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The time is now for Bella health center

The trio that heads up Bella Natural Women’s Care is “ready to roll up their sleeves,” explained co-founder Dede Chism, as the practice prepares for its opening next week.

Archbishop Samuel Aquila will dedicate the new nonprofit health care center, located at 180 E. Hampden Ave. in Englewood, during the grand opening Dec. 9. Everyone is invited to learn more about Bella at events that continue throughout the day.

“Bella Natural Women’s Care is a comprehensive obstetrics, gynecology and infertility women’s health practice,” explained Chism, a perinatal nurse practitioner and parishioner of Holy Name Parish in Englewood. “We hallmark ourselves by embracing the dignity of women promoting healing and wellness, doing that with both natural and scientific methods. Always a vital part of our care is a sincere compassion and respect for life.”

The 4,000-square-foot clinic, whose services are in keeping with Church teaching, is accepting patients and is open to women of all faiths, incomes and ages. Bella accepts insurance, self-pay and Medicaid.

Chism, who wrote “The High-Risk Pregnancy Sourcebook” (Lowell, 1997), and her daughter Abby Sinnett, a women’s health nurse practitioner and parishioner at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Littleton, were inspired to open Bella after serving several years on medical missions to Peru.

“We were aware that regardless of where we come from, all women deserve really good care that embraces their dignity and supports who they are and who they are meant to be,” Sinnett said.

The encouragement the women received from the local Catholic community, starting with Archbishop Aquila and including the Christian Life Movement, Holy Name Parish and Catholic Charities’ Respect Life Resources, convinced them to move forward.

“We really feel like the Holy Spirit is saying, ‘Now is the time and I will give you everything you need, including the best doctor in the country to serve (this work),’” Chism said.

Dr. Steve Hickner is the center’s medical director. He is an OB-GYN with 23 years’ experience who just completed a one-year fellowship in medical and surgical NaProTechnology from the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha. Chism and Sinnett also received training from the respected institute founded by Dr. Thomas Hilgers for the study of human reproduction.

“It’s definitely the work of the Holy Spirit connecting the three of us,” Hickner affirmed. “We share the same vision.”

Opening day will begin with 9 a.m. morning prayer led by Bishop Kay Martin Schmalhausen, S.C.V., of Peru, a longtime friend of Bella’s co-founders, in the center’s chapel; followed by an open house until 11:30 a.m. Festivities continue with a tea and tours at 2:30 p.m. and Archbishop Aquila will dedicate the center at 5 p.m. The blessing will be followed by a community soup supper with talks by Chism and Sinnett at 6:15 p.m. at Holy Name Parish at 3290 Milan Ave. in Englewood. RSVP by calling 303-789-4968. The celebration will conclude at the parish with a 7 p.m. concert by musician Steve Angrisano.

Bella Natural Women’s Care
Grand opening events
When: Dec. 9
Where: 180 E. Hampden Ave., Englewood
Tea and tours: 2:30 p.m.
Blessing: 5 p.m. by Archbishop Aquila
More info: www.BellaNWC.org or 303-789-4968

St. Gianna Molla Chapel
The chapel at Bella Natural Women’s Care is named after St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962), an Italian doctor and mother who developed a fibroid tumor while pregnant with her fourth child. She refused an abortion and hysterectomy to save the life of her unborn child, opting to simply have the tumor removed, knowing continuing the pregnancy could result in her death. She delivered her child by caesarean section and died seven days later of septic peritonitis. She was canonized in 2004. The chapel will house a relic of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a beloved role model for the center’s co-founders.

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