Your Health First  

At Family First Health, we Care Forward so that our patients are able to count on us for quality care and can live happy, healthy lives. We work to pass on good behavior and health and are pleased to share this newsletter with you. 



Thanks for being Extraordinary!



Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we raised $5,700 during this year's Extraordinary Give event. The 24-hour online giving marathon Nov. 21 will announce its stretch pool results in the coming weeks, which we'll also receive a percentage of, enabling Family First Health to continue to provide affordable, high-quality medical and dental care and social services.


If you missed your chance to donate during the 2014 Extraordinary Give event, we invite you to Give the Gift of Good Health throughout the month of December by donating online. Your donation to Family First Health will help to provide accessible, affordable health services to members of the community that rely on us for care.


For those who are already shopping online for the holidays, we also encourage individuals to give through AmazonSmile, where Amazon will donate a percentage of eligible purchases to Family First Health. It's an easy way to give back -- during the month of December and year-round!



Staying healthy this holiday season


Buying gifts. Hosting family. Attending parties. Cookie exchanges. The list goes on. Though the holidays are an exciting time, the realization of a busy schedule can often be daunting.


At Family First Health, part of equipping patients to live a healthy lifestyle is reminding them to take care of themselves - physically, mentally and emotionally -- especially during a busy holiday season. We asked TrueNorth Wellness Services, a behavioral health and wellness organization based in southcentral Pa. and our partner in Collaborative Care, to offer a few recommendations for handling the stress that often comes with the holiday season.


When we're feeling stressed about any facet of the holiday season, we should remember two things -- any "thing" we buy won't bring any real, lasting joy; and secondly, holiday stress will always be the expected guest, unless we change our own behaviors.


One way of doing so is by committing a random act of kindness.

Here are a few examples of how you can experience a "feel good" random act of kindness during the holiday season:

  • Visit a nursing home
  • Donate some time at a food bank
  • Make cookies with ALL family members involved, and hand them out to neighbors/coworkers
  • Leave a generous tip -- surprise your waitress or waiter!
  • Leave a sticky note with inspirational messages on them at random place like a mirror or a car windshield
  • Pay someone's toll on the turnpike
  • Buy a coffee for a stranger
  • Thank your police and fire companies with a note

Employee spotlight -- Shannon McElroy

Title: Caring Together Program Manager

Years at FFH: 4


As program manager for Family First Health's Caring Together program, Shannon McElroy leads her team in providing wraparound services for clients with HIV and AIDS. Coordinated services include medical and dental care, adherence and risk reduction counseling, health education, and counseling with a dietician and/or pharmacist, plus case management services that assist clients with anything from transportation and housing to budgeting and goal setting.


"We work closely with three providers at the York Hospital Community Health Center to provide medical care, we provide walk-in HIV testing on the third floor at George Street Center, and we have a growing outreach program where we provide HIV testing to high-risk populations in the community," McElroy said.


On Dec. 1, Caring Together hosted a program for World AIDS Day as a time for reflection on how far we've come in fighting this disease and a time to honor those who have lost the fight.


"It is also a celebration of life for those who made it this far and are happy and healthy," McElroy said.


In May, McElroy and Carrie Prowell, Family First Health's Linkage to Care coordinator, will present a seminar at the 27th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Their presentation, "Implications of ARTAS on Out-of-Care Clients When Used in Conjunction with Medical Case Management," focuses on individualized intervention for recently diagnosed HIV patients.