1970: AbortionOn July 1st, 1970 New York became the first state to legalize abortion. On July 2nd, the very next day, the Rochester/Syracuse region became home to the first free-standing abortion clinic in the nation.
1980: CompassCareCompassCare, first named “Citizens for Public Morality” was founded in 1980 out of the hearts of several people who were concerned for society at the moral level. Several years later the organization decided to focus on the abortion issue and the name was changed to “Crisis Pregnancy Center.” By the mid 90’s, CompassCare had several staff and volunteers at several locations and enjoyed significant impact on the community; utilizing lay counselors, material assistance and post-abortion counseling.
2002: Medical ServicesAs the culture changed to more of a postmodern one, where women no longer made decisions based on facts but rather experiences and relationship; CompassCare recognized it had to adapt in order to remain relevant and effective. In 2002, CompassCare did what most said could not be done in New York State - implemented the current medical model of service. At that point the name was changed again to “CompassCare Pregnancy Services” in order to reflect this new model of operation.
2005: The Linear Service ModelThe Linear Service Model idea all started unintentionally as we unwittingly discovered that some Helpliners were more effective at getting women to schedule and arrive for their appointments than others. In digging a little deeper, we discovered that what the most effective Helpliner said to prospective clients on the phone was virtually identical every time. The result of this was to capture exactly what she said into a script, retrain all the Helpliners so that everyone began using only that script and nothing else for the next month. The outcome was staggering.
We were on to something! So we asked ourselves, “Can we do this with everything?” Can we take the process we used in our finer moments of serving the women at highest risk for abortion, the abortion-minded, and make it standard operating protocol? The answer, of course, was a resounding, “Why not!” The result of this was the creation of the first-ever linear service model for pregnancy centers, a step-by-step process used to serve our patients in a consistent and effective manner, allowing for meaningful measurability for the purpose of improving quality of care. Armed with this new process CompassCare became one of the most effective pregnancy centers in the nation at reaching more women at risk for abortion and serving them in a way that helped them carry their babies to term.
2007: National ExpansionNews quickly spread across the country that there may be an organization that has solved the client load problem that most PRCs were facing. So in an effort to continue to meet the needs of not only our clients but also of organizations that had a similar mission, we decided to create a training system. The idea was to give other PRCs the opportunity to experience the same effectiveness that CompassCare was enjoying. In the end CompassCare created the first transferable PRC model in the history of the movement with demonstrated repeatability in a dozen sites from Lakeland, FL to Santa Barbara, CA; from rural to urban, from college town to boom town. The model actually worked with the same (if not better!) effectiveness in very different parts of the country serving very different types of women.
2012: Open SourcingThe next step was to place this tool in the hands of more pregnancy centers so they also may become more effective in reaching and serving women facing unplanned pregnancies and erasing the need for abortion. As a result, in 2012 CompassCare made a decision to ‘open source’ the Optimization Tool. This made the OT Manual and related materials available, free of charge, to pregnancy centers whose desire was to become more effective in reaching and serving women at risk for abortion in a way that helps them have their babies.
2015: Optimize SoftwareThe next step for CompassCare has been to take the Optimization Tool to a whole new level by transitioning it from a cumbersome paper-based system to our Optimize software, integrating every aspect of your patient service process into a comprehensive, customizable software system from scheduling through follow-up.