Nurse Family Partnership

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.

Weather Alert: December 16-17, 2020

UPDATE, 12/16/20, 11:30 AM With the news from Penn DOT of travel restrictions beginning at 1:00 p.m. which are likely to include passenger vehicles as early as 4:00 p.m., all MFHS locations will now be closing at 3:00 p.m. today.

With much of the state under a winter storm warning for significant snow impacts, All MFHS locations will be closing at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16th and will be closed on Thursday, December 17th.

Staff at your local offices will work with you to reschedule any appointments that need to be changed. Please stay safe and warm!

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 MFHS.org 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

The 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

MFHS Announces Agency Wide Limited Service Delivery Due To COVID-19

For the safety of our staff and the families we serve, limited services will be available in select locations starting March 17, 2020.  A full archive of our updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak are available here.

MFHS Family Planning Centers in Hazleton, Pottsville, Circle of Care, Scranton, and Hawley, are open for limited services.  Please contact your Family Planning Center for details.  Your provider can offer phone consultations, alternatives for visits, and additional contraceptive options if needed.     

MFHS WIC Nutrition Centers: the following WIC Nutrition Centers will be OPEN FOR LIMITED SERVICES* (see below for more details on limited WIC services): 

  • Berks County WIC Center in Reading  
  • Bradford County – Towanda WIC Center 
  • Carbon County WIC Center in Lehighton 
  • Lackawanna County – Scranton WIC, Circle of Care in Scranton, Jermyn WIC 
  • Lehigh County – Lehigh Valley WIC Center, Allentown 
  • Luzerne County – Wilkes-Barre WIC Center, Hazleton WIC Center 
  • Monroe County – East Stroudsburg WIC Center 
  • Montgomery County – Lansdale WIC Center, and Pottstown WIC Center  
  • Northampton County – Easton WIC Center 
  • Schuylkill County – Pottsville WIC Center, Shenandoah WIC Center, Tamaqua WIC Center 
  • Tioga County – Wellsboro WIC Center 
  • Wayne County – Hawley WIC Center

The following locations are CLOSED effective March 17, 2020 and until further notice 

  • Berks County – Kutztown WIC satellite 
  • Lackawanna County – Carbondale WIC satellite at the YMCA; Alder Street WIC satellite in Scranton 
  • Luzerne County – Nanticoke WIC satellite at Head Start; West Side WIC satellite at RHC in Edwardsville 
  • Monroe County – Tobyhanna WIC Center 
  • Montgomery County – Norristown WIC Center
  • Pike County – Dingmans Ferry WIC satellite 
  • Sullivan County – Sullivan County WIC satellite in LaPorte
  • Tioga County – Elkland WIC satellite at Head Start 
  • Wyoming County – Tunkhannock WIC Center

If you have an upcoming appointment at the WIC locations on the above “closed” list, you will be contacted by a WIC staff member who will provide further instructions on how to access WIC services. Please do not come to the locations listed above as they will be closed. You will be able to go to another nearby WIC Center for benefit pick up (eWIC card re-loading) appointments 

*Limited WIC services include the following:  

Benefit pick up (eWIC card re-loading) appointments  

  • These will be quick appointments to minimize time spent in the WIC Center.  
  • WIC nutritionists will be available via phone to answer your nutrition or infant and child feeding questions. 
  • Do not bring children or other family members to these appointments.  Only the endorser or proxy needs to come to the WIC Center for eWIC card re-loading.

Re-Certification appointments (appointments that require an assessment by a WIC nutritionist) 

  • Re-Certifications will be temporarily conducted over the phone.  
  • If you have this type of appointment scheduled on or after March 17, you will receive a phone call from a WIC nutritionist prior to your appointment.  
  • When you come to the WIC Center, you will only need to have your eWIC card re-loaded.  You willnotneed to bring your children for the visit. This will minimize your time in the WIC Center.

If you are not able to get to the WIC Center for eWIC card re-loading, you can designate a proxy to come to the WIC Center for you.  Please contact your WIC Center to arrange for this over the phone. 

In order to limit exposure, we ask that you please limit the number of people that you bring with you to your appointment. 

At MFHS, our goal during this crisis is to continue to provide essential WIC services in a safe and effective way.  We appreciate your continued cooperation and patience.  If you have questions regarding your appointment, please reach out directly to your WIC Center or call MFHS at 1-800-FOR-MFHS (1-800-367-6347) 

In the interest of the health and safety for all the families we serve, we ask that you please reschedule your appointment if you or anyone in your household has: 

Fever, chills, coughing, signs for respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms 

Or has recently: traveled out of the country, or to an area with widespread cases of Coronavirus, or if you have been in contact with anyone know to have the virus. 

Call 1-866-942-8463 to reschedule your WIC appointment. 

