Birth Control

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

Does Title X Matter?

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The long-lasting debate about whether or not Title X matters is here but we are not discussing it; because we know that IT MATTERS! If you are not already aware, Title X is a federal grant that provides confidential, reproductive healthcare and contraception to both men and women from every aspect of society. If you think that Title X does not affect you, you are wrong, and here is why:

If you’re a college student/grad…

… health insurance may not come so easy. Without insurance there isn’t a safety net as you work your way through your curious years. Whether you think you may be pregnant or it just doesn’t look right down there, Title X can help you out. You can seek help from a Title X provider for a small fee instead of paying a lot more somewhere else.

If you’re a young woman…

… there are a ton of healthcare hoops that you have to jump through. You have to begin regular visits with a gynecologist, some sort of family planning routine and possibly planning for future pregnancies. If you do not have the financial assistance to help you with any of this, it could be very tough. This is when Title X comes in handy for you.

If you’re a more mature woman …

 … the cycle will come full circle when it affects your children. The hoops you had to jump through, your children are now facing. Title X can help your children, both male and female, like they helped you.

If you’re a man …

… you are facing some of the same problems women are. You may need contraception or family planning services and Title X can help. If you specifically do not need attention, Title X can also help you assist a loved one.

Image life without Title X: society would face more unplanned pregnancies, abortions, battles with cancer and other illnesses. Next time you are planning a visit to the doctors or you’re in need of reproductive healthcare services keep Title X in mind. It matters to men, women and teens from all walks of life. If you are breathing, Title X matters to you.

Defend Title X: An Update on Recent Action in the Last 24 Hours

The House Appropriations Committee yesterday held a full committee markup of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding bill that if passed, would eliminate the Title X family planning program. Today’s markup was the next in a series of steps to advance the FY 2016 appropriations bill through the chamber.

During the markup, several family planning champions including Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered amendments that would fund Title X at $300 million, a figure identical to that suggested in the president’s FY 2016 budget. Representatives Lowey and DeLauro as well as Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) spoke in support of Title X and should be commended by constituents in their districts for their efforts to protect the program. Both amendments failed on party-line votes.

In anticipation of the markup, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan yesterday sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) highlighting the Administration’s serious concerns about the spending bill “which would underfund [these] important investments and includes highly problematic ideologically-motivated provisions.” Director Donovan’s letter specifically noted the elimination of Title X as an area of concern given that it is one of the “critical investments in public health and safety.” This letter is widely viewed as a precursor to a veto threat by the White House.

This morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to markup its FY 2016 Labor-HHS bill that yesterday passed out of the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate proposal includes a $28.7 million (10%) cut to Title X and would fund the program at $257.8 million if enacted. NFPRHA anticipates that Senate champions led by Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) will introduce a number of amendments including an amendment to raise the spending caps that would allow for a Title X increase.

It is now more important than ever that Congress hear from the field about the importance of protecting Title X. To that end, NFPRHA has developed a variety of tools that can be used by our members to educate elected officials, the public, and the media about the importance of Title X and the impact that funding cuts have already had on the Title X network. These materials are available on the NFPRHA website:

NFPRHA has also developed an action alert that allows family planning advocates to e-mail elected officials about the importance of robust Title X funding and the effects that eliminating the program would have on the health and well-being of millions of women and men. We hope that you will e-mail your elected officials and share the request far and wide. For those who have questions or concerns about your own ability to advocate for Title X due to your organization’s affiliation to the program, NFPRHA’s attorneys have issued a memorandum to provide clarity on your ability to participate in advocacy efforts as an individual. NFPRHA’s attorneys have also drafted an ‘interested parties’ memo for public employees who seek to contact members of Congress in a professional capacity representing state or local agencies.

NFPRHA’s recent communications about the appropriations process have been Title X-focused; however there are several damaging cuts and provisions related to the Affordable Care Act, STD funding, and teen pregnancy prevention funding among others included within both the House and Senate FY 2016 Labor-HHS proposals. Early next week, NFPRHA will provide a full analysis of both FY 2016 proposals that include details about these priorities. NFPRHA will also continue to provide updates as the appropriations process progresses. Please contact Burke Hays at bhays@nfprha.org (202-293-3114 ext. 224) or Jessica Marcella at jmarcella@nfprha.org (202-293-3114 ext. 222) with any questions in the interim.

Act Now! Tell Congress #TitleXCutsHurt

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Click to enlarge and see how Title X funding losses affect Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, members of Congress announced plans for a bill that would eliminate all funding for Title X, the nation’s family planning program.

A vote is expected anytime! Take action now to help save this critical program.

