Maternal & Family Health Services Puts the Care in Healthcare

Maternal & Family Health Services (MFHS) believes that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or economic status. By focusing on proactive care that emphasizes education, prevention, and overall well-being, outcomes improve and the healthcare system becomes more sustainable, saving money in the long run.

The Vision

When Maria Montoro-Edwards took the helm of MFHS as CEO, her first priority was to bring all of their services together in one location–a Circle of Care that would be an innovative health and human services center providing nutritional, reproductive, dental and behavioral health services to under-served women, children and families throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. She and her team knew the Circle of Care needed to be easily accessible, welcoming, inclusive, and community-oriented. It needed to deliver the exceptional care and dignified experience their patients deserve.

The Implementation

As the design developed, renderings by DxDempsey included a walk-through video that helped MFHS visualize exactly what their new space would look and feel like, how their powerful brand story would be expressed, and how the space would function. This video also helped the Maria tremendously when applying for grants to help pay for the project. Once construction began, MFHS and DxDempsey worked closely with Cerminaro Construction, who used their expertise to build the space to the exacting standards required. Teamwork and collaboration throughout the process helped to surmount the challenges of the existing conditions and to deliver on the vision.

Upon entry, the new Circle of Care main lobby greets multi-lingual visitors with signage and way-finding that uses words supported by clear graphics that can be universally understood. This area also organizes access to the various services within the Circle of Care. WIC Nutrition has its own waiting area due to the volume of clients served and the Towne Center also has a separate entrance off the lobby to allow access after-hours for community and teen education classes and cooking lessons. Because MFHS treats their patients like family, waiting areas feel more like large living rooms with furniture arrangements that consider the needs of those that visit with children. The reception stations are spaced out and have dividers for more privacy while lower counters provide accessibility.

The exposed heavy timber wood and steel beam ceilings in the public spaces reveal the original silk mill construction, harkening back to an age when women’s well-being was not front and center and, ironically, helping to celebrate that now it is.

The Circle of Care combines an intuitive patient flow that respects privacy along with thoughtful infection control details for a safe, compassionate and dignified experience. Thought and care was given to the materials used throughout the space, as well as for the furniture and millwork, to ensure environments that are easy to clean and maintain. The LVT floors have cove edges; the guest chairs throughout have a smooth polymer surface; and the millwork laminate uses laser edge-banding with a microbial seal to fight moisture and contamination.

The Circle of Care optimizes daylight and uses friendly brand colors that contribute to a warm, welcoming experience. Inspiring and vibrant images of kids, couples and families enliven rooms and articulate corridors, sending clear brand messaging and reinforcing the organization’s mission while at the same time highlighting that MFHS is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Results

Maria and her team had a vision for the new Circle of Care and DxDempsey enjoyed every moment of partnering with them to turn it into a reality. Our Strategic Branded Experience Framework resulted in an eye-catching space that communicates their purpose and improves the bottom line. Typically, MFHS did not receive walk-in clients, but they had 60 in the first 2 weeks in the new location! Patients have also expressed that they love the new space and feel like they are being treated in one of the premier healthcare facilities in the country.

To MFHS, Circle of Care is not just a name. It’s a promise.




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