For Catholic women struggling with infertility or experiencing challenging reproductive health issues it can be difficult to find medical providers who offer solutions that are aligned with Catholic teaching on reproductive medicine.

Fortunately, the Gianna Center of Philadelphia has been providing pro-life reproductive healthcare for women and families in the Philadelphia region since 2017.

Located at Suburban Community Hospital in East Norriton, the center has helped more than 1,000 women with infertility care, gynecological care and training in the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System. This system is a method of family planning that may be used to achieve or avoid pregnancy. The Gianna Center also offers NaProTECHNOLOGY® (Natural Procreative Technology) medical and surgical treatments.

Barbara Rose, a certified Fertility Care Practitioner and nurse practitioner, said that more than 140 babies have been conceived by clients who sought fertility care at the center in the past five years.

During the week of March 19-25, the Gianna Center will commemorate Worldwide FertilityCare Week which highlights the benefits of the Creighton Model and NaProTECHNOLOGY. This year’s theme is “The Creighton Model FertilityCare System – A Window Into Our Fertility.”

On Wednesday, March 22 the Gianna Center will have an information table set up from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the lobby of Suburban Community Hospital. In addition, the center will present the Wonder of Eve program at 7:00 p.m. that night. This is a mother-daughter program developed by the Archdiocese of St. Louis that helps young women better understand their bodies and the impact their choices can have on their future health and fertility.

A mom and daughter participate in The Gianna Center of Philadelphia’s inaugural Mother-Daughter Tea at St. Helena Parish in Blue Bell Oct. 16, 2022 presenting the Wonder of Eve program. (Photo: Sarah Webb)

Rose said the center has an important mission because “there are few places that women can go for this kind of care, and more importantly, because we’re a nonprofit, we accept women with all levels of income.”

“A new patient calls us every day which speaks to the fact that this type of care is needed,” she said. “It’s our mission to educate and to provide medical services” that align with Catholic teaching.

Rose added that the center is a valuable health care resource especially since almost 25 percent of the women they serve only speak Spanish. Dr. Delia Larrauri, who attended medical school in Venezuela before moving to the United States to complete her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein Medical Center, speaks Spanish. Karla Montiel, a medical assistant at the center, is fluent in Spanish, Italian and English.

“We’re like a medical mission because Dr. Larrauri sometimes spends an hour with some people because they have (medical) problems, and we can help solve them,” Rose said. “It’s better health care because it’s natural and cooperative with the woman’s cycle, and it’s restorative health care.”

For Dr. Larrauri, her work at the center is “the right thing to do.”

“I’m committed to providing these services because this is what I believe we should do, and it’s what the church teaches,” she said. “Artificial contraception is destructive for women’s fertility, and it’s against the culture of life.”

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Karla Montiel, left, medical assistant at the Gianna Center, Beth Breece, a volunteer nurse at the center, and Barbara Rose, a certified Fertility Care Practitioner and nurse practitioner at the center, provide information about the center’s services during the Abbey Fest music event last September. (Photo: Gianna Center)