Friday, January 6, 2012
My travels around the state of Pennsylvania have led me to find healthcare advocates in unusual places. I first met Sue in my children’s music class. Each week after the class in which she taught was completed; we found a common bond in the passion each of us shared for access to healthcare. Through the year, we shared literature, research and exchanged insight into the subject. It was through her that I learned about Lebanon Family Health Services. Sue’s guest blog is the conclusion of my five part series on Woman’s Health.
Ten years ago I began volunteering for the Lebanon Family Health Services as a board member. Prior to my time at LFHS, I served on the Girl Scout Council Board of Directors. For years, I had long been familiar with LFHS, but felt an agency of such value to the community deserved my full attention.
When I became a member of the Board, I realized the breadth of services provided to the community far outreached my previously held perceptions. It took me about a year to fully understand the range of services and the diversity of clients served by this wonderful agency. As luck would have it, I became chair of the marketing and Public Relations department, a perfect opportunity to “spread the word”.
To me, Lebanon Family Health Services fills the need of a vastly diverse population of women, children, men and families. Our clients range in age: pre-natal, newborns, toddlers, teens, adults and seniors. The clients all utilize the OB/GYN, WIC, family planning, job related physical and drug testing, driver license physical and general health services. These services also include smoking and tobacco cessation programs.
It is an honor to support an agency which provides safe, respectful, clinically sound and above all, affordable opportunities to improve the lives of the members of our community. I feel passionately that families of all backgrounds deserve the best medical care regardless of economics. LFHS provides a safe environment for teens in need of contraception and counseling with unique teen walk-in clinics. Another aspect of LFHS that stands out for me is the WIC program (Women-Infants and Children) which not only provides funding for healthy foods, but also includes nutritional counseling, farmers market opportunities and breast feeding support.
I have long believed in the importance of all people acquiring quality healthcare. The new healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), will allow the uninsured this dignified access to basic healthcare needs. The healthier our population, the more productive our community. LFHS has provided reproductive healthcare opportunities for families of diverse backgrounds, regardless of financial status, with great success. Excellent healthcare is a right, not a privilege. As a Board Member, I feel it is our duty to promote these opportunities and I am proud to serve this agency and above all, to support our clients.