The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has scheduled a public meeting in conjunction with the development of the 2014 State Plan of Program Operations and Administration. The State Plan is the main source of information as to how WIC works in Pennsylvania. The Plan explains what plans have been made to improve WIC operations for the coming year. It is used by legislators, government officials and others to make decisions about WIC policies and procedures. It is important to have participants’ ideas and thoughts so that the Program effectively provides the services needed by participants. The informal meeting is to record public comments and will not include a presentation of the WIC Program. The meeting will be held between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM on the following date:
Camp Hill, PA – Thursday, May 23, 2013, Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania, Inc. 3461 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 303, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Individuals representing themselves or representing organizations and agencies are invited to present comments on any aspect of WIC Program operations. Anyone wishing to present comments during the meeting should call Bonnie Mellott at (717) 783-1289 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Meeting is subject to cancellation without notice. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may submit written comments to the State WIC Agency by May 31, 2013. The address is:
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Bureau of Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
2150 Herr Street, 1st Floor, Suite B
Harrisburg, PA 17103-1625
For additional information, call the Pennsylvania WIC State Agency at (717) 783-1289.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program is the nation’s premier public health nutrition program and a sound investment in insuring the health of our children. Maternal and Family Health Services administers the WIC Nutrition Program in Northeast Pennsylvania, serving more than 57,000 people each month at WIC Nutrition Centers in 16 counties.
During National Nutrition Month, MFHS is raising awareness about the public health value of the WIC Program, the compelling evidence of its success in ensuring healthy outcomes, and the strong public support for the program.
WIC is a preventative public health nutrition program designed to influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors in a targeted, high-risk population. WIC provides nutrition and breastfeeding education, nutritious foods, and improved health care access to low-income pregnant women and children under age 5 with, or at risk of developing, nutrition-related health problems.
Established to promote good nutrition for children and expectant mothers, WIC has earned the reputation of being one of the most successful, cost-effective, federally-funded nutrition programs in the United States. More than half (53%) of all children born in the United States are served by the WIC Program.
The WIC food package, which was updated in 2009 to include a greater variety of healthy choices, has a positive impact on how children eat. A recent study by Public Health Solutions in New York showed that following the improvements with the food package, children participating in WIC are more likely to have increased consumption of healthy foods, including low / non-fat milk, and infants enrolled in WIC are more likely to be breastfed. In a study completed for the Mid-Atlantic WIC Assessment Project showed that the majority of participants (nearly three-quarters) interviewed report that they have made changes in eating practices and physical activity since being a part of WIC. Improvements include: increased physical activity, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk, and decreased consumption of soda and fast food.
Participation in WIC improves nutrition, resulting in overall healthier pregnancies, healthier birth outcomes, and better growth and development of young children. WIC helps ensure normal physical growth for infants and children, and has been shown to improve cognitive development, reduce levels of anemia, improve access to regular health care and social services, improve diets and household health behaviors, and improve breastfeeding rates. WIC children arrive at school with a healthy foundation and ready to learn.
The scientifically based WIC food package reinforces the nutrition education provided by WIC nutritionists, and provides supplemental foods with essential nutrients. WIC approved foods include whole grains, low-fat dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, soy and tofu, eggs, baby food, tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel, canned and dry beans, peanut butter, juice, and iron-fortified infant formula.
WIC promotes breastfeeding as the most perfect infant food and provides support for new mothers who choose to breastfeed. The MFHS WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program works to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates for WIC participants. Peer counselors provide new mothers with support and encouragement during the early post-partum period and help moms make the transition back to work or school.
With all the public health benefits of the WIC Nutrition Program, it should not come as a surprise that WIC is highly regarded among American voters. A recent national bipartisan poll conducted by the Mellman Group and American Viewpoint regarding voter attitudes toward the WIC Program showed that showed that Americans – across party lines – strongly support WIC, and not only do voters oppose cuts to WIC, they want the government to invest more money in programs like WIC. When ranked by favorability, WIC is among the most popular government programs including programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and National Defense. Opposition to cutting WIC is strong across party lines: Democrats (80%), Independents (55%), and Republicans (45%). Instead of cuts, a majority of voters want the federal government to invest more money in programs like WIC that provide nutrition and healthcare to pregnant women and children. Opposition to cutting WIC remains strong even after voters hear detailed arguments for and against such spending reductions.
