Best Wishes Robbie!

This week we celebrate Robbie McHale, RN, PhD, Nurse Family Partnership Supervisor, and part of the MFHS family for over 17 years!

We’d like to take a moment and say, “Thank you,” Robbie for your commitment to our community that will continue to benefit our clients and your team long after your retirement this month.

In preparation for Robbie’s upcoming retirement, we’ve asked her to share a little about her experience at MFHS and her plans for the future:

  • Tell us a little about what made your work fulfilling?   

 Working with the Nurse-Family Partnership was a dream come true for me.  While teaching Community Health Nursing at the University of Scranton, I had been following Dr. David Olds’ research in the journals.  I was absolutely fascinated by this program and its outcomes.  I was fortunate to be invited by Bette Saxton to apply at Maternal & Family Health Services for the NFP Supervisor position and am grateful to MFHS for this wonderful opportunity.  The rest is history.

  • What will you miss most about MFHS?  

I will miss my NFP teammates.  We have lived through NFP adventures that we could never have imagined at the start of all this.  We held each other up when we were down and we have always found something to make us laugh. 

  • What are you most looking forward to in your retirement?  

Teaching some nursing courses for Wilkes University, traveling with my husband, watching Penn State Football and just doing whatever I want, whenever I want!

Robbie has made a lasting impact on her clients and the team here at MFHS as well.

Robbie was the first hire for the NFP program at MFHS. She embraced the opportunity from day one and was vital in growing NFP from a one county service into three in a short time. Throughout her career at MFHS she has accomplished a lot and it is important to recognize Robbie for truly making a difference in the lives of countless women and children in the NFP program. We wish her the very best in her retirement! — Bette Saxton, President & CEO

Robbie has been a great source of encouragement and resources that have helped me immensely.

It has been a great pleasure to know and work with Robbie, she will be missed.  –Ann Marie

17 years of changing lives through empowering women!  You are an inspiration, a leader, a mentor and a friend.  A new door in your life is opening for you, but please always remember the NFP nurses got your back!!!  You will be so missed. –Ann

From all of us here at MFHS, you have truly made a difference in countless lives at your time here and we wish you all the best in this exciting new chapter.

Today is #GivingTuesday!

#GivingTuesday is here! There are two opportunities for you to double your gift to MFHS today!

As a supporter of Maternal & Family Health Services, we’d be honored if you would take this opportunity to donate on our Facebook page. Just click on the blue “donate” button on the page, follow the prompts, and Facebook will process your gift.

Your donation will go twice as far thanks to a matching gift from Facebook and PayPal (up to $7 million matched across the US!). The match starts at 8 AM today, and will likely run out early. If you plan to give and can do it right at 8, we appreciate it!

If you want to spread the word further, you can also create a Facebook fundraiser! Your fundraiser will also be matched dollar for dollar today only. Creating a fundraiser is easy.

Here’s how to create a fundraiser:

  • Go to
  • Facebook will prompt you for some details like an end date and goal.
  • Customize a title and description for your fundraiser. Be sure to include #GivingTuesday in your description!
  • Select a cover photo shown (or create your own).
  • From there you can invite friends, share on your News Feed or send a message.

For inspiration, or to borrow some text or a cover photo, visit this sample fundraiser:


Your second matching gift opportunity comes from AllOne Charities!

AllOne Charities is hosting its first matching gift fundraiser for 31 non-profits across Northeast Pennsylvania for #GivingTuesday!

  • All donations made on the AllOne website for MFHS will be matched up to $1000.
  • Gifts are being matched for a week: November 21st – 28th.
  • Visit the AllOne match day page by Wednesday November 28th to have your gift qualify for the match.


Happy #GivingTuesday, and thank you for your continued support of MFHS!

Delayed Opening Tomorrow – November 16

All MFHS locations will operate on a 1 hour delay on Friday, November 16, due to the predicted inclement weather. Staff will work with participants to reschedule any appointments. Please continue to monitor this website and our social media for any additional changes.

Two Opportunities to Match Your Gifts on #GivingTuesday 2018!

#GivingTuesday is November 27, 2018 – just two weeks away! MFHS is thrilled to announce that this year, there are even more ways for you to support us on #GivingTuesday, including two opportunities to have your gift matched! Here is the complete breakdown of everything that’s happening this year for #GivingTuesday!

