1st Choice Pregnancy Medical Center (RVPMC), rooted in the River Valley since 1990, has been offering free pregnancy testing and life affirming peer counseling since its’ origin. Our legal name is Fort Smith Christian Family Services and we have previously done business as “Crisis Pregnancy Center” and “Fort Smith Pregnancy Help Center”. Our mission statement is “Reaching out to women and families facing unplanned pregnancies, saving lives both physically and eternally.”
Through the years, our name has changed to more effectively reflect our services, but our mission remains the same. Our desire is to provide free services and show the love of Jesus to women and families in the River Valley with the hope they will choose physical life for their babies and eternal life for themselves.
Beginning May 2014, RVPMC offered free limited OB ultrasound to our patients. Statistics from the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) reveal these findings: 78% of mothers “at risk for abortion” who viewed their children via Ultrasound in a Pregnancy Medical Center choose life.
We continue to update and expand our services as the needs of our community change. We always want to be relevant to the culture we serve and demonstrate the love of Jesus to each person who walks through our doors.
MEET OUR STAFF
Pam Rhodes is Executive Director of 1st Choice RVPMC (River Valley Pregnancy Medical Center). Before moving into the director role in January 2017, she served in many other roles at the center including: volunteer peer counselor, board member, nurse manager, and ministry advancement coordinator.
Pam has always had a heart for families in crisis – which only grew stronger while caring for patients in critical condition and recognizing the needs of the families at the bedside. The ladies and families who come in the doors at 1st Choice are often in crisis – facing life and death decisions. “It is our privilege to share in the most intimate moments of their lives and walk with them through their crisis until they find hope.”
Pam is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years’ experience and has a Master’s Degree in Community/Family nursing from University of Central Arkansas.
Pam & her husband Chris have been married since 1998 and have 2 teenage daughters.
-Client Services Director
Tammy and her family have been involved with the Center through their local church since 1998. Tammy came on staff in 2014 fulfilling the desires of her heart -being in Ministry, having a precious family & Reaching out to families during a crisis time - offering them help & HOPE - eternal hope!
She attended Liberty Baptist University, majoring in Women's & Youth Ministries with a minor in Counseling.
Tammy Transferred to Baptist Christian College after 2 years at LBU. Attending classes & workshops to continue her education, she sees as assets the Lord is using for the opportunities here at the Center.
Tammy was born in Arkansas, but grew up in Louisiana. Tammy and Roger have been married 37 years. They have 9 children and 8 GRANDbabies. They have served in churches in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma and for the last 19 years @ Shady Grove Baptist Church in Figure Five, AR.
Melissa is responsible for coordinating fundraising events, building our relationships with partners, and determining effective methods for reaching our community. Melissa's sincere heart and desire to follow the Lord's will is evident in all she does.
Melissa grew up in southern California, but has established relationships and roots in Arkansas. She is the mother of 5 precious children and recently earned the non-comparable title of "meme" for the first time. She is a member of Central Christian Church.
Melissa began supporting and volunteering at the center in 2015 and joined the 1st Choice Staff Team in 2017.
Lezlie was called to this ministry after being a stay at home mom for two years. She has a heart and desire to help listen, guide and educate the women and families who come through the center.
Lezlie is a graduate of Greenwood high school. She attended Westark Community College and Sparks School of Radiography. She worked for Sparks Health System for over 25 years.
She has been married to her husband, Greg, for 26 years. Together they have 3 amazing children. Lezlie joined 1st choice January 2017
Sara joined the RVPMC staff as Office Manager in January 2017. She oversees the Administrative functions of the center as well as fills the part time Client Advocate role, supporting our Client Services Director in client counseling and care. Sara's heart lies in ministering to teenage girls. In 2013 she began mentoring young ladies in the Fort Smith Jr High Public Schools and has seen the great need for leadership, friendship, and love for the hurting teen population here in our community.
Sara feels strongly that just by loving and showing support, a mentor can make a huge impact in the lives of teens who are in crisis. This calling is what led her to the center in hopes of broadening the outreach to the young women here in our area.
Sara was born in Texas, but raised in Fort Smith and considers herself a Fort Smith native. Sara and Kenny have been married for 19 years and are the parents of two teenagers, Jacob and Melody. She has been a member of Central Christian Church for over 16 years. She enjoys many hobbies, but her family is her main priority
Marisa spent more than a year volunteering for 1st Choice before moving into the Patient Coordinator role January 2018. She is the first smiling face patients see as they enter our front door. She is a blessing and an asset to the staff team at 1st Choice and to each patient she communicates with.
Marisa is married to Paul and they are raising 2 energetic preschool aged young men.
Healthcare Advisory Council
Thomas R. Wood, D.O is a practicing OB/GYN physician and a partner with Eastside OB/GYN in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Dr. Wood has been Medical Director of 1st Choice River Valley Pregnancy Medical Center since 2014 and financial supporter since 2008. He is passionate about helping women make pregnancy choices. Dr. Wood is Board certified by the American Board of Obstetric and Gynecology, and a Fellow of American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Dr. Thomas Wood started his medical education at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He continued his training in Obstetric and Gynecology at University of Mississippi in Jackson, Mississippi. He was born and raised in Fort Smith where he returned to start his practice in July 2007.
Dr. Wood is married to Audra Wood and has three children, Lucas, Brett, and Seth. He enjoys outdoor activities including: Golf, Hunting, Camping and watching his kids play sports.
Board of Directors
Derek Goodlin-Co-chair & Treasurer
Fort Smith Christian Family Services
4622 Grand Ave Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904