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Spanish-language prenatal program funded in Franklin

February 09, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Spanish language prenatal class was among the programs that received grants Wednesday from the Central Pennsylvania March of Dimes Chapter.

"About 12 percent of the babies Keystone Health Center delivers are Hispanic," said Candace Kugel, a family nurse practitioner and midwife at Keystone Health. She said center physicians and midwives delivered about 300 babies last year.

The $915 grant will pay for educational materials and transporting pregnant women to the classes, which begin March 2 at the Cedar Street Mennonite Church in Chambersburg. "I think there's enough of a need to warrant it" because of the community's growing Hispanic population, Kugel said.

Family Health Services of South Central Pennsylvania received a $2,147 grant to help make women of childbearing age aware of the importance of folic acid, a B vitamin that helps a baby's brain and spinal column develop during pregnancy. Education Coordinator Ann Spottswood said the awareness program will be in conjunction with Family Health Services' genetic screening program.

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Family Health Services received another $2,787 grant to help pay for adolescent health and medicine training for physicians and other health and human services providers, Spottswood said. Part of that grant will also be used for parenting classes, she said.

Spottswood said the classes will be held in the fall at the Pines Health Center in Chambersburg.

The Chambersburg Hospital Maternity Clinic was given a $400 grant to provide prenatal vitamins for pregnant women who have not received medical access cards.

"We can get a supply of 100 vitamins for less than $3 through the hospital pharmacy," Maternity Clinic Program Coordinator Joyce Yorgey said.

Yorgey said the over-the-counter vitamins can cost more than four times as much when purchased at a store.

The clinic was approved for another $309 grant to provide transportation on the Franklin County Transportation System for prenatal appointments. Pregnant women will be given tokens to use on the county vans to get to their appointments and transportation of another child is included, she said.

The March of Dimes raises money to fund research on birth defects and premature births, as well as funding local educational and health care programs, according to Community Director Shelly Rivello.

The local chapter's largest fund-raiser is its annual Walk America event in April, which brought in $80,000 last year, Rivello said.

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