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.

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Meet the staff: Victoria Lorenz

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Michigan native Victoria Lorenz was looking to try something new. So she left the only place she’d ever lived to move to Pennsylvania and attend school at Salus University. She wasn’t totally alone though, since her sister – 4 years her senior – lived in nearby Lancaster.

Once she graduated from school, she started looking around for options. She knew she wanted to work with the underserved. And she was always interested in family medicine. She stumbled across Family First Health online, liked our website and the rest is now history – or at least the start of a new story.

“I always wanted to do this,” she said. So far, she’s loving what she does working with patients at our George Street Center. She thinks the staff is pretty great, too.

When she’s not working at George Street, Lorenz admits she’s a Netflix addict. Some of her favorite shows to binge watch include The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and The Vampire Diaries. She also loves watching movies, reading and shopping. When it comes to sports, Lorenz played volleyball in school and is also a fan of basketball, baseball and soccer.

Her teams? All Michigan, of course.

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.

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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! 

Get involved in our free programs in April

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There’s so much going on this month that we can’t even! 

It’s nearly April and we’ve got a lot going on at Family First Health. Let’s get caught up on what’s coming soon.

All month: It’s time for our Eat Your Greens campaign! This time we’re focusing on sneaking fruits and veggies into each of your meals. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all month as we include tips, tricks and more!

April 1 and 2: This weekend, we’re teaming up with the vision van to bring free eye exams to all York students and then Saturday in Delta to the entire community. It’s pretty awesome, and we’re very excited. Read today’s York Dispatch story on the event.

Also on April 1 and 2: Our Caring Together staff April 1st and April 2nd The Caring Together program will  be working a table at the Bears, Bikers and Mayhem event in Adams County. They’ll be doing some HIV testing and education on HIV/AIDS.

April 16: Our Caring Together staff and volunteers will be readying the Serenity Garden for spring!

April 18: Free advance directive workshops. No one wants to think about themselves or someone they love reaching the end of life. But it’s something we need to plan for – so we can receive the type of care we want to have. All adults should have a plan for a health care crisis. So join us Monday, April 18 from 8 to 10 a.m. at our George Street Center for a free workshop.

April 23: It’s Go Green in the City! Join us on Beaver Street in York for veggie and fruit stamping fun for the kids. We’ll also have some juice samples from our friends at Mr. Nice Guy Produce and Corner Cabinet. This is part of our Eat Your Greens campaign, which this month is focused on sneaking fruits and veggies into every meal! We’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

April 26: Our Hanover parenting classes – “Parenting the love and logic way” kicks off. The classes run May 3, May 24, June 7, June 24 and July 5 at our Hanover Center. It’s run by us and Family-Child Resources. Reach out to our patient care coordinator Hyacinth Gayle at 632-9052 or email hgayle@familyfirsthealth.org.

April 29: Join us at Hauser Estates Winery in Adams County for A Toast to Good Health. We’ll be celebrating years of service to the Adams County community. Get your tickets online – they include wine, apps, free music and a fishbowl raffle.

April 30: This is a very busy day for Family First Health. We will be at the Hispanic American Center Hanover’s Kids Day with the Hanover Center staff. Some of our dental staff will be at the Colgate Van at the York YMCA. And other staffers will likely be at Leg Up Farm’s Family Fun Day.

May 3: Our Diabetes Prevention Program with the YMCA kicks off. It will run every Tuesday from May 3 to Aug. 16 and is FREE to Family First Health patients. Childcare will be provided at our George Street center. Call 843-7884 x 248 for more information. Learn more about the program here!

I think that’s it. Excuse me while I go hide somewhere because it’s going to be a BUSY MONTH of serving everyone and caring for you!

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This will be your friendly development and marketing team come May.

 

 

Meet the staff: Dentist Maria Fletcher

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Maria Fletcher was pretty much destined to become a dentist – a fourth generation one, actually. Third generation female dentist, even.

“It’s in my blood,” she says with a laugh. “But Dad always encouraged us to do what we love. And I fell in love with doing it. I felt like it was my calling.”

Dr. Fletcher moved to York from Chicago, where she was born and raised. It was during her master’s program at Midwestern that she met her now husband. And he’s the one who brought her to York when he started his family medicine residency here at York Hospital.

How she ended up at Family First Health is actually a little bit because of him, too – and Dr. LaJuan Mountain’s mother’s fault. Fletcher’s husband was on rotation with Dr. Mountain’s mother who told him all about Family First Health. From there, she applied and said she came to learn all the great benefits to working here.

Her favorite part of being a dentist is getting to know new people and help them with their smiles. They are, of course, one of the first things you notice about a person.

When she’s not working, Dr. Fletcher and her husband like to visit his family in Dover and visit Rehoboth Beach. Her favorite hobby is geocaching, and says there are always a lot of places around to find it. Her dog, Lana – a half Pomeranian and half Chihuahua mix – often tags along to help find things.

When asked about her favorite things or a random fact about her, Dr. Fletcher could only say she loves it here!