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Women in Philanthropy Initiative Fund of the Scranton Area Foundation grant supports Wright Center’s Healthy MOMS program


The Wright Center for Community Health was recently awarded a $3,500 grant by the Women in Philanthropy Initiative Fund of the Scranton Area Community Foundation that focuses on empowering and transforming the lives of women and girls in the Lackawanna County region.

The grant award will assist women who are trying to enter the workforce after childbirth and who are enrolled in the Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program (Healthy MOMS), a regional collaboration co-founded by The Wright Center. Specifically, the funds will temporarily cover the cost of childcare until the new mothers establish a work history and receive proof of income, enabling them to apply for subsidized childcare assistance.

Many of the more than 135 current participants in the Healthy MOMS program want to join the workforce but find that a lack of affordable childcare poses an obstacle.

The Wright Center was one of seven area nonprofit organizations to be awarded funding as part of the Women in Philanthropy program’s 2022 grants cycle. Supporters of the program gathered in late April to hear presentations from grant semifinalists, ultimately awarding a total of $40,000 in funding. Since its inception in 2014, the Women in Philanthropy Initiative Fund of the Scranton Area Community Foundation has raised more than $1.6 million to benefit women, girls and their families in Northeast Pennsylvania. 

The Healthy MOMS program was launched locally in late 2018, aiming to help pregnant women and new mothers overcome addiction and embrace a life in recovery. Participants are offered blanket services that include medication-assisted treatment and addiction services, counseling, primary health care, OB-GYN care, parenting tips, legal advice and a range of other supports.

The program promotes the well-being of both mom and newborn, ideally engaging them in wrap-around services until the child turns 2 years old.

The Wright Center for Community Health was recently awarded a $3,500 grant by the Women in Philanthropy Initiative Fund of the Scranton Area Community Foundation in support of its Healthy MOMS program. Participating in the announcement at the Women in Philanthropy Quarterly Meeting and Reception at The Colonnade in Scranton, from left, are Marcella Garvin, case manager, Healthy MOMS; Rosemary Broderick, co-chair, Women in Philanthropy; Maria Kolcharno, director, addictions services, The Wright Center for Community Health; and Michele Coyle, case manager, Healthy MOMS. 

“Since its launch more than three years ago in response to the opioid crisis, the Healthy MOMS program has become a widely recognized and respected resource for women who face the dual challenge of coping with a substance use disorder and juggling the complexities of raising a young child,” says Maria Kolcharno, The Wright Center’s director of addiction services and a key leader of the Healthy MOMS program. “We are appreciative of all the support we receive from the community, whether in the form of product donations or grants such as this Women in Philanthropy award.”

The Healthy MOMS program has served mothers as young as 14, but most are in their late 20s and 30s. Named after a program of the same name in Ohio, it was introduced in this region as a pilot program in two counties, with initial grant funding secured by the Lackawanna/Susquehanna Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Today, it assists women in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. 

The nonprofit Maternal and Family Health Services Inc. and multiple area hospitals are among the many health care, social service and government agencies that power the program’s ongoing success.

For more information about the Healthy MOMS program, call 570-955-7821 or visit HealthyMOMS.org. Further information about the Women in Philanthropy Initiative Fund of the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at supportnepawomen.org.

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