The WIC Program is a successful program that provides significant returns on investment through improved birth outcomes, healthier infant and young child development, and impressive healthcare savings. Helping young children get a healthy start through quality nutrition is especially important during the challenging economic environment so many America’s families are facing.‖
The 2012 NFL season kicked off this weekend, and we’re thrilled to announce the opportunity to catch a piece of the action yourself. MFHS has two tickets to see the Baltimore Ravens battle the New England Patriots, and we’re auctioning them off to the highest bidder! All benefits from the auction will benefit MFHS.
The game will take place on Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 at 8:20 pm at the M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore. The auction itself includes:
- Two club level seats for the game
- A VIP parking pass
The total value of these are $400! What could be a better way to spend a weekend than a day trip down to Baltimore to catch the excitement of a live NFL game? See the electrifying Ray Lewis live and in person—the energy and excitement of the live game just can’t compare to watching from your couch!
How To Enter
The silent auction is being hosted online. You can view the listing here. The auction is open to staff, board members, participants and the public. It will also be posted on our Facebook page.
You will need to create a 32auctions account in order to place your bid. It is free to create the account. After you have signed up, you will be able to place your bid! Our minimum bid for purchase is $50. You can then bid in $1 increments.
32auctions will allow you to bid either the max amount you want to pay (meaning, if you bid $75, you are locked in to paying $75). You can also bid by Proxy. This is similar to how Ebay works. If you bid by Proxy $100, and the next highest bid is $50, you will pay $51, and the system will automatically outbid other bids on your behalf until you hit your max, $100 in this example.
Bids will be accepted up until noon on September 18th, and the winner will be announced via Facebook and staff email. The MFHS marketing department will arrange payment and pickup of the tickets with the winner.
Good luck and happy bidding everyone!
Voting is easy – as long as you have your electoral ducks in a row. As a service to our clients and community, MFHS created a step-by-step guide that centralizes all the forms, tools and resources needed to cast an informed ballot this November.
If you’ll be 18 years of age on or before November 6, 2012, you are eligible to vote – as long as you take a few minutes prior to the election to fill out the required forms and gather the required documents. But don’t wait too long: Pennsylvania’s voting laws simply do not allow for procrastination. You need to start the process now and, at the very least, you must complete Step One by October 9.
Your vote matters. Following the step-by-step guide below will ensure that it counts, too.
Step One: Register to Vote
In order to vote, your first must register – and register at least 30 days before the election in which you wish to vote. That means if you want to vote in the General Election on November 6, 2012, you must be registered on or before October 9, 2012. Voter registration allows the government to prevent voter fraud by ensuring that everyone who votes is legally eligible to do so, votes in the correct location and votes only once. You do not need to register for every election, but you do have to register (or re-register) if:
- You have never voted before
- You have moved and changed your permanent address since the last time you voted
- You want to change your party affiliation (eg. Democratic, Republican)
In order to register in Pennsylvania, you must:
- Be a citizen of the United States at least one month before the next election
- Be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district at least 30 days before the next election
- Be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election
You can register to vote in person or by mail through the Department of State by clicking here. If you choose to register by mail, remember you must print, fill out, sign and send the Voter Registration Form. If you are unable to print a form, call 1-800-552-VOTE to have a one sent to you.
The Voter Registration Form will ask you to choose a party affiliation (Democratic, Republican). Choosing a party affiliation allows you to vote in that party’s Primary Election. Pennsylvania’s Primary Elections are held in April.
If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, you can check online, on phone or in person through the Pennsylvania Department of State by clicking here.
If you have recently moved, recently changed your name, or have multiple addresses, the Department of State’s lists of frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be accessed here. Look for the drop down menu in the red box that reads “I AM.”
Step Two: Get a Valid Photo ID
You must bring a photo ID to vote in the November election. Click here for a list of the acceptable forms of ID.
If you do not have a Pennsylvania Photo ID, you can obtain one for free at Driver’s License Centers through the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles. To find a Driver’s License Center near you, click here. Note that you must have a Social Security card and an additional form of ID (like a birth certificate) to obtain a Pennsylvania Photo ID. More information on obtaining a free photo ID for voting can be found here.
