Birth Control

Join us for a happy hour FUNdraiser on August 23rd

Join MFHS and our friends at Rodano’s Wednesday, August 23rd from 5:30 – 7:30 for a happy hour with a purpose! All proceeds raised will benefit our Nurse-Family Partnership holiday party. Our NFP staff throws the party every year for our clients – families receive gifts for their children, dinner, and pictures with Santa, all thanks to generous donations from the NEPA community.

The happy hour features no cover, raffle baskets and guest bartenders. All tips and a portion of sales will be generously donated by Rodano’s! Please join us on August 23rd and help us spread the word!


House Funding Bill Eliminates Bedrock Public Health Program

From the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association: House funding bill eliminates bedrock public health program.

Two of the Members of Congress that represent the MFHS service area are on the House Appropriations Committee and could speak out against this harmful provision. We are asking MFHS supporters to contact Rep. Dent (202-225-6411) or Rep. Cartwright (202-225-5546) You can call the representative’s office and let the staffer know that they need to oppose all cuts to Title X and want their representative to advocate for the program during the committee’s debate on the bill.

Here is a sample script:
“My name is [NAME] and I live in/or work in [CITY]. I am a strong supporter of the Maternal and Family Health Services Title X family planning program and want the representative to ensure that funding for the program is put back in the appropriations bill when it comes to the full committee for consideration. Thank you for your help.”

Please share with your network and encourage them to contact Rep. Dent (202-225-6411) or Rep. Cartwright (202-225-5546) if they are constituents.

Your voice matters now more than ever. Thank you.

Dr. Rachel Levine: 2016 Outstanding Public Service Award

pgofficialDr. Rachel Levine is currently the Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. The Outstanding Public Service Award is being presented to Dr. Levine for her work as an advocate for the health of teens and children throughout Pennsylvania, as well as for the LGBT community. Dr. Levine will be presented the award at the MFHS 45th Annual Meeting & Community Luncheon on October 19th.

Dr. Levine’s previous posts included: Vice -Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital-Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Her accomplishments at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center include the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems. In addition, she started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. She is the Liaison for the LGBT community for the Office of Diversity at the Penn State College of Medicine.  In that role, she has established a LGBT faculty and staff affinity group and is the facilitator for the LGBT student group.

She graduated from Harvard College in 1979 and the Tulane University School of Medicine in 1983. Dr. Levine completed training in Pediatrics at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City in 1987 and then did a Fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Mt. Sinai from 1987-88.

Congratulations Dr. Levine and thank you for your continued commitment to improving the health of all Pennsylvanians! Registration for the MFHS 45th Annual Meeting & Community Awards Luncheon is open until October 7th.

MFHS Awarded Moses Taylor Foundation Grant

logoThe Moses Taylor Foundation recently awarded a grant to MFHS to support our Health Information Technology Initiative, and specifically, the implementation of an electronic health record system. Adoption of an electronic health record will result in improved patient care, improved care coordination, practice efficiencies, cost savings, increased patient participation and improved diagnostics and patient outcomes.

Thank you to Moses Taylor for helping us improve patient care, care coordination, and so much more.

A full list of projects funded are available on the Mose Taylor Foundation website:

Public Notice – Reproductive Health Services

Public  Notice

Maternal & Family Health Services receives public funds and grants service contracts to 15 healthcare agencies that provide family planning services to low-income individuals in Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.

Maternal & Family Health Services seeks additional not-for-profit healthcare providers in the aforementioned counties that have the capacity to offer reproductive health services such as general physical exams, screening for STD/HIV, cervical, breast, and testicular cancers, and can manage patients on FDA approved methods of birth control including natural family planning.

New providers that wish to be considered for a service contract with Maternal & Family Health Services should submit letters of interest describing their current practice and their ability to serve low income patients.  Of particular interest are providers that have family planning/reproductive health experience in offering medical services to limited English speaking populations, and/or males.

Maternal & Family Health Services’ ability to grant new service contracts is contingent upon the amount of funding it receives for the period starting July 2017.

Letters of interest should be submitted by Friday, May 19, 2016 to:

Maternal & Family Health Services
Attention: John Kearney
15 Public Square
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

No fax, phone or e-mail inquiries will be considered.

Maternal & Family Health Services Announces 44th Annual Meeting & Community Awards Luncheon

2015inviteMaternal & Family Health Services, Inc. (MFHS) announces that its 44th Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors and Community Awards Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at The Westmoreland Club, Wilkes-Barre. The agency will be presenting several awards, including the Rose Allan Tucker Award to Ellen E. Farrell of Prudential Retirement.

Maternal & Family Health Services began its journey of service in April 1971, with a vision to improve the quality of family life, promote responsible parenthood and coordinate effective service delivery in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Today, MFHS has grown to a regional organization serving over 110,000 individuals in 16 Pennsylvania counties.

The Rose Tucker Award is being presented to Ellen E. Farrell of Prudential Retirement for her continued dedication to improving the lives of women and families in Northeast Pennsylvania. Ellen has long been involved with community organizations like Dress for Success, Children’s Advocacy Center, the CEO Food Bank and many others. She has led events for these organizations that support her passion to help those underserved in our community.

