met with Executive Director Vicki Tyler about helping out at the pro-life center.
“I was amazed at all they do there,” Roa said. The center offers pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds, counseling and referrals.
“I had a strong sense God wanted me to do pro-life work,” Roa said. “I wanted to work there.” So when she got home, she told her husband, Richard, that she planned to work at the center — even without pay as a volunteer.
Roa secured several interviews with potential employers and was considering positions when Tyler called to tell her about an opening for the clinical director position, which is paid. “I called back and said ‘yes’ right away. God was calling me there,” Roa said.
On July 7 she began duties as clinical director. Tyler said Roa’s responsibilities include doing ultrasounds and all the paperwork associated with clients visiting the site, giving pregnancy tests and providing counseling. Roa completed sonogram (ultrasound) training this month. To help her gain experience while being trained to perform ultrasounds, the center solicited pregnant women from the Quad-City area to be “models.”
During a two-week period, Roa and the trainers brought in to teach her performed 84 ultrasounds. Some were for clients and others were for the volunteer models. “We had an alternate list with up to 20 more women who were willing to volunteer to have ultrasounds done that we couldn’t call,” Tyler noted. “There are a lot of pregnant women in this area — and that’s great.”
Roa and her husband moved to the Quad Cities in June 2010 when her husband received a transfer from the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., to Arsenal Island in Rock Island, Ill. Although Richard is retired from his first “career,” he works for the government on the Arsenal.
Roa graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and has worked in obstetric nursing for 25 years in a hospital or clinic setting.
The couple has six children: three sons who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and are officers on submarines, a daughter studying physical therapy at the University of Iowa, a daughter who is a sophomore at Assumption High School in Davenport and a daughter who is a fifth-grader at Lourdes Catholic School in Bettendorf.
The Roas and their two children attending school in the Quad Cities are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
Tyler said she is excited to have Roa on board with such a great amount of experience. “We are blessed to have her. God has provided her to us.”
Roa fills the position that opened when Pam Galanius left to devote more time at home and to home school her three children.