Voters who do not have verification documents necessary to get a Pennsylvania Photo ID will be able to obtain a new Department of State voter identification card for free at any PennDOT Driver License Center. The Department of State Photo ID card is valid for voting purposes only and is intended ONLY for those individuals who cannot produce proper documentation for other types of photo identification. Voters who want the new Department of State Voter ID must provide their name, address, Social Security number, proof of residency and previous name and/or address if changed in the past 12 months.
Step Three: Find Your Polling Place
You can vote only at your designated polling place. The League of Women Voter’s has an easy-to-use tool to find your polling place. You find it here.
Step Four: Vote
Save the date! Election Day is November 6, 2012. Your vote matters!
Absentee Ballots: If you are not able to get to your polling place on November 6, you can apply for an absentee ballot by October 30. Completed absentee ballots are due in county election offices no later than November 2. Click here to learn more voting by absentee ballot.
Don’t know who to vote for? Non-partisan websites like Project Vote Smart and MTV’s Power of 12 allow you to explore the 2012 presidential candidates’ political beliefs and voting records. With Project Vote Smart’s VoteEasy, you can see what candidates best reflect your own political beliefs by answering a few short questions.
Hello and welcome to all of our visitors from today’s Avon BHOP presentation. We’re so glad you decided to visit our blog and are excited to share some of our favorite digital marketing tools with you. There is an almost overwhelming amount of information on digital marketing on the web, and a great deal of information directed specifically at non-profits as well. If you’re new to the world of online promotion, here are a few of our favorite, and often free, resources for non-profits:
Goo.gl – a URL shortening service that will create a QR code for your link that can be used in promotional materials.
Google Grants – This links to the Google for Nonprofits program. Applying for this will give you access to Google Grants, as well as free tools like Google Analytics and much more.
Google Adwords Blog – The official blog from Google with updates and strategies for using the Google Adwords advertising system.
Facebook For Nonprofits – The official page by Facebook for those interested in using Facebook for non-profits. Like this page to get updates in your own news feed.
Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog – A great resource for all things online marketing.
Social Media Examiner – The latest news on all things social media.
Maternal and Family Health Services announced that 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, a family of four could earn $42,643 annually and qualify for WIC. For a family of three, the income limit is $35,317 to qualify, and a family of two can earn up to $27,991 and qualify for nutrition assistance. A complete list of income guidelines is below.
The WIC Nutrition Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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.
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, farmer’s market vouchers, and referrals for other health and social services.
Maternal and Family Health Services offers the WIC Nutrition Program in 16 counties of Northeast PA, serving over 55,000 women, infants and children each month. To find a location near you, visit mfhs.org or call 1-800-367-6347.
Maternal and Family Health Services is committed serve every member your family – including men and boys. That’s why we’re proud to have re-launched the Man Cave on Pennsylvania’s teen health website, SafeTeens.org during June, which is National Men’s Health Month.
Designed for guys caught in the crux between boyhood and adulthood, the Man Cave had previously occupied only a small corner of the SafeTeens universe. Today, it is a major component to SafeTeens, tasked with promoting healthy behaviors and attitudes in one-half of the teen population.
The launch of the Man Cave is timely. Today’s boys are turning to violence as the only socially accepted form of emotional expression, homophobia and sexism as valid displaces of masculinity, and finding camaraderie in behaviors harmful to themselves and others. They’re four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed emotionally disturbed and nearly seven times more likely to commit suicide .
By focusing on a question important and often personal to the teenage male, “What does it mean to be a man today?,” the Man Cave promotes a vision of manhood rooted in ethical and emotional strength as well as physical strength. At its heart is a challenge to young men to replace risky, violent, and unhealthy masculine behaviors and attitudes with responsible, empathetic and healthy behaviors and attitudes.
Using this framework, the Man Cave delves into topics like sex, safe sex, and consent and will soon delve into more topics – from sexism and homophobia to gangs and bullying – to confront social problems too often thought of as separate in an a manner that is adequate, fundamental, and holistic. With each update, we’ll strive to make the Man Cave more interactive, more relevant and more impactful.