Three other awards will be presented during the MFHS 44th Annual Community Awards Luncheon. Luzerne County Head Start will be receiving the Outstanding Community Partner Award. The Outstanding Service Award is being presented to Marc Rabin, M.D. Finally, Barbara Bossi of Geisinger-CMC will be receiving the MFHS Champion Award.

The public can download the Annual Meeting invitation via the MFHS website. The luncheon reception is $25. Program advertising opportunities are also available.

Prepare for Freshman Year With A GYN Exam

AR-140729874Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at Geisinger is one of the nation’s largest rural health services organizations, serving more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeast Pennsylvania. Whether you have insurance or not, you can make an appointment for a free or low cost GYN exam at health centers across Pennsylvania.

Timing is everything

Most colleges and universities require their incoming students to have a routine physical completed before reporting to their first class. This ensures that students are healthy and up-to-date on immunizations before coming into a close-living and learning situation.

The same can be said about women having a routine gynecological exam before they begin their freshman year.

“It’s recommend that women have their first gynecological exam between the ages of 15 and 18,” said Brian Murray, M.D., a gynecologist at Geisinger Mt. Pleasant, Scranton. “All women should have had a gynecological exam by the time they’re ready to begin college at age 18. However, if a woman becomes sexually active prior to their 18th birthday, GYN exams should begin sooner.”

If a young woman hasn’t had a GYN exam before, having one prior to leaving for school will ensure they are healthy and informed about how to protect their health.

The exam explained

Before any part of the actual exam begins, your doctor will likely take some time to talk to you and get to know you a little better. This is meant not only to put you at ease and calm your nerves, but also to get a picture of your overall health and any risk factors you may have for health conditions.

“The first part of a routine GYN exam involves your doctor performing a breast exam — this allows your doctor to look for or identify any unusual lumps or changes in the tissue and skin,” Dr. Murray said. During this part of the exam, your doctor will also show you how to perform a self-breast exam so you can check for any lumps or changes in between visits.

Next, the doctor may perform a pelvic exam, which not all patients require. During a pelvic exam, your doctor examine the external genital area as well as the cervix, vaginal walls, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.

“During the pelvic exam, your doctor may perform a Pap smear,” Dr. Murray said. “This test consists of taking cells from the cervix to detect the presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.”


Let’s talk about…sex

Based on the earlier discussion of your health and history, your doctor may recommend testing for sexually transmitted diseases. While the conversation about your sexual health may be uncomfortable, it’s important to be honest in order for your doctor to accurately assess any risks to your health.

One part of the discussion may be about human papillomavirus (HPV).

“In general, we recommend you receive the HPV vaccine starting as early as 9 – 11 years. But, if you haven’t yet received the vaccine, your doctor may recommend you receive it now if you are still under the age of 26. The vaccine is designed to protect against HPV infection and the health problems the HPV infection can cause,” Dr. Murray said.

Your routine GYN appointment is also an ideal time to bring up any questions you may have about birth control options.

“Anything you discuss with your gynecologist about birth control, sex, STDs, pregnancy or anything else is private and confidential. Ask any questions you may have about your reproductive health to learn what you can do to protect your health as you embark into a new phase of your life,” Dr. Murray advised.

MFHS & NEPA Rainbow Alliance Host Pride Day

11951534_10153573863134500_5311564507074204046_oThe NEPA Rainbow Alliance and Maternal and Family Health Services (MFHS) are hosting a free-admission, all-ages event to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride in Scranton. Pride Day will take place Monday, September 14th from 4 – 7 pm at the new MFHS Circle of Care office at 640 Madison Ave, Scranton.

The event will feature giveaways and door prizes, including gift cards to Terra Preta, Scranton StorySlam, Venture Lounge, HEAT and 570 Tattooing for the first attendees in the door. What The Fork will also be on site cooking up their signature dishes.

Free and low cost confidential walk-in HIV and STD screenings will be available. Screenings are provided regardless of age, income or insurance coverage and fees are based on an affordable sliding fee. For many, screenings are free. Staff will also be available to discuss other MFHS services such as the WIC Nutrition program and cancer screening services.

Attendees can also get help enrolling in new health insurance plans during the event. Help enrolling in Medicaid and Chip is also available. Those interested in health insurance enrollment help can make an appointment by calling 570-826-1777 ext. 244.

For those who cannot attend the event, STD screenings are always available at MFHS Circle of Care. Please call 570-961-5550 to make an appointment.

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride at Circle of Care Scranton

prideMFHS will be hosting a day of LGBTQ Pride celebration on September 14, 2015 from 4-7 at our new Circle of Care Scranton location. We hope you’ll join us for a variety of free health screenings and fun activities, including:

  • Free and low cost confidential walk-in HIV & STD screenings
  • Raffles and door prizes
  • Health insurance enrollment help (by appointment – call 570-826-1777 ex. 244)
  • Information on local LGBTQ health resources

More activities are still being planned so check back regularly! We hope to see you at Circle of Care in September at our new location: 640 Madison Ave.

Circle of Care Scranton is Moving

CoC Moving postcard