MFHS News

Today is NEPA Gives!

NEPA Gives is TODAY, and we are asking you to join us in our efforts to make this the most awesome day of giving your community has ever seen!

We are writing to ask you to take five minutes to give to Maternal and Family Health Services. After that, you can give to other nonprofits that do work that you support or just kick back and watch how high the giving can go at nepagives.org!

Your donation of any amount will help families in need in Northeast PA with good nutrition, education, and much needed healthcare.

Here’s how you can make a HUGE difference today:

  • Make a donation! The Moses Taylor Foundation will be donating $2,000 to MFHS once we reach our first $1,000 in gifts. Every dollar you give will be worth 3!
  • Spread the word. Text a friend. Forward this email. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NepaGives. Oh, and you can also just tell someone in person – that works, too!
  • Time your donation – Many of the prizes are time sensitive, such as the donation made closest to 7 AM and 7 PM each earn that nonprofit a reward. You can see the whole list here and time your gift to maximize our chances for bonus dollars.

Thank you for your support of MFHS during NEPA Gives, and all year long!

MFHS Golf Tournament to be Held June 25th

Maternal & Family Health Services’ 28th Annual Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, June 25th at Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club in Mountain Top. This annual golf tournament is an opportunity for golfers throughout Northeast Pennsylvania to enjoy a fun day while making a difference in the lives of women, children and families in Northeast Pennsylvania.

The MFHS Golf Tournament, open to all interested golfers, is a four person captain and crew format. The fee is $125 per person, $500 for a foursome, which includes the cart, green fees, lunch, barbecue dinner and refreshments. The golf tournament will be held rain or shine, with a shotgun start at 12:30 pm, and both men and women are invited. The top male and female flight will each win one of the grand prizes. In addition, the tournament will also feature a silent auction and various raffles during the day.

Individual golfers and sponsors provide monies that help strengthen MFHS and its health and nutrition programs that have served thousands of individuals in Northeast Pennsylvania for 50 years.  Maternal & Family Health Services focuses its efforts on improving the overall health and wellness of women, children and families in our communities.

To register or offer a sponsorship, visit the MFHS website MFHS.org. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals and organizations who are interested in supporting MFHS in its mission.

Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Available for WIC Participants

Farmer's Market Nutrition ProgramWilkes-Barre, PA – Maternal and Family Health Services announced that the agency’s WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Nutrition Centers are distributing farmers’ market vouchers to WIC participants. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) helps families with nutritional needs buy fresh fruits and vegetables from Pennsylvania farmers to help ensure good health for mothers and children and support community farmers’ markets.

FMNP provides qualifying WIC participants with $24 in vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets between June 1, 2021 and November 30, 2021.  Pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old are eligible.

WIC nutrition staff distribute the FMNP vouchers to WIC participants along with nutrition education emphasizing the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and a list of participating farmers’ markets in the area.  WIC participants will receive the FMNP vouchers during their scheduled eWIC card reloading appointment during the summer.

The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.  Across the Commonwealth, over 1000 farmers benefit from the program.

For more information about WIC, FMNP, or to apply for WIC, visit www.mfhs.org, or call 1-800-367-6347.

The Pennsylvania WIC program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The USDA is an equal opportunity provider.

2021 WIC Public Meeting Dates

2021 WIC PUBLIC MEETINGS

English Comment Form/Formulario de Comentarios en Español

Your comments and suggestions are important to us. Please attend a virtual meeting or submit your written comments.

  • May 3, 2021, Shenango Valley Urban League Inc., Farrell, PA
  • May 3, 2021, Broad Top Area Medical Center, Mount Union, PA
  • May 5, 2021, Maternal Family Health Services, Inc., Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • May 5, 2021, Home Nursing Agency, Altoona, PA
  • May 6, 2021, Chester County Health Department, West Chester, PA
  • May 10, 2021, Hamilton Health Center, Harrisburg, PA
  • May 11, 2021, Adagio Health, Inc., Butler, PA
  • May 12, 2021, NORTH, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
  • May 13, 2021, Blueprints, Washington, PA
  • May 18, 2021, Community Progress Council, Inc., York, PA

In accordance with 7 C.F.R. § 246.4(b), the Department of Health has scheduled 10 public meetings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the locations listed above. These public meetings will be held virtually this year, not-in-person.