We hope that you’ll help spread the word about the Man Cave. Maternal and Family Health Services knows that it can be a powerful tool in bringing about not only healthier and stronger young men, but also healthier and stronger families and a healthier and stronger Pennsylvania, too.
Maternal and Family Health Services, in partnership with the NEPA affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Health Outreach Program is proud to announce Free Breast Screenings and Mammograms for those who qualify.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Towanda Memorial Hospital
91 Hospital Drive, Towanda, PA 18848
Eligible women will receive both breast exam and mammogram free of charge. Make your appointment today!
Call 1-877-MAMMO 4 U
Transportation assistance is available.
Participants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Ages 40 – 64 (Individuals under 40 who meet eligibility guidelines, have high risk factors, or have a family history of breast cancer may also be eligible)
- No medical insurance or limited insurance with a high deductible
- Low to moderate income, for example: $27,925 for 1 person, $37,825 for a family two
- United States citizen
Maternal and Family Health Services offers programs that empower women to seek early detection and treatment of breast cancer by removing the financial barriers to breast health services for low-income or uninsured women in Northeast Pennsylvania. For more information or to obtain free breast health services, please call 1-877-Mammo-4-U (1-877-626-6648).
“Mammograms are a powerful tool for the early diagnosis of breast cancer,” said Bette Cox Saxton, President & CEO, Maternal and Family Health Services. “Many women who lack adequate health insurance are not able to afford a mammogram. The programs we offer help remove the financial barriers to care and empower women to seek the screenings and care that could save their lives.”
How are your new years resolutions coming along? Getting fit is a popular resolution, but by this time of the year, many of us are having trouble sticking to our original fitness plan. MFHS has something that can re-motivate you to get active - a 3 month membership to Odyssey Fitness in Wilkes-Barre! This great gift basket includes the membership, a 3 month locker rental, and all kinds of goodies to help you get healthy! If you live in the Wilkes-Barre area, you can win this basket by sharing your favorite fitness advice.
Leave us a comment on this post by Friday telling us some of your favorite fitness tips, and you’ll be entered to win! We will randomly draw a winner and announce them on our blog on Monday, May 21st. And don’t forget, to comment you need to fill out the CAPTCHA form below the submit button!
You can read the full contest rules here. Good luck!
Being a mother is one of life’s greatest gifts. Whether you are currently a mother or a mom-to-be, it’s important to cherish that gift, keeping you and your family as healthy and happy as possible.
As a mother, you must make positive parenting choices during and after pregnancy. Making good choices is about providing you and your children with the best life possible, building strong and positive relationships with children of any age. MFHS offers several programs that help you make healthy and positive choices for you and the little one in your life.
The following are some positive choices you can make to keep you and your child healthy and happy this Mother’s Day and every day:
-Develop a Healthy Nutrition Plan: Although the lack of weight gain concerns during pregnancy may cause you to overindulge on fast food and snacks, it is important to maintain a healthy diet during those nine months. Keep in mind that everything you eat, the baby eats.
Another benefit of making healthy food choices during pregnancy is getting into the habit of eating better. Once the baby comes, you will already have healthy eating habits developed that you can carry over into their diet as well. MFHS’s WIC Nutrition Program provides useful nutrition information as well as food vouchers that allow you to make better food choices for you and your child.
-Be Active with your Child: Although the life of a new mother tends to be hectic, it is important to always make time to give your child the attention they need. During the early stages of a child’s life, they learn a lot of things strictly by being observant. Talk to your baby as much as possible and make time to play with them. These interactions will stimulate their mind, in turn helping them develop more quickly. MFHS’s Nurse Family Partnership is a program that can help first-time mothers learn the skills needed to successfully interact with their children.
-Pay Attention to Your Baby’s “Coos” and Keep up to Date on Checkups: It is important to know how to react to different noises and expressions your baby makes. A child can’t communicate if they are feelings sick or hurt, so it’s important to keep up to date on their checkups and immunizations and make sure they are the healthiest they can be.
A child’s bond with their mother lasts a lifetime. Keep these tips in mind to assure that lifetime is healthy and happy for the both of you.