MFHS Welcomes Two New Board Members

Maternal and Family Health Services recently welcomed two new members to their board of directors. The two new members include: Lauren Allen, Director of Client and Community Relations at PNC Bank; and Kyle Trivedi, Senior Council Consultant at Geisinger Medical Group.

Both are excited for the opportunity to consult on the agency’s board of directors by offering their own insights on further developing the MFHS mission of care in the community.

 

2019 Community Partner Award: Lackawanna College

MFHS is thrilled to announce that our 2019 Community Partner Award is going to Lackawanna College at our 48th annual meeting. Starting in 2018, Lackawanna College began providing full-tuition scholarships for clients from MFHS who are enrolled in the Nurse-Family Partnership program in an effort to continue to provide affordable, high quality educational opportunities to the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The organizations will collaborate to select one NFP client from each division of MFHS in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. Candidates for the scholarships are identified by MHFS and chosen by Lackawanna based on the applicant’s academic potential, financial need, and other variables that are best exemplified by the potential student.

“We are especially grateful to Lackawanna College for its very thoughtful and generous scholarship offerings,” said Bette Cox Saxton, President and CEO of MFHS. “It’s a remarkable opportunity for individuals who otherwise would be unlikely or unable to attend such an outstanding academic institution.”

Started in 1894 for the purpose of providing a quality education to all persons seeking to improve their lives and thus better the community, Lackawanna College has been educating inhabitants of Northeastern Pennsylvania for 125 years. Located in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna College is one of the oldest educational institutions in the region. Originally consisting of a business school to educate breaker boys of local coal mines in 1902, the college eventually grew to offer civil service courses and education classes for women actively seeking to enter the workforce. Once again the college adapted after World War II, now allowing returning veterans to seek further education after the war efforts and expanding curriculum to fit occupational needs of the time.

Today, the college offers roughly 30 different bachelor’s and associate degree options. Some programs include: Accounting, Human Services, and Hospitality Management. It also has a number of certificate programs and competitive training institutes. Though right now the college does not have a wide variety of four year degree options, being that it just started offering bachelor’s degrees in 2017, the institute is continuously working on expanding its reach within the coming years to better cater to the changing educational environment.

Congratulations Lackawanna College and thank you for your continued support of our clients!

 

 

 

2019 Youth Partner Award: Erin Keating

The 2019 recipient of the Youth Partner Outreach Award is Erin Keating. Keating will receive this award at the MFHS 48th Annual Meeting & Community Luncheon for her help in developing the MFHS SafeSpace health resource center within the Scranton School District. Her drive to get the program up and running, as well as her continued support and dedication to the health resource center until her departure from the school district, are what make her the ideal choice for the 2019 Youth Partner Outreach Award.

Dr. Keating received her BSED in English from West Chester University. She then went on to receive her M.S Ed. from Wilkes University along with her doctorate degree. Her doctoral dissertation focused on School-Based Health Centers and indicators in academic achievement, which ultimately helped Keating in her development of the Scranton health resource center. Working in the Scranton School District as the Chief of Leadership Development and School Operations, Keating helped to set the foundation for the now thriving health resource center. This center offers an opportunity for teens to ask questions to trusted adults, an opportunity to learn more about making healthy life choices, and an opportunity to receive referrals for health care as needed. The Safe Space Health Resource Center educators offer confidential counseling resources to those who may need their assistance as well as an engaging delivery method of said information.

Before her time in Scranton, Dr. Keating worked within the Wyoming Valley West School District. While there, she served as a middle school teacher, an elementary school  principal, and a high school principal. She is currently the Superintendent of the Old Forge School District. Keating has been involved in many school-based civic organizations within both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties. In these organizations, she has often been the voice of public education and the needs of students. She has completed two terms on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professional as the Vice President. Today, she is a member of the Board of Trustees for Luzerne County Community College and an adjunct instructor in the Education Department at King’s College. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators.

Thank you Erin Keating for all that you have done, and continue to do, as a youth educator, and congratulations on the award!

 

 

 

2019 Rose Allan Tucker Award: Maureen Rinehimer

During this year’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, MFHS will be presenting the Rose Allan Tucker Award to Maureen Rinehimer. Earning her PhD from Seaton Hall University in Health and Medial Sciences, with a focus in Movement Sciences, Rinehimer has dedicated her time as a physical therapist to serving the children of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Working as a children’s physical therapist for over 40 years, she spends more than 300 hours per year treating children at Misericordia University’s (MU) Pro Bono Clinic, where she often utilizes her own funds to provide toys and other equipment to the children that she serves. Her help in developing the above clinic, which provides services to those who are uninsured or underinsured, is one of the many reasons in which Rinehimer is the perfect recipient for this years Rose Allan Tucker Award. She goes above and beyond the duty of Assistant Professor at Misericordia University, not only coaching her students in the correct physical therapy practices, but also dedicating so much of her time to bettering the facilities of the MU Clinic for all who have the pleasure of encountering it. Even when students are away on breaks, one can find Rinehimer working with patients at the MU Clinic.

