Hanover parenting classes kick off

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Our free Hanover parenting classes kicked off this week with “Parenting the Love and Logic Way” with our friends from Family-Child Resources.

Over six weeks, parents in attendance will learn tools to help them better raise responsible, respectful kids.

The goal? To love our kids so much that we’re willing to set limits. And to do so with sincere compassion and empathy. Logic happens when we allow our kids to make decisions and affordable mistakes.

In each class – held every Tuesday at our Hanover Center – the parents will learn a skill. They’re asked to experiment with the skill as homework. Each week will add another which builds off the previously-learned skill. The first week was putting an end to arguing, back talk and begging (something we think all parents know too well).

20160426_181859Our parents started off with a video that explained some tips for when you’re arguing with your child.

Step one: Go “brain dead.” The less your lips move, the more effective you become.

Step two: Simply repeat the same, calm, one-liner. “I know.” Don’t be angry, don’t be sarcastic. Give them very little ammunition.

Why’s this so important? Kids crave attention. So if you’re calm and give them little to work with, they’ll likely move on.

We also learned some great tips to help build a relationship like – at least once a day notice something special about them. Love them when they’re behaving not so lovable, and more!

It was a great start to the six-week program. Thanks to our parents for attending and to Patient Care Coordinator Hyacinth Gayle for organizing!

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Celebrate nurses this National Nurses Week

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May 6 to 12 is National Nurses Week so let’s take the time to celebrate all of the nurses we have here at five Family First Health sites!

During the week-long celebration, we want to draw some attention to our Nurse-Family Partnership program, which connects qualifying first-time mothers with an at-home nurse who visits through the baby’s second birthday.

It’s a great program that’s proven to bring success. Three randomized, controlled trials demonstrate that Nurse-Family Partnership delivers against its goals of better pregnancy outcomes, improved child health and development, and increased economic self-sufficiency. These outcomes contribute to preventing child abuse, reducing juvenile crime, and increasing school readiness.

In 2015, our nurses served 188 mothers with a total of 2,036 visits!

One of our mothers, Suleyka was attending Vo Tech when her daughter was born. She wanted to be done with school, but her nurse Judy kept encouraging her to go back and finish.

“If it wasn’t for her [Judy], I was going to get out of school. I was ready to finish, I wasn’t going to go back. She encouraged me to think about other options, think about the baby.”

Judy helped to walk her through a choices facilitator that outlined some the impact of choosing not to go back to school. Judy said, “So you don’t go back to school, so what is this going to do. You’re not going to graduate from high school, not going to be able to get a good paying job, not going to be able to provide the things your daughter needs or wants.”

When asked the best thing about her nurse, Suleyka shared: “When she helped me to think about things before I quit school. I thought nobody cared about it, but she really really cared and she was there for me.”

You can help us help more first-time mothers like Suleyka succeed through our Nurse-Family Partnership program by making a donation during this National Nurses Week.

There are four donation levels that let you make a DIRECT impact in one of our NFP homes. Making a donation is as easy as clicking on this link.

$25 –  Keeping them fed and clean – You get diapers and formula into the hands of a first-time mother for her child.

$50 – Get a move on – A mother gets an umbrella stroller for getting around in ease.

$75 – Checking in – This covers a developmental assessment for a child to determine that milestones are being met at certain stages.

$100 – Riding in style – This donation gets a car seat for a first-time mom and her child to keep them safe on the road.

 

 

A look at who we serve during Minority Health Month

April is Minority Health Month and because we just published our annual report, I wanted to share some of our numbers with you.

In 2015, we served 21,304 patients at our five sites with a total of 68,717 visits.FFH-AnnualReport-2015_Final-Cover_03302016-231x300

Let’s break down those patients by race:

13,737 – White

3,794 – Unreported

3,671 – Black/African American

102 – Other

Of those patients, 57% identify as Hispanic or Latino. And 18% are best served in a language other than English. 55% of them live under the poverty line.

When looking at insurance, most of our patients have Medicaid – 11,565 of them to be exact. 4,457 are uninsured. 1,852 have Medicare, 3,101 have private insurance and 329 have public insurance.

Learn more about what we’ve been up to in 2015 and who we’ve served in our annual report.

Take a full look at our 2015 annual report here.

Staff members witness Gov. Wolf’s LGBT anti-discrimination order signing

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Shannon McElroy and Karen McCraw get their photo taken with Gov. Tom Wolf after he signed the LGBT anti-discrimination order.