These virtual meetings are open to the public to provide comments and recommendations for the development of the 2022 WIC State Plan of Program Operation and Administration for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in Pennsylvania. Persons wishing to give testimony at a meeting are asked to pre-register with the State WIC Program Office by calling 717-783-1289, call-in information will be confirmed. Anyone unable to participate in a virtual meeting but wishes to express their views, may submit written comments by May 31, 2021, via email to the WIC Outreach Coordinator at cansanders@pa.gov, or by mail to the Department of Health, Bureau of Women, Infants and Children (WIC), 625 Forster St., 7 West, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

For speech and/or hearing-impaired persons, call V/TT 717-783-6514 or the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Services at 1-800-654-5984.

These meetings are subject to cancellation without notice.

Pennsylvania WIC is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The USDA is an equal opportunity provider.


ANUNCIO DE REUNIONES PUBLICAS

Sus comentarios y sugerencias sobre el programa WIC de Pennsylvania son importantes para nosotros. Asista a una reunión virtual o envíe comentarios por escrito.

  • May 3, 2021, Shenango Valley Urban League, Inc., Farrell, PA
  • May 3, 2021, Broad Top Area Medical Center, Mount Union, PA
  • May 5, 2021, Maternal Family Health Services, Inc., Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • May 5, 2021, Home Nursing Agency, Altoona, PA
  • May 6, 2021, Chester County Health Department, West Chester, PA
  • May 10, 2021, Hamilton Health Center, Harrisburg, PA
  • May 11, 2021, Adagio Health, Inc., Butler, PA
  • May 12, 2021, NORTH, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
  • May 13, 2021, Blueprints, Washington, PA
  • May 18, 2021, Community Progress Council, Inc., York, PA

De acuerdo con el reglamento 7 C.F.R. §246.4(b), el Departamento de Salud ha programado 10 reuniones públicas con el propósito de obtener comentarios y recomendaciones para el desarrollo del Plan Estatal del año 2022 de la administración del Programa Mujeres, Infantes y Niños en Pennsylvania.  Todas las reuniones se llevarán a cabo virtualmente (no en persona) de 10:00 a.m. a 3:00 p.m.  Estas reuniones pueden ser canceladas sin aviso previo.

Estas reuniones virtuales se efectuarán con el propósito de que el público presente sus comentarios sobre los diferentes aspectos del funcionamiento del Programa WIC.  Las personas que deseen asistir a través de una teleconferencia virtual deben registrarse previamente llamando a la oficina estatal del programa de WIC al 717-783-1289. Cualquier persona que no pueda asistir a la reunión, pero desea expresar sus comentarios, puede enviarlos por escrito al Departamento antes del 31 de mayo de 2021 a la siguiente dirección: Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Women, Infants and Children (WIC), 625 Forster St., 7 West, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, o por correo electrónico cansanders@pa.gov.

Las personas con discapacidad auditiva o del habla, pueden llamar al V/TT 717-783-6514 o AT&T Relay Services de Pennsylvania al 1-800-654-5984.

El programa WIC de Pennsylvania es financiado por el Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos.  Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

Nurse-Family Partnership Expands in Susquehanna County

MFHS has recently expanded our Nurse-Family Partnership in Susquehanna County, thanks in part to a grant from the United Way of Susquehanna County. Renee Messina, RN was hired as the new MFHS Nurse Family Partnership expansion nurse serving Susquehanna and Lackawanna Counties. Renee came to NFP with 7 years’ experience including rehab, psychiatric, hospice nursing and being a perinatal nurse educator for the Early Head Start. Renee has been building her client list and is working tirelessly to connect with community partners and increase referrals to the NFP program.  Renee is currently  pursuing her Certification as a Lactation Consultant and will start on her BSN in the fall.