Montgomery County WIC Change in Service Delivery Due to COVID-19

MFHS will continue to update our website as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. For the entire archive of our updates on this evolving situation, please visit our dedicated Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page

Notice to WIC Participants in Lansdale and Pottstown WIC

Limited WIC services will open in Montgomery County effective Monday, March 16

  • Benefit pick up (eWIC card re-loading) appointments scheduled on or after March 16th will take place as scheduled.
  • These will be quick appointments to minimize time spent in the WIC Center.
  • WIC nutritionists will be available via phone to answer your nutrition or infant and child feeding questions.
  • Re-Certification appointments (appointments that require an assessment by a WIC nutritionist) will be temporarily conducted over the phone. If you have this type of appointment scheduled on or after March 16th, you will receive a phone call from a WIC nutritionist prior to your appointment.  When you come to the WIC Center, you will only need to have your eWIC card re-loaded.  You will not need to bring your children for the visit. This will minimize your time in the WIC Center.
  • If you are not able to get to the WIC Center for eWIC card re-loading, you can designate a proxy to come to the WIC Center for you.  Please contact your WIC Center to arrange for this over the phone.
  • In order to limit exposure, we ask that you please limit the number of people that you bring with you to your appointment.

Notice to WIC Participants Receiving Services at Norristown WIC Center

  • The Norristown WIC Center will be closed for services beginning March 16th, until further notice.
  • Anyone who has an upcoming appointment will be contacted by a WIC staff member who will provide further instructions on how to access services. Please do not come to the Norristown Center, as we will be closed.
  • Benefit pick up (eWIC card re-loading) appointments scheduled on or after March 16th will be done at another nearby WIC Center
  • Re-Certification appointments (appointments that require an assessment by a WIC nutritionist) will be temporarily conducted over the phone. If you have this type of appointment scheduled on or after March 16th, you will receive a phone call from a WIC nutritionist prior to your appointment.  You will then be instructed on where to go to receive your benefits.
  • If you are not able to get to one of other centers for eWIC card re-loading, you can designate a proxy to come to the WIC Center for you.  When you receive your call from one of our WIC staff members, you can arrange for this over the phone.

For any questions about accessing services, please call 1-866-942-8463.

At MFHS, our goal during this crisis is to continue to provide essential WIC services in a safe and effective way.  We appreciate your continued cooperation and patience.  If you have questions regarding your appointment, please reach out directly to your WIC Center (link to list of WIC Centers) or call MFHS at 1-800-FOR-MFHS (1-800-367-6347)

In the interest of the health and safety for all the families we serve, we ask that you please reschedule your appointment if you or anyone in your household has:

  • Fever, chills, coughing
  • Signs for respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms

Or has recently:

  • Traveled out of the country
  • Traveled to an area with widespread cases of Coronavirus
  • Or if you have been in contact with anyone know to have the virus.

Call 1-866-942-8463 to reschedule your WIC appointment.

Maternal and Family Health Services President and CEO to Step Down in June

Bette Cox Saxton

Maternal & Family Health Services, Inc. announced today that Bette Cox Saxton will step down as MFHS President & Chief Executive Officer in June.

“I will be leaving to pursue some exciting opportunities and new challenges in the next chapter of my career. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to serve as the leader of this most outstanding organization,” Saxton said in a statement released to the Board of Directors. ”Maternal and Family Health Services is well positioned to continue its mission of meeting the needs of the community through our health and social services. Over the years, I have learned volumes about the value of public health and the positive impact our services have on the lives of women, children, men and families in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

During her 20 years at MFHS, Saxton’s vision, creativity and commitment have resulted in significant expansion of opportunities for low-income women, children, and families throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Some of her most notable accomplishments at MFHS include expanding the Nurse-Family Partnership to four counties meet the increasing need for home visiting nurses from this highly regarded, evidence-based program.

In addition, Saxton oversaw the expansion of Scranton’s Circle of Care Center, which integrates all MFHS services in a one- stop model– delivering comprehensive, high-quality, accessible reproductive healthcare and social services to women and children in Lackawanna County. In 2018, she launched a behavioral health integrated care model with the addition of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to counsel and support pregnant women and mothers battling substance abuse and behavior health issues.

Under her leadership, MFHS developed the SafeTeens initiative, which includes an award-winning website and a national textline that enables teens to get accurate and even personalized health information to make healthy, positive choices. This concept has become the foundation for SafePlace school initiatives in the region.

Saxton’s tireless and vigilant advocacy on behalf of MFHS with both state and federal legislators has been critical to the success of the organization. The key relationships she has forged with legislators have helped strengthen MFHS’ position in non-profit health and human services sector, particularly during periods of funding shortfalls.

She has consistently promoted increased collaboration among area non-profits, and as a result MFHS now works closely with such programs as Healthy MOMS and FREE2B Mom to help mothers with opioid abuse disorder lead healthy lives in recovery. Her focus on collaboration has also led great organizational efficiencies, including co-locating many of MFHS service centers with community partners to increase access to vital programs and services for the entire community.

“Bette’s a true visionary who whose keen strategic and goal-oriented mindset enabled the organization to grow, evolve and prosper to meet the ever-changing needs of the clients we serve,” said MFHS Board Chair Kathy Finsterbusch. “The Board is very grateful for her dedication and, of course, the many accomplishments she achieved during her two decades of leadership; however, we also understand and support her decision and begin a new chapter of her professional career.”

“I can honestly relate that I have learned and embraced valuable life lessons and was given tremendous opportunities in a field that I have personally and passionately committed to for most of my life,” said Saxton. “I’m both humbled and grateful to lead an organization that has so positively touched the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of individuals during my tenure. I look forward to the next few months remaining in my role as I endeavor to continue our good work and do all I can to ease the transition for my successor.”

The non-profit’s board of directors has commenced a search for her successor.