As one of four Title X grantee in Pennsylvania, Maternal & Family Health Services supports a network of health centers that make a critical impact in communities across our region.  In 2014, here in Northeastern Pennsylvania:

  • Over 42 MFHS Network health centers funded through Title X served over 24,000 women, men, and teens.
  • The majority of the patients seen at MFHS Network health centers were uninsured.
  • Over $40 million was saved in maternal and birth related costs

The Title X Family Planning program allows our network providers to serve uninsured and under-insured women, men, and teens in the fifteen-county region with family planning services including annual gynecological exams, birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings.

Even with the increase in insured patients under the Affordable Care Act, the need for Title X will not disappear.  Over 677,000 Pennsylvania women were uninsured for at least one year at the start of 2014. This critical program fills coverage gaps for many consumers who aren’t eligible for insurance through the Marketplace. Yet, opponents are taking aim and continue to try to dismantle this important safety-net program.

Your voice is important – take action today to save the Title X program!

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to safeguarding access to high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care.

Come Golf With Us!

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Thank You for Supporting our 21st Annual Golf Tournament!

MFHS would like to thank all of our golfers, sponsors, board members and staff volunteers who helped make our 21st Annual Golf Tournament a success. We couldn’t continue our mission of care without the support of so many members of our community.

See more day of pictures from the tournament on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to like us to stay up to date on all the latest MFHS news and events!

Wilkes Pharmacy Students offer Assistance with Affordable Care Act Sign-Ups

DOC499Students from Wilkes University School of Pharmacy and The Commonwealth Medical College, in cooperation with the Advocacy Alliance will offer an outreach session to assist community members learn about and sign up for the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) this Saturday, March 29th, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM at Wilkes University.

After March 31st, the next Open Enrollment period for Marketplace health care is November 15, 2014 through January 15, 2015.  If you do not have health care after March 31st, you may be assessed a penalty of $95, or 1% of your income, whichever is higher, for the 2014 tax year.

Attendees should bring their Social Security numbers or document information for immigrants with satisfactory status; employer and income information for everyone in the family; and federal tax information. Attendees may wish to determine their eligibility for tax credits towards health care plan premiums in the Marketplace and sign up for an insurance plan that day, or just gather information.

The event will be in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy.  Community members may park behind the Student Union Building at 84 W. South Street.  Walk-in’s are welcome but individuals may wish to call 570-408-4290 to make an appointment.  Signs with walking directions to the event will be posted.

SafeTeens Launches Man Cave

Maternal and Family Health Services is committed serve every member your family – including men and boys. That’s why we’re proud to have re-launched the Man Cave on Pennsylvania’s teen health website, SafeTeens.org during June, which is National Men’s Health Month.

Designed for guys caught in the crux between boyhood and adulthood, the Man Cave had previously occupied only a small corner of the SafeTeens universe. Today, it is a major component to SafeTeens, tasked with promoting healthy behaviors and attitudes in one-half of the teen population. read more…

Order The MFHS Virtual Tool Kit Today!

With the school year back into full swing, it’s time for health educators to look at the materials they have to offer their classes, and what their syllabuses will require. With a limited amount of resources available to health educators on important teen issues, like proper sex education, nutrition and LGBTQ information, Maternal and Family Health Services and Sateteens.org would like to reach out and offer our materials to health educators all over our services area.

Sometimes it’s hard to make teens listen when telling them about how to protect and care for themselves. MFHS has developed a virtual tour of our Family Planning program that is focused on the teen experience and is more easily accepted by teen viewers. Available for $20.00, this useful DVD introduces viewers to a young girl educating her group of friends on her trip to her local MFHS Family Planning Center. She tells them about the free counseling, exams and birth control they could receive by going themselves. The virtual tour even takes us through an actual Family Planning Center, so teens can get a true-to-life feel for how his or her own visit will be.

In addition to the virtual Family Planning tour, MFHS also encourages health educators to visit our Safeteens.org site. On it you will find resources and a plan of action for educators, parents and teens. The site is broken down into popular topics of interest for teens, such as relationship advice, nutrition and exercise tips, information on drugs and alcohol, LGBTQ resources, and discussions about safe sex and teen pregnancy.  The Safeteens.org blog updates regularly, giving classes a topic to focus their dialogue around.

Maternal and Family Health Services also offers free materials on our various programs, including Family Planning, HealthyWoman cancer screening and Nurse Family Partnership, to name a few. MFHS has educational pamphlets on STDs, safe sex and difficult topics for teens such as self-exams for men and women. Health educators shouldn’t hesitate to contact MFHS’ marketing department to order these complimentary materials or purchase our virtual tour DVD. Call the administrative office toll free at 1-800-367-6347.