Connect Medical Clinic to host fundraising banquet in Dickinson

Being knowledgeable, careful and respectful of yourself and others is the educational mission of Connect Medical Clinic in Dickinson, which seeks to market its services. The clinic will be holding its Impact Banquet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 30 at the Astoria Hotel and Events Center, as part of this mission and looks forward to welcoming the community and sharing more about its mission.

Tara Zettel is the Executive Director of Connect Medical Clinic and a Certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist. Although the clinic does not provide contraceptives, Zettel noted that the clinic does offer other training and resources aimed at promoting sexual health.

“Fertility awareness is our response to contraceptives,” Zettel said. “We provide education on natural family planning, being primarily aware of ovulation and avoiding this time of the month so that we don’t get pregnant. “

Connect Medical Clinic offers free “Earn as You Learn” parenting classes with videos, worksheets and assignments. The parent earns a free pack of diapers and wipes for each class they attend and can double their earnings by bringing in a partner, family member or friend to support them in the learning process.

“For the first time ever, parents or teenage parents – who are not at all ready to have a child – it really helps them have healthy pregnancy outcomes and prepare for having a newborn baby. And it goes from pregnancy until the age of two of this child. So there are even lessons about tantrums and sibling rivalries, ”Zettel said.

The clinic also offers STI testing for a fee of $ 25. Infections the test looks for include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis C, as well as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis in women. COVID-19 and other non-STI viruses can trigger false positives for HIV and hepatitis C, so they administer blood tests to check the results of these types of infections. Since HIV and hepatitis can only be treated and not cured, the clinic also offers free counseling to people who test positive.

Located near the intersection of State Avenue and Sixth Street West, the clinic is within walking distance for students of Dickinson High School and Dickinson State University.

Zettel said the clinic’s latest move is to equip its new cargo trailer in a mobile health unit so clinical workers can hold seminars in schools and provide services to residents across the western half of the region. ‘State. Connect Medical Clinic is the only clinic of its kind west of Bismarck, she added.

At one point, Zettel noted that they had received several women who had obtained false positives as a result of what appeared to have been a faulty batch of over-the-counter pregnancy tests. These tests are generally reliable, but Connect Medical Clinic offers free limited ultrasounds to confirm a heartbeat and fetal viability, she said.

Events like this upcoming banquet are important because 6% of Connect Medical Clinic’s budget is funded by grants from the North Dakota Department of Health, while the remaining 94% is made possible by the generosity of individuals and private organizations such as the Dickinson Rotary Club.

Mike Long is the event’s featured speaker. Long spent several years working as a teacher in North Carolina and holds a master’s degree in Christian education administration from Southeastern Theological Seminary. He is also the author of two books on sexual health, one for adolescents and one for parents.

“He shares with us his 35-year perspective of talking to children, of being in class with them. He underlines how the culture wants to designate music, television, advertising, etc., to portray sex as a purely physical act. In reality, sex has emotional, mental and physical aspects as well as practical, social and even spiritual aspects. Saying to someone, ‘It’s just a physical thing,’ isn’t quite true, ”Zettel said.

Connect Medical Clinic Executive Director Tara Zettel, left, and Director of Advancement, Mark Billings, are pictured.  (Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press)

Connect Medical Clinic Executive Director Tara Zettel, left, and Director of Advancement, Mark Billings, are pictured. (Jason O’Day / The Dickinson Press)

Mark Billings, head of clinic advancement, said it was the clinic’s first live banquet in two years. This year, the clinic hopes to raise $ 115,000 at the banquet.

“This is one of the most important events of its kind in this region and people traditionally look forward to it. It attracts a large audience. We’re expecting close to 400 people, ”Billings added.

For those interested in attending the Impact Banquet, register online at Although the event is free, guests are encouraged to donate.

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