Nurse Family Partnership

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!

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!

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.

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 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.

Celebrating #GivingTuesday with Kate Flannery from The Office!

The Dundie for the best MFHS shoutout goes to… Kate Flannery from The Office!

Kate wants to tell you all about #GivingTuesday and how you can help MFHS provide nutrition and healthcare to women, children, and families not just in Scranton but across Northeast Pennsylvania! Every dollar you donate on December 1st will be matched by AllOne Charities up to $1000. Tell all your friends at Dunder Mifflin – donations can be made from Thanksgiving day through #GivingTuesday!

Maternal and Family Health Services Awarded $150,000 By the AllOne Foundation

Photo Left to Right: John Cosgrove, Executive Director AllOne Foundation; Ann Jones, NFP Program Manager at MFHS: Maria Montoro Edwards, MFHS President and CEO; Shannnon Hayward, MFHS Vice President of Service Delivery Operations; and Peter Danchak, AllOne Foundation Board Member.

Photo Left to Right: John Cosgrove, Executive Director AllOne Foundation; Ann Jones, NFP Program Manager at MFHS: Maria Montoro Edwards, MFHS President and CEO; Shannnon Hayward, MFHS Vice President of Service Delivery Operations; and Peter Danchak, AllOne Foundation Board Member.

Maternal and Family Health Services (MFHS) was recently awarded $150,000 from the AllOne Foundation to support the MFHS High Risk Nurse Home Visiting Project. The project will enable the MFHS Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program to increase the number of at-risk, multiparous women (women who have experienced one or more child births) who receive evidence-based home visiting services in the MFHS service area.

“Partnering moms with our caring nurse home visitors has long been proven to empower mothers in having a healthy pregnancy, and navigating all of the challenges that come with a new baby,” says Maria Montoro Edwards, PhD, MFHS President and CEO, “MFHS thanks the AllOne Foundation for supporting the expansion of the NFP Program so more at-risk mothers can get the support they need to have healthy, thriving children.”

MFHS is part of an initiative to expand access to the NFP Program, which is traditionally for at-risk, first time mothers only, to include at-risk mothers who have had a previous birth and could benefit from having a specially trained registered nurse provide care and support during pregnancy and through the child’s second birthday.

In addition to expanding access to NFP, the project funds a mental health professional to provide nurse home visitors with training and case consultation to address the complex mental health needs of clients, integrate mental health supports into the NFP program, increase linkages to mental health resources and strengthen collaboration with mental health services in the community, and build and develop the nurse home visitors’ capacity for engaging with mothers who are experiencing behavioral health and mental health challenges which could interfere with parenting and the parent-child relationship.

Interested parents-to-be in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wayne Counties can learn more about the program by visiting or calling 1-800-367-6347.

Double your gift on #GivingTuesday 2020!

#GivingTuesday 2020 is almost here! Mark your calendars – this international day of giving is happening on December 1st, 2020, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. MFHS is thrilled to announce that we will be partnering with AllOne Charities for the third year in a row to celebrate #GivingTuesday! Your donation will be doubled thanks to the generosity of AllOne:

  • Every gift made to MFHS up to $1,000 total will be matched by AllOne. Donations must be made via the AllOne Charities website to qualify for the match.
  • You can make you donation from Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 26th until Wednesday, December 2nd at 4pm.

AllOne is offering two bonuses (and possibly more to be announced soon!) to the non-profits participating in 2020:

  • The non-profit that raises the most money earns a $1,000 bonus.
  • The non-profit with the most individual donors also earns a $1,000 bonus.

Please mark your calendars and consider making an end of year gift to support MFHS via the AllOne #GivingTuesday website. Every gift, large and small, will help us continue to provide life changing health and nutrition services to women, children and families in Northeast Pennsylvania.


Maternal and Family Health Services Announces Maria Montoro Edwards, PhD, as New President and CEO

Dr. Maria Montoro Edwards headshotThe Board of Directors of Maternal and Family Health Services announces the appointment of Maria Montoro Edwards, PhD, as President and Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit health and human services organization. Dr. Montoro Edwards succeeds Bette Cox Saxton, who served MFHS as its President and CEO for the past 15 years in a 20-year leadership career at the organization.

“With her extensive administrative experience in the non-profit sector, her outstanding skill sets and familiarity with MFHS and the Northeastern PA community, Dr. Montoro Edwards emerged as the top candidate after a very thorough, comprehensive and competitive nationwide search process,” said Kathy Finsterbusch, Chair of the MFHS Board of Directors.

Dr. Montoro Edwards has more than 25 years’ experience in non-profit administration and a record of success in securing, implementing and stewarding public and private funding. She most recently served as Interim President and CEO at Telespond Senior Services, Inc., and prior to that as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at The Wright Center for Community Health/The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. She has a doctorate in Human Development, taught grantsmanship at the graduate level and is a certified research administrator with a credential in protecting human subjects in research.

In 2018, Dr. Montoro Edwards became a pioneering leader of the Healthy MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) program, connecting the Wright Center for Community Health, Maternal and Family Health Services and other dedicated community partners together to generate a collaborative response to neonatal abstinence syndrome. She was integral in securing funding for this program, which has served more than 100 expectant and new mothers across the region.

As an active member of the community, she has been involved with more than 25 organizations and boards of directors. Currently, she is serving on the boards of Community Intervention Center, NEPA Rainbow Alliance and Northeast Pennsylvania Nonprofit Community Assistance Center (NCAC). A life-long resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania, she resides in Madison Township with her husband, Kevin Edwards.

“The Board of Directors looks forward to working with Dr. Montoro Edwards to build upon the solid foundation of our organization’s many successes and achievements and to lead MFHS in the challenging and ever-changing health and human services non-profit environment,” said Finsterbusch. “We’re very confident she will follow in the footsteps of her predecessor and take the organization to new heights and achieve new and important successes in caring for the tens of thousands of underserved women, children and families who rely upon us every day.”

A Special Farewell For Bette Cox Saxton

As she prepares to leave Maternal and Family Health Services, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you and best wishes to MFHS President & CEO Bette Cox Saxton. We asked some of our friends and community partners to record a special message for Bette before she starts her new adventure.

Thank you for all that you’ve done for the women and children of Northeast Pennsylvania, and for everything you’ve done for MFHS! #MFHSproud