The MFHS Nurse-Family Partnership serves Susquehanna, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, and parts of Carbon counties. To see if you qualify and learn more about the NFP nurse visitation program, click here.

 

MFHS Wins Best Practices in Customer Service at the SAGE Awards

Thank you to the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for recognizing MFHS with the 2021 SAGE award for Best Practices in Customer Service!

Congratulations to all of our staff – this award is a reflection of their hard work and dedication to our clients during the pandemic. MFHS President & CEO Maria Montoro Edwards and Vice President of Service Delivery Operations Shannon Hayward were thrilled to accept the award and to share our staff’s story with everyone in attendance. Here is just a small sample of the nomination:

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left so many struggling and isolated, MFHS programs remained open and continued to accept new families and meet essential needs, adapting service delivery methods for the health and safety of our staff and the families we serve. We are especially grateful to all the staff working daily to meet the need and connect families to resources to help them through these difficult times. MFHS staff have been flexible and resilient as they adopted new service delivery methods, learned how to deliver services via telehealth modalities, and continue to demonstrate creativity and compassion with this new way of delivering care. We are grateful for the continued dedication and commitment or our frontline heroes.”

In effort to strengthen our agency’s commitment to outstanding customer service and care, MFHS launched a series of client surveys as part of Listen4Good project in 2020. Listen4Good is a national effort designed to help nonprofits build sustainable, high-quality, client-focused feedback loops that lead to meaningful change. The Listen4Good project was a major highlight in the Best Practices in Customer Service nomination. When asked “What is WIC good at?” MFHS clients said things like:

“Helping me have a healthy pregnancy. Helping with feeding my baby. Helping with breastfeeding. Helping my family through a difficult time. Helping with children who have problems with eating.”

“Caring about me and my baby. Caring about my children’s health. Caring about how my child is growing. Caring for families in need.”

Comments like these continue to roll in as we survey clients from all of our programs.

Thank you again to all the staff at MFHS for your dedication to keeping our clients safe and always working to go above and beyond to get them what they need. This recognition was truly well-deserved.

Pennie™ Opens a COVID-19 Enrollment Period Which Will Run Until May 15

Uninsured Pennsylvanians or those affected by COVID-19 can visit pennie.com and enroll in a plan through May 15. 

 Harrisburg, PA – February 17, 2021 – Uninsured Pennsylvanians can act now and enroll in 2021 coverage during

Pennie’s COVID-19 Enrollment Period. Pennie, Pennsylvania’s state-based health insurance marketplace, is proud to provide individuals across the Commonwealth additional time to enroll in health insurance to protect them and their families from the cost of the COVID-19 virus. This enrollment period is in-line with President Biden’s recent Executive Order and is open for all Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by COVID-19. Anyone otherwise eligible to enroll in coverage through Pennie™ can do so from now until May 15.

“The economic and public health implications of the pandemic have only strengthened the argument that accessible and affordable health insurance is a necessity.  As COVID-19 has universally impacted Pennsylvanians, we felt it was an imperative to re-open Pennie, allowing the uninsured and the underinsured to get coverage and access financial assistance to help pay for it. To act now, go to pennie.com to explore options and enroll as soon as possible,” said Pennie’s Executive Director Zachary W. Sherman.

Although this enrollment period does apply to Pennie’s current customers, they are not obligated to change their plans. If customers are satisfied with their current 2021 coverage, no action is necessary.

