SAN FRANCISCO – Hilary Overton does not have one drop of Filipino blood, but she has dedicated her life to helping many Filipino mothers deliver healthy babies.
A Texan native, Overton first visited the Philippines when she was a teenager during a missionary trip with her parents.
During college, she spent another two years in the Philippines through a study abroad program, and after earning a midwife degree in the United States, Overton and her husband decided to move to Cebu. There she created Glory Reborn, which is a clinic that provides pre and post natal care to the marginalized of Cebu.
“We are a group of 36 individuals, all Filipinos except for myself, and we really love serving the women that we serve,” said Overton. “Our heart is really to help the marginalized receive quality care and access to quality care.”
The clinic is open 24-hours a day but Overton says that she and her staff go out to the underserved areas of Cebu, the prisons and slums, to seek pregnant women who do not have the knowledge and resources to give birth and care of their child.
After 11 years and over 3,000 babies delivered, Overton’s devotion to her work hasn’t changed. She was recently in the United States speaking of her program to raise awareness of Glory Reborn and ask for donations to maintain the free program.
“When we look at the maternal death rates of 13 women dying a day, of mostly preventable maternal deaths, we’re looking at the most marginalized women,” said Overton. “We want to see not how much they can pay us but how can we save them, and how we can help them, and it’s a return investment. They get a healthy mom and a healthy baby. They get a new start on life, education, and they could really pay us with taking care of that baby.”
Glory Reborn was also instrumental in helping the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
“The first thing we did aside from registering our organization was to visit the airport and evacuation sites and set up a process of transportation for these women,” said Overton. “We received some women that were in active labor and we received some that just needed an ultrasound to make sure everything was OK. We brought them to our center, and those who were in labor or near labor stayed in our facility because they had nowhere to go, and at that point, evacuation sites were not fully set and fully functional yet, so we ended up with quite a few pregnant women.”
Overton also said that they took in the rest of the families of the pregnant women and after the typhoon they helped them return home by coordinating boat and plane tickets.
“First of all, thank you to the Filipino community for just adopting me into your culture, into your society and to just feel the love of the Philippines has just been overwhelming for me and such a blessing,” said the Texan native.
Glory Reborn has been asked to duplicate their clinics in other parts of the Philippines. Overton says they plan to create a training center in Cebu so medical staff can be trained create their own clinics and bring them to their communities. The major goal for Glory Reborn is turning their maternal clinic into a fully functional hospital in Cebu in the near future.
For more information about Glory Reborn visit there website at gloryreborn.org.