A week after Family First Health announced its participation in a yearlong collaborative to transform primary care for LGBT patients, three staff members got to sit two rows away from the governor as he signed executive orders saying Pennsylvania would not stand for discrimination of LGBT people.

Because of Family First Health’s work for the LGBT community, Rep. Kevin Schreiber invited us to witness the historical moment that came on the heels of anti-LGBT laws gaining traction and approval in some states.

North Carolina enacted a law preventing cities from creating non-discrimination policies based on gender identity. It also states that students in state schools use the bathroom that corresponds with their born gender.

Outrage over the law was swift, and many businesses and performers are boycotting the state. Gov. Wolf said his executive orders were signed to show the country that Pennsylvania will not stand for discrimination of any kind – but especially against the LGBT population.

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Gov. Tom Wolf signed it!

“I am taking action to protect those that I can and send a signal to the country that Pennsylvania is open for business no matter who you are or whom you love,” Wolf said at the press conference. “What happened in North Carolina, and what is going on in other states, should be a call to pass non-discrimination legislation in Pennsylvania now.”

“We must show that Pennsylvania is the place that William Penn envisioned when he founded our commonwealth on the principle that it is open, diverse, and inclusive for all people.”

Director of Social Services Karen McCraw, Shannon McElroy from Caring Together and I got to sit two rows away from the governor as he signed the orders. While we were there, Karen also spoke to the state Physician General Rachel Levine who said she was aware of Family First Health’s LGBT efforts and wanted to be kept in the loop.

It was an honor to represent Family First Health and the great work you all do during a historic moment for Pennsylvania.

Watch Gov. Wolf’s speech here.

Patient benefits busy helping you

The Healthcare Marketplace may be closed, but that doesn’t mean our Patient Benefits staff isn’t here – ready and able – to help you year round. In fact, our patients still have options: Medicaid or HealthChoices and CHIP coverage.

Also, if you lose your insurance at any time, you may qualify for a special enrollment period to enroll in the Marketplace – which may be a better option than Cobra.

From Jan. 1 to March 31, our team has:

  • Assisted 460 clients
  • Done 199 enrollments
  • Enrolled 156 families
  • Had 3 rapid responses they attended to

Get friendly, in-person help to apply for insurance by calling our Patient Benefits Department at 717-846-5846, Option 6. Tammy, Arlene and Denise are here and ready to help.

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Dr. Go on her dream of being a doctor

On Doctor’s Day last week, our CEO Jenny Englerth sent out a note thanking our providers for choosing Family First Health and for the work that they do.

Our Medical Director Asceline Go responded to Jenny to say how working at a community health center like ours fulfilled her dream of being a “village” doctor. Read more below.

Thanks to Dr. Go and the rest of our providers for everything they do! Asceline Go 046

Growing up, I have always dreamed of being a “village” doctor and always had a feeling of guilt having chosen to practice in a first world country. Unbeknownst to me, serving our community and working in a Community Health Center actually fulfilled that dream.

Years ago when I did my citizenship examination, the CIS/Citizenship and Immigration Services officer hardly asked me any exam questions in order to pass for citizenship eligibility which I had painstakingly prepared for and was ready to sing the Star Spangled Banner on his prompting. When asked, he merely thanked me for doing my work and deciding to serve my chosen community.

I appreciate the recognition given to physicians today. I believe though that it is a collective effort with not one more important than the other and so everyone needs to be recognized and appreciated.

I am blessed to find my niche.

Thank you Jenny for your leadership and support.

Dr. Filer wins Women Leaders in Medicine Award

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Our very own Dr. Wanda Filer has been a busy doctor lately.

You may remember that back in September she was named to be the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. 

And today, she received a  2016 Women Leaders in Medicine Award from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

She was in Washington, D.C., today (Friday, April 1) to receive the award at the AMSA’s 66th Annual Convention & Exposition.

According to the AMSA (who received an “impressive” number of nominations this year:

To have been nominated is an honor: It represents the fact that one or more members personally identified you as a source of inspiration, leadership and support during their time in medical training.

AMSA says the nation’s oldest and largest independent association for physicians-in-training, created the award in 2007 “to recognize women physicians and educators who serve as role models and sources of inspiration for women who are currently in their medical training.”

Congrats, Dr. Filer!