  • AllOne Charities is hosting its first matching gift fundraiser for 31 non-profits across Northeast Pennsylvania for #GivingTuesday! All donations made on the AllOne site for MFHS will be matched up to $1000. Even better, AllOne is celebrating #GivingTuesday by matching gifts for an entire week! Any donations made from November 21st – 28th are all eligible to be matched! Visit the AllOne match day page starting on Wednesday the 21st to make your matching gift.
  • Facebook is partnering with PayPal to match gifts on #GivingTuesday. This year, they will match a total of 7 million dollars worth of donations! Each participating non-profit can get up to $250,000 matched, and each individual donor can give a gift up to $20,000 that will be matched. In 2017, matching dollars on Facebook ran out early, so we are asking anyone interested in donating on Facebook to make your gift early. The closer to 8 AM EST on November 27th, the better! You can donate directly on our Facebook page by clicking the blue donate button. You can also create a Facebook Fundraiser for MFHS by visiting our page here, and all gifts made in fundraisers are also eligible for matching dollars.
  • Download your MFHS UNselfie sheet and tell us why you give to MFHS! Last year, our donors, friends, family and staff all shared why they support MFHS and why they give, #FamilyToFamily. We shared the pictures across social media, and they were a huge hit! Help us do it again by snapping your picture and sending them to us on Facebook, or by posting them on Facebook with our hashtag.

MFHS Welcomes 5 New Board Members

Maternal and Family Health Services recently welcomed five new members to their board of directors. New members, pictured below, include Mike Burns, Vice President of Information Technology at Benco Dental; Christine Jensen, Administrator at PA CareerLink Luzerne County; Jennifer Sordoni, Community Volunteer; Estella Killian, Community Volunteer; and Paige Gebhardt, Director at the Scranton School Board .

All are looking forward to bring their expertise to the agency’s board to further the MFHS mission of care in the community.

MFHS Presents Awards at 47th Annual Meeting

Maternal & Family Health Services held its 47th Annual Meeting on October 17th at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre. At the event, five new members were appointed to the MFHS Board of Directors as the agency’s governing body reflected on the past year’s successes and challenges. In addition to this meeting, a luncheon and awards ceremony served to recognize and celebrate community members who are working tirelessly to help families in Northeast Pennsylvania. Several awards were given out at the event, including the Rose Allan Tucker Award. This award is given to an individual who exemplifies its namesake, a woman who was fearless in her dedication to improving women’s health in our community. By her tremendous courage and innovative spirit, the Rose Allan Tucker Award was presented to Kristen Topolski, whose efforts in developing critical resources for local women is reminiscent of this altruistic initiative.

Pictured are the 2018 award recipients: Maureen Maher-Grey of NEPA Youth Shelter, Kristen Topolski of Ruth’s Place/Volunteers of America Pennsylvania, MFHS President & CEO Bette Cox Saxton, and Karen Murphy, P.hD. of Geisinger’s Steele Institute for Healthcare Innovation.

2018 MFHS Champion Award: Karen Murphy, PhD

The Maternal and Family Health Services Champion Award is given to an exemplary individual who is an innovative force for good in the community. This year, we are honored to award Dr. Karen Murphy the title of MFHS Champion. Karen Murphy, PhD, is an extraordinarily accomplished leader in the field of healthcare, currently serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer, and Founding Director of Geisinger’s Steele Institute for Healthcare Innovation.

In her leadership role at Geisinger, and throughout her unique career, Dr. Murphy has embodied tireless dedication to the continual improvement of healthcare delivery to those in need in our community. In addition to her expansive responsibilities with Geisinger’s Steele Institute for Healthcare Innovation, Dr. Murphy utilizes her talents and intellect to educate. She works as a faculty member at Geisinger’s Commonwealth School of Medicine, and she is a published author and public speaker on topics including healthcare innovation.

Before working at Geisinger, Dr. Murphy held numerous other prestigious positions at exceptional healthcare institutions. She served as President and CEO of Moses Taylor Health Care System, and Director of the State Innovation Models Initiative at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Murphy previously worked as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, showing her unending interest in both public and private health concerns.

Through all of her roles, Dr. Murphy has always been a champion for Maternal & Family Health Services, as well as for women and children in our community. When the MFHS maternity program in Scranton was moving from CMC to Moses Taylor, Karen stepped in alongside another former MFHS Champion, Barb Bossi, to ensure the transition was seamless for the families enrolled. With their support, there was no interruption in care for any of the mothers in our maternity program.

MFHS congratulates Dr. Murphy on her tremendous work throughout her career, and we look forward to seeing how her innovative mindset will continue to improve the lives of those in our community.




Senator Lisa Baker Receives Force for Good Public Policy Award

Maternal & Family Health Services (MFHS), in conjunction with the national office of their program, the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), awarded the Force for Good Public Policy Award to Pennsylvania State Senator Lisa Baker (R-Lehman).