In her practice, Rinehimer pays special attention to children with developmental disabilities, such as autism or cerebral palsy. Deemed the “whisperer,” she can get any child to happily participate in therapy sessions despite his or her immediate reluctance. This trait is greatly appreciated by all, especially by parents who have no where else to turn due to their child’s being unsuccessfully treated in other settings. Rinehimer has also aided in screening children who may need physical therapy services at a local religious school.  For the past two years, she has sent students from Misericordia’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program to screen children in order to learn the process of identifying those who may do better with the assistance of physical therapy.

Through her involvement as an Assistant Professor at Misericordia University as well as her dedication to treating children at the MU Pro Bono Clinic, one can see that Rinehimer has great passion for working with the youth of Northeast Pennsylvania. We are grateful for the opportunity to show our appreciation for Maureen Rinehimer at this years annual meeting. Thank you Maureen for all that you do to help the children of Northeast Pennsylvania!

 

2019 Public Service Award: Governor Tom Wolf

This year’s Outstanding Public Service Award is being presented to the Honorable Governor Tom Wolf in recognition of his work advocating for the health of women, children and families throughout Pennsylvania during his time in office. Governor Wolf will receive this award at the MFHS 48th Annual Meeting & Community Luncheon.

Currently the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania,Wolf was born and raised in Mount Wolf Pennsylvania and had been a representative for the state long before his election as governor. He graduated with his B.A in government from Dartmouth College in 1972, received a Masters of Philosophy from the University of London in 1978, and then went on to earn his PH.D in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thereafter. These degrees helped him to quickly advance the political ranks earning a position on the economic development board during the time of Governor Robert Casey, as well as a seat in the Pennsylvania Legislative Commission on Urban Schools. He also served as the Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania during the term of Governor Ed Rendell until 2008, eventually making his way to his first term as the governor of Pennsylvania  in 2015. Governor Wolf was then reelected for his second term in 2018 and has been bettering the state of Pennsylvania ever since.

Governor Wolf’s leadership in healthcare is evident in the steps he took to expand Medicaid to cover more Pennsylvanians, as well as in the creation of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee, whose goal is to reduce the number of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania. Today, more than 720,000 Pennsylvanians have health insurance due to this Medicaid expansion. This reform also made it so that the rate of uninsured Pennsylvanians decreased from 10.2 percent to 6.4 percent in 2015 alone. In addition, his commitment to ending the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania by increasing access to life saving services and treatment is giving families hope for a healthy future. Another facet to his plan is to assure that those who distribute drugs within Pennsylvania communities are held more accountable for their actions.

Thank you Governor Wolf for all that you do to help the families of Pennsylvania, and congratulations!

 

 

 

48th Annual Meeting & Community Awards Luncheon

The MFHS 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors and Community Awards Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019, 12 noon at The Westmoreland Club, Wilkes-Barre. Our agency will be presenting several awards, including the Public Service Award to the Honorable Governor Tom Wolf.

MFHS began its journey of service in April 1971, with a vision to improve the quality of family life, promote responsible parenthood and coordinate effective service delivery in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Today, our agency has grown to a regional organization serving over 90,000 individuals in 16 Pennsylvania counties. 

The Public Service Award is being presented to Governor Tom Wolf in recognition of his work advocating for the health of women, children and families throughout Pennsylvania during his time in office. Governor Wolf’s leadership in healthcare is evident in the steps he took to expand Medicaid to cover more Pennsylvanians, as well as in the creation of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee, whose goal is to reduce the number of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania. In addition, his commitment to ending the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania by increasing access to life saving services and treatment is giving families hope for a healthy future.

Several other awards will be presented during our 48th Annual Community Awards Luncheon:

·  Maureen Rinehimer: The Rose Allan Tucker Award

·  Lackawanna College: The Community Partner Award

·  Erin Keating: The Youth Partner Award

·  Ariana Velez: The Kathy A. Dickerson Memorial Scholarship

·  Kearstin Jordan: Lackawanna College Scholarship

The invitation can be downloaded via the following link on our websiteMFHS website. The luncheon reception is $25. RSVP by Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Program advertising opportunities are also available.

