This month, our member spotlight focuses on Image Clear Ultrasound (ICU) Mobile Twin Cities. A service of Alpha Women’s Center, ICU is a mobile medical clinic that offers free services for women who may be pregnant.
Image Clear Ultrasound Mobile started in 2013 as a service of Alpha Women’s Center. Staffed by licensed medical providers and volunteers, they provide compassionate, confidential care at no cost, with no insurance required. This Christian ministry offers service to all women in a safe, nonjudgmental space. Regular locations include New Prague, Shakopee, and Minneapolis. The mobile unit travels where it is needed, such as women’s shelters, churches, or community events.
Anne Fredrickson, the Executive Director of Alpha Women’s Center, shares information and insights about ICU’s work.
What services does ICU provide?
ICU Mobile Twin Cities provides free pregnancy testing, limited obstetrical ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, and support services through our community partners. This spring, we plan to add sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, as well as life coaching packages for our clients.
Anne, in 2017 you became Alpha Women’s Center’s new executive director. What prompted you to take this position?
A friend told me about the position and I was immediately excited by the opportunity. While it uses my background in communications, marketing, and fundraising, it provides so much more than that. It’s a chance to engage in mission-based work that really makes an impact in people’s lives and allows me to serve others in a meaningful way.
Recently, we received a message from one of our former clients with a picture of her baby girl and a note of thanks for helping her through a rough time in her life. Making a difference for women is incredibly rewarding.
What challenges do you face leading a nonprofit organization?
One of my biggest challenges is trying to find balance between the day-to-day to-do list and big picture organizational leadership. There are so many things I want to do, but with limited staff and hours, I have to be realistic about our growth.
Another challenge is the feeling that I am constantly fundraising. We are completely donor-supported and rely on contributions from individuals, churches and organizations. We were blessed to have a 30 percent increase in funding last year, and have exciting plans for growth this year. Finding business leaders who will join us as mission partners is one of the ways I would like to strengthen our donor base.
What are the best business decisions that you’ve made with ICU?
I believe in hiring the best people we can find to do what they are good at. Our nurse manager, RN Jessica Simones, is a tremendous asset, having both excellent skills as a nurse and great compassion for patients. Hiring talented professionals for accounting, legal advice, and other services ensures we follow best practices and allows me to use my time as productively as possible. Working with a wonderful board of directors, we eliminated our debt last year, which enabled us to grow client services.
Your professional background includes marketing and communications. What is the most important tip you have for business owners?
Tell your story and make it personal. People connect with stories of success and struggles. Client numbers and statistics are great, and we keep track of them but the most impactful way to promote our work are through examples of changed lives.
For example, last summer a woman approached us at an event with her school-aged daughter and shared that she had received help from us when she was a pregnant teenager who was kicked out of her home. The woman had a beautiful daughter, a good job, and was in college to be a nurse. Our supporters care about that young woman’s success more than a stack of statistics.
Whatever your industry, think about how you impact people’s lives and communicate that to your constituents.