WIC – Women, Infants & Children

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.

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 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.

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!

Department of Human Services Warns Pennsylvanians of Potential Scam Involving Pandemic EBT Benefits

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is warning of a possible scam concerning Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits and reminding Pennsylvanians to be skeptical of unsolicited or random calls or text messages about public-assistance programs – especially when the calls or text messages solicit personal information, such as Social Security numbers.

“We are all living through difficult times, and unfortunately, there are people who will try to take advantage of others who may need help meeting essential needs. Be mindful, stay aware, and if you think something looks off, it probably is,” DHS Secretary Teresa Miller said.

DHS is investigating a report of individuals receiving calls with pre-recorded messages advising them to expedite their P-EBT benefits issuance by providing their Social Security number and case record number. In the message, the speaker claims to be from a County Assistance Office (CAO).

DHS and other government agencies do not ask for information about P-EBT, SNAP or any other public-assistance programs via unsolicited or random calls or texts, and Pennsylvanians should not reply to such a call or text or share any personal information if they are contacted in this way. If you or anyone you work with receive unsolicited or random calls or text messages telling you that you qualify for assistance and then asking for personal information, it is most likely a scam. Do not respond. Delete the message so you do not get caught in an identity theft scam.

Pennsylvanians who have questions about whether a call, text, letter, or other communication is legitimate should contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. Clients in Philadelphia should call the Philadelphia Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226. Clients in all other counties can call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930.

The federal government authorized P-EBT in the spring to allow states to assist families with school-age children who qualified for free-and-reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program – and who lost their easy access to breakfast and lunch at school as a result of the school closures related to COVID-19 earlier this year.

DHS began distributing P-EBT benefits to Pennsylvania families in late May. To date, more than $360 million has been distributed to about 680,000 households to help families feed nearly 1 million children.  Families received about $370 per child.

DHS administered this program in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and schools across the commonwealth. The program was recently reauthorized by the federal government for the 2020-2021 school year. Pennsylvania and other states are currently awaiting guidance from the United States Department of Agriculture to begin the program for the current school year.

Additional information about Pennsylvania’s P-EBT can be found here.

If Pennsylvanians need help purchasing or affording food for themselves and their families, help may also be available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP helps nearly 1.9 million Pennsylvanians by providing assistance each month for groceries, helping households purchase enough food to avoid going hungry. SNAP is our country’s most important and most impactful anti-hunger program. For every meal provided by a Feeding Pennsylvania food bank, SNAP provides nine. While SNAP is intended to be a supplemental program, during a pandemic and historic unemployment, resources are strained, particularly for our lowest income Pennsylvanians.

Applications for the SNAP and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.

For more information about food assistance resources for people around Pennsylvania impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying economic insecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture’s food security guide.

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