MFHS Announces Launch of Electronic WIC

Pennsylvania’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), is offering its families a new way to shop for WIC food benefits using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (eWIC) card. No more paper checks! WIC families in the MFHS service area that includes Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming counties will begin using this new tool in October 2019.

With the eWIC card, shopping will be quick, easy and convenient for WIC families and grocery stores. WIC participants will save time at the checkout and can buy WIC foods in as many shopping trips as they need throughout the month. Participants may also have access to a new WICShopper Smart Phone App allowing them to scan a food’s bar code to determine if it is a WIC allowed food.

In order to prepare for this transition, WIC Nutrition Centers in the above listed counties will be closed for staff training from September 23 through September 30, 2019. WIC will re-open for appointments on October 1, 2019.

WIC provides services at over 250 clinic sites throughout Pennsylvania and serves approximately 205,000 pregnant women, infants and children under age 5. These WIC families shop at more than 1,500 Pennsylvania grocery stores and spend $248 million a year with their WIC food benefits.

“Maternal and Family Health Services is excited to offer a new, convenient way for our families to shop,” said MFHS President & CEO Bette Cox Saxton. “This enhancement of the WIC program will allow us to continue to provide high quality nutrition care to women and children in Northeast Pennsylvania.”

The Maternal and Family Health Services WIC Program has been offering participant-centered nutrition education, healthy food, breastfeeding support and has been serving as a gateway for preventative health for over 40 years.  It is considered one of the most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs in the country. MFHS has WIC appointment openings. For more information about WIC, visit MFHS.org or pawic.com or call 1-800-367-6347 or 1-800-WIC-WINS. PA WIC is funded by the USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

MFHS Seeking Nominations for the 2019 Rose Allan Tucker Award

Maternal and Family Health Services is seeking nominations for the Rose Allan Tucker Award, which will be presented at the agency’s 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors and Community Awards Luncheon in mid-October at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre.

The late Rose Tucker was a former Luzerne County Commissioner and long-time employee of MFHS.  She dedicated her life to public service as a community leader, political activist, health advocate, and champion for women, children and families in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  She opened doors for women to take leadership roles in the community and extended herself to help those in need.

Since 1996, MFHS has celebrated her legacy by presenting the Rose Tucker Award to a person who demonstrates a deep commitment to improving the quality of life for women, children and families in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  With her passing in 2009, the Rose Tucker Award has taken on even greater significance as it helps keep her legacy alive and serves as a reminder of Rose Tucker’s great contributions to the community.

Nominees for the award should demonstrate a long-term commitment to improving the quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and a significant positive impact on the health and welfare of women, children and families.

Nominations are being accepted online on the agency’s website or by calling 1-800-367-6347.  Deadline for submissions is August 21st, 2019.

eWIC is Coming Soon to MFHS!

The Pennsylvania Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program will be offering families a new way to shop for WIC food benefits using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (eWIC) card later this year. No more paper checks!

Maternal and Family Health Services WIC Nutrition Centers will transition to eWIC starting October 1, 2019, for families in Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.

In order to prepare for this transition, WIC Nutrition Centers in the above listed counties will be closed for staff training from September 23 through September 30, 2019. WIC will re-open for appointments on October 1, 2019.

With the eWIC card, shopping will be quick, easy and convenient for WIC families and their grocery stores. WIC participants will save time at the checkout and can buy WIC foods in as many shopping trips as they need throughout the month. Participants may also have access to a new WICShopper smart phone application, allowing them to see what is WIC allowable in Pennsylvania.

Appointments are available now at all locations throughout the MFHS WIC network. For more information about WIC, visit mfhs.org or call 1-800-367-6347.

 

WIC Nutrition Program Expands Income Guidelines

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program has expanded income guidelines allowing more families to participate in the free nutrition education program.

According to the new income guidelines for WIC, beginning on July 1, 2019, a family of four could earn $47,638 annually and qualify for WIC. For a family of three, the income limit is $39,461 to qualify, and a family of two can earn up to $31,284 and qualify for nutrition assistance.  A complete list of income guidelines is available here.

The WIC Nutrition Program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provides nutrition education and access to healthy foods for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, as well as infants and children under 5.  To qualify, participants must meet the income guidelines, have a nutritional or medical need, and live in Pennsylvania.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

WIC provides participants with supplemental healthy foods which contain vital nutrients essential for healthy development during critical growth periods, such as pregnancy, infancy and early childhood.

WIC is the nation’s premier public health and nutrition education program with an overall goal to influence lifetime nutrition through positive health behaviors.  In addition to vouchers for nutritious foods, WIC participants receive nutrition education, breastfeeding support, immunization record checks, iron deficiency screening, farmers’ market vouchers and referrals for other health and social services.

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