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Maternal & Family Health Services expanding, relocating
Times-Tribune - 12/7/2022
Dec. 7—A move to South Scranton will allow a nonprofit to serve more clients in a low-income, high-need area of the city.
Maria Montoro Edwards, Ph.D., president and CEO of Maternal & Family Health Services, said construction of a new clinic at 820 S. Washington Ave. is scheduled to be finished March 27 and she anticipates being in the new building by the end of April.
"It's really in a perfect location because it's a federally designated severely distressed census tract, a medically underserved area for primary care and a health professions shortage area for dental health," Montoro Edwards said.
With the consolidation of its 4,996-square-foot Circle of Care clinic at 640 Madison Ave. and 2,200-square-foot Scranton Women, Infants and Children clinic at 431 Wright Court into the new 14,000-square-foot property, Maternal & Family Health Services will nearly double its available space.
Montoro Edwards said participation in the organization's maternity program is up 25% over last year and noted the bigger space will allow for more social distancing.
"One of the big pieces is we're going to be offering oral health care," she said. "We'll also have fetal monitoring available, and on-site labs and limited pharmacy services for our clients."
Montoro Edwards projects at least 6,500 clients will be served at the new clinic during the first year — up from the approximately 5,000 currently receiving care between the two sites.
The new clinic will be situated on a bus route; officials believe that will eliminate transportation barriers.
"Our other clinic is currently located on the corner of Pine Street and Madison Avenue which is close to a bus route but if you have a stroller and several small children, it's still a challenge," Montoro Edwards said.
Shannon Hayward, chief operating officer for MFHS, thinks the new clinic will transform the scope of treatment for women and children in Northeast Pennsylvania.
"It's going to improve access because it's a one-stop shop model," she said. "They come to us for one of the services and we're able to wrap around a variety of services that ensure a healthy pregnancy, a healthy birth outcome and a healthy start in life for the new baby."
Montoro Edwards said the organization received grant money to fund part of the approximately $8.5 million project — including a $900,000 state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, a $600,000 grant from the Weinberg Foundation and a $125,000 grant from First Foundation, among others.
Laurie LaMaster, director of development and communications for United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, thinks the new clinic will be a valuable asset.
"It's great news for the neighborhood," she said. "UNC had been doing revitalization in South Side for more than a decade ... and we think this is a big win."
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