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Family birth center gets $300,000 for a building

Posted: Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Juneau Family Birth Center has received a $300,000 boost from Congress for its new community family center project.

For the past year, the Juneau Family Birth Center has been raising money to build an 8,600-square-foot facility near Salmon Creek. The building, which will be more than twice as big as its current facility, will be equipped with three birth rooms, a classroom, a library and an exercise room.

Kaye Kanne, executive director of the Juneau Family Birth Center, estimates the project will cost $2.9 million. The center has raised $556,000, including the $300,000 federal funding, which it learned of last week.

"We will send applications to various foundations. I hope to get all the funding by June," Kanne said.

Kanne said she expects the construction to start next summer and the center to open next winter.

In 1998 Kanne established the nonprofit birth center, which provides pregnancy and childbirth classes, and free information on nutrition and health for all pregnant women in Juneau. Every year, the center's three midwives assist in about 80 births, about 20 percent of Juneau's total.

Kanne said that with more space the new community family center can provide more. It will offer a wide range of health care services, including family health care with a physician, counseling with certified therapists and complete prenatal, birth and postpartum care with certified midwives.

The center also will host family-centered events such as storytelling, prenatal exercise and yoga. The center's library will lend families books on pregnancy, breast-feeding and parenting.

"We are expanding to include family health care, social care and other practitioners," Kanne said. "We want to create a web of support for all the families in Juneau."



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