Baker, who is serving her third term representing the 20th Senatorial District, successfully advocated for increasing the state appropriation for Nurse-Family Partnership from $11.9 million last year to $13.1 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Through Baker’s extraordinary support and leadership, Maternal & Family Health Services will be able to expand the Nurse-Family Partnership program to improve health outcomes for more moms and babies in poverty.

“While we commonly praise the importance of the mother-child bond after birth, it is much harder to provide families living in poverty with the practical means for making good, healthy choices,” said Senator Baker. “For many years, I have seen what a blessing it is to have a caring and committed group, as the partnership is, so involved in making a difference in our communities.  This is a vital program with proven results and well deserving of the level of state support we have been able to achieve,” continued Baker.

Maternal & Family Health Services began offering the Nurse-Family Partnership program to first time mothers in Lackawanna and Wayne counties in 2002, and the program and has since expanded into Luzerne and Susquehanna counties. This nurse-home-visitor program guides at-risk, first-time mothers through pregnancy and offers support during the first two years of the child’s life.

Baker learned about Nurse-Family Partnership while working for former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge whose wife, Michele Ridge, championed the program as part of her Community Partnership for Safe Kids initiative.

Later, while serving as executive director of the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Baker worked with the Northeastern Nurse-Family Partnership Collaborative to help expand its program. She continues to be an advocate for NFP as the chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The Nurse-Family Partnership Force for Good Public Policy Award recognizes elected officials for making a difference for families in poverty. Dr. David Olds, founder of Nurse-Family Partnership, describes the impact of Nurse-Family Partnership as a force for good that changes the future for two generations.

Over 40 years of evidence show that Nurse-Family Partnership improves birth outcomes, child development and school readiness, reduces child abuse and neglect and juvenile crime, among other outcomes.

According to the RAND Corporation, every $1 invested in Nurse-Family Partnership can yield up to $5.70 in return for the highest-risk families served.

2018 Youth Partner Award: Maureen Maher-Gray

At this year’s annual meeting and community luncheon, MFHS will present Maureen Maher-Gray with the Youth Partner Award. This award is given to an individual who serves as a champion for teens and young adults, taking great measures to satisfy a need for the disenfranchised in our community. Her groundbreaking work in developing the NEPA Youth Shelter exemplifies her dedication to providing a safe, welcoming resource for teens.

Nearly a decade ago Ms. Maher-Gray relocated to Northeast Pennsylvania from Washington, almost immediately becoming an active member of the community, working as a realtor for a local company. She engaged in in political advocacy as part of the 2012 election cycle, encouraging impressive voter turnout in her district.

Maureen Maher-Gray later worked in a role that enabled her to understand the lack of resources for local at-risk teenagers. At the time of her discovery, the nearest youth shelter was in Allentown, and teens traveling long distances to reach the shelter were susceptible to becoming victims of crimes like human trafficking. This disturbing news lead her to establish the nonprofit organization NEPA Youth Shelter in 2016.

Since the organization’s creation, Maher-Gray has opened a drop-in center for teens in downtown Scranton. The NEPA Youth Shelter Teen Drop-In Center serves a safe place for at-risk teens to go after school. At the center, teens can do homework, socialize, and rest; the center also provides clothing, school supplies, food, and job resources for those who need them. An MFHS Reproductive Health Educator frequents the drop-in center weekly to provide reliable, accurate health information to the teens.

Reactions to the drop-in shelter have been extremely positive. An average of 35 teens visit the center each day, knowing that it a safe and enjoyable place to go after school. Ms. Maher-Gray, Executive Director of the NEPA Youth Shelter, plans to open an overnight youth shelter to continue making strides for teens in our community. Thank you Maureen for your continued commitment to the youth of Northeast Pennsylvania and congratulations!

Win Tickets to See the Ravens vs. Raiders on November 25th!

Are there any Ravens or Raiders fans in the house? Yes?? Good, because today is your lucky day! MFHS is raffling 2 club seat tickets to see the Ravens face the Oakland Raiders in Baltimore on November 25th at 1pm!

Chances are $10 each and include:

  • 2 club tickets – Section 230, Row 4, Seats 6 & 7
  • VIP parking pass – lot A

The total prize is valued at over $500! The winner will be chosen at our next happy hour fundraiser on October 10th at Rodano’s in Wilkes-Barre, from 5-8. The winner will also be announced on the MFHS Facebook page. Please share the word far and wide and get your entry in today!

Thank you to Gmerek Government Relations for donating this amazing prize! All proceeds will benefit the Nurse-Family Partnership client holiday party!

Click here to buy your raffles now.