Pennie customers enrolling through the COVID-19 enrollment period will have coverage beginning the first of the following month. For example, if a customer enrolls on February 20, their coverage will start on March 1 and if they enroll on February 28, their coverage will also start on March 1.  However, if a customer enrolls on March 1, their coverage will start on April 1.  Customers are strongly encouraged to enroll as early in the month as possible to ensure timely processing.  The latest effective date associated with this enrollment period will be July 1, 2021.

“Pennie was created to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to affordable and comprehensive health coverage while consistently striving to reduce the uninsured rate. Pennie is also here to protect those who need health coverage in Pennsylvania and is proud to provide this opportunity for the uninsured during this global health and economic crisis felt so strongly throughout our Pennsylvania communities,” noted Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “I hope any Pennsylvanian without health insurance will seek coverage to protect themselves and their families from the potential financial crisis that COVID-19 can create.”

All commercial, comprehensive health insurance plans available in the Commonwealth, including plans purchased through Pennie, cover: the COVID-19 test if patients are experiencing symptoms or has had an indication of exposure; treatment for the symptoms that develop due to COVID-19; and, the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine. Not to mention, all other routine check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative treatments. For further details, visit the Pennie COVID-19 webpage.

Pennie is the only source for financial assistance to help with the cost of coverage and care and can also link customers to free certified experts to assist with the application or plan selection process. Pennie encourages anyone who has found themselves recently uninsured and is seeking coverage, and potentially financial assistance, to go to pennie.com or to call Pennie customer care at 1-844-844-8040 before May 15.

About Pennie

Pennie is Pennsylvania’s new state-affiliated health insurance marketplace created to reduce costs and better support the needs of customers purchasing health coverage. For more information, visit pennie.com or follow us on social at fb.com/PenniePA and Twitter.com/PennieOfficial.

Boost Your Baby’s Future with Keystone Scholars!

There are exciting milestones in a baby’s life: first tooth, first word, first steps, and now the PA Treasury Department has added yet another first to that list—first $100 towards higher education: Keystone Scholars.

Keystone Scholars provides a $100 starter deposit to a PA 529 account for every child born or adopted to a Pennsylvania family, after December 31, 2018. Since Keystone Scholars expanded statewide in 2019, more than 10,000 babies in Pennsylvania have taken their first steps to a bright future. Of those 10,000 families, 20 percent have taken active steps to continue saving for their child’s future education, whatever it may be: trade school, community college, or a 4-year university.

Starting in January, all babies born to WIC participants in the first half of 2021 will receive the Bright Future Booster – an additional $50 in their Keystone Scholars Child Development Account. This additional booster deposit, made possible through generous philanthropic support, is for babies born between January and June 2021 to moms enrolled in WIC at the time of birth.

MFHS has been partnering with the PA Treasury to get the word out on this significant program. We encourage you to become a part of the team to help make families aware that their child has a $100 savings account in their name. Treasury has an arsenal of resource materials that are available free of charge for your use in your local office to share with families.

New parents can also learn more and register their child for Keystone Scholars Online at pa529.com/keystone. You can also download a fact sheet with more information on the program here.

MFHS Announces Circle of Care Scranton Expansion

Maternal and Family Health Services (MFHS) has expanded their Circle of Care office in Scranton thanks to a grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation and Scranton Area Community Foundation.

The Circle of Care in Scranton originally occupied the upper floor of 640 Madison Avenue and has expanded to include the building’s lower floor. MFHS has moved social services (Behavioral Health, Nurse-Family Partnership and the WIC Nutrition Program) to the lower floor and is now dedicating the upper floor to clinical services (Reproductive Health and Maternity Services). The expansion has allowed MFHS to increase capacity and has allowed for better social distancing while continuing to serve those in need in Scranton.

Pictured Left to Right; Lori Ryder, LCSW Social Worker, Kathy Egreczky, RD WIC Nutritionist, Serena Kozokas, LSW Social Worker and Cindy Kennedy, Director of Client Services.

A #GivingTuesday Message from MFHS CEO Maria Montoro Edwards, PhD