Maternal & Family Health Services, Inc. Awarded Northeastern PA Health Care Foundation Grant
Scranton, PA: Maternal and Family Health Services, Inc. (MFHS) announces they are a recipient of a grant from the Northeastern PA Health Care Foundation. The grant is startup funding for Healthy Habits Together –a Pediatric Weight Management Medical Nutrition Therapy Program.
Healthy Habits Together is a family centric plan that provides low -income children with one-on-one comprehensive nutritional counseling, education and the tools they need to improve eating habits and activity behaviors. The model is built on strong evidenced-based criteria developed by The University of East Carolina and the nationwide initiative “Eat Smart, Move More”.
According to the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, one in three low-income children will become obese or overweight before their 5th birthday. This is triple the rate from just one generation ago.
“The numbers couldn’t be clearer in Lackawanna County,” says Bette Cox Saxton, MFHS President and CEO, “In our program alone we have approx. 300 children age 2-5 that are 85% above the normal risk code for obesity- that number is alarming to us.”
Maternal and Family Health Services has a 40-year history of providing nutrition counseling to pregnant women and children under the age of 5 through our WIC program. MFHS will utilize their expertise and partnership with Dr. Linda Thomas and The Wright Center to bring this program to low-income families in the community.
All services are provided by registered dietitians with professional experience in pediatric nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. The main objectives of the program are to: improve healthy nutrition choices; increase physical activity to meet CDC recommendations; and to increase the parent’s knowledge of good nutrition and the importance of activity by engaging them in a plan of action to support their children in improving their lifestyle behaviors.
“MFHS thanks the Northeastern PA Health Care Foundation for supporting the startup of Healthy Habits Together,” says Saxton, “This grant will help us to build the foundation of a program that will positively affect life-long health outcomes for low income children in our community. “