Category: News

Lynn Denning: A Healthcare Hero Passionate about Helping People

Written by DaWayne Cleckley for Community Health Net

Lynn Denning is the Medical Services Coordinator at Community Health Net, having joined the organization in 2022. She is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the medical offices, along with monitoring the organization’s LPN and medical assistants. Lynn’s passion for helping people is rooted in her family’s history of volunteering in the community.

Lynn Denning, LPN
Lynn Denning, LPN

“I was a preschool teacher; a child counselor at the Safe Net,” Lynn recalled her past experiences. However, it was her grandmother’s illness that made her realize her calling. “I realized at that moment that I could take care of people,” she said. Lynn’s passion for helping people goes back to her childhood when her family frequently volunteered in the community. “During high school, I volunteered at the food bank and helped with hurricane relief efforts down south,” she added.

Lynn began her nursing career in 2008 as an LPN in the acute care department at Abbington Crest Nursing Home. She worked her way up to become an Infection Control and Staff Development Nurse, earning a certification as an Infection Preventionist through the CDC. “We had a lot of staff come and go due to COVID burnout. That meant cooking meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner for patients,” Lynn said, describing the challenges she faced during the pandemic.

Lynn was diagnosed with two types of cancer, and after a year of treatment and surgery, she was eager to find a job that would allow her to continue helping people. Fortunately, a position became available at Community Health Net, an organization that helps the underserved population in the community. “I looked at the mission and what they did for the community. I saw that they helped the underserved. I saw it as a huge opportunity to serve the community again. It’s a big change from nursing home, but I love it here,” she shared.

In her role at Community Health Net, Lynn mentors the nursing staff, ensuring that they treat everyone with empathy and understanding, making a difference in their lives every day. “I want to make sure our staff treats patients how they would like to be treated. That’s the most important thing we can do,” she said.

Lynn enjoys spending time with her family and friends at her camp in the Alleghany Mountains, where she kayaks and bonds with her loved ones. When asked where she sees the community in 5 years, Lynn expressed her hope to see a healthier community that is full of understanding and empathy for the underserved and those with mental health issues. “I want to see people come together and help each other,” she concluded.

Lynn Denning is a healthcare hero who is dedicated to helping people in need. Her passion for helping others stems from her family’s history of volunteering in the community and her own experiences as a nurse. Her hard work and dedication have made her an essential member of the team at Community Health Net, where she is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of others.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month


Millions of Americans suffer from Alcohol use disorder (AUD). But AUD can be prevented, and with effective treatment, people can and do recover.

Get the Facts

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic, progressive disease that is fatal if untreated. It is sometimes called alcoholism, alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, or alcohol addiction. People with alcohol use disorder have problems controlling their drinking. They may be preoccupied with alcohol or continue to use alcohol even when it causes problems.


Certain areas of your brain are associated with the experience of pleasure, judgment, and the ability to exercise control over your behavior. Over time, drinking too much alcohol may change the normal function of those areas of your brain. This may result in craving alcohol to try to restore good feelings or reduce negative feelings. Lasting changes in the brain caused by alcohol misuse can prolong AUD and make people who are in recovery vulnerable to relapse.


Alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe, and even a mild disorder can lead to serious problems. Drinking too much can harm your health. Every year, excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 140,000 deaths in the U.S. and caused 1 in every 5 deaths of U.S. adults aged 20-49 years.

Signs and Symptoms

Unhealthy alcohol use includes any alcohol use that puts your health or safety at risk or causes other problems. If your drinking repeatedly creates distress and problems in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Being unable to limit how much alcohol you drink
  • Wanting to cut down on how much you drink
  • Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home due to alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink alcohol even though you know it’s causing you problems
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies to use alcohol
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving or swimming
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol so you need more to feel its effect or you have a reduced effect from using the same amount
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating and shaking, problems sleeping, hallucinations, and agitation when you don’t drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms

Risk Factors

A person’s risk for developing AUD depends, in part, on how much, how often, and how quickly they consume alcohol. Other factors that increase the risk of AUD are:

  • Alcohol use that begins in the teens
  • Genes. The likeliness of developing AUD may be partially hereditary.
  • Family history. The risk of AUD is higher for people who have a parent or other close relative who has problems with alcohol.
  • Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly
  • Depression and other mental health problems
  • History of trauma
  • Bariatric surgery. Some studies indicate that having bariatric surgery may increase the risk of developing AUD or relapsing after recovering from AUD.
  • Drinking too much on a regular basis

Take Action


If you feel that you sometimes drink too much alcohol, your drinking is causing problems, or if your family is concerned about your drinking, talk with your healthcare provider. Early treatment is important. Behavioral therapies, mutual-support groups, and/or medications can help people with AUD achieve and maintain recovery.


Alcohol use disorder is preventable. Parents can play an important role in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives. You can help prevent teenage alcohol use by setting a good example with your own alcohol use.


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service announcement of Community Health Net.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022, April 14). Alcohol Use and Your Health. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022, December 7). Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

Gerchalk, R. (2022). Alcohol Awareness Month. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

Mayo Clinic (2022, May 18). Alcohol Use Disorder. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (2021, November 7). April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Retrieved February 21, 2023, from

March is Colorectal Health Awareness Month


Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon, rectum, or anus. It is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, there are ways to prevent colorectal cancer, and regular screening tests can help detect it early and reduce deaths from this disease. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s learn more about this disease and what we can do to prevent it.

Get the Facts

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a disease that occurs when cells in the colon, rectum, or anus grow out of control. The colon is the first part of the large intestine, the rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus, and the anus is the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body. Abnormal growths called polyps can form in the colon or rectum, and over time, some of these polyps may turn into cancer. Polyps can form in the colon years before invasive cancer develops.

Signs and Symptoms

Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms at first. However, if you experience a change in bowel habits, blood in or on your stool, diarrhea, constipation, feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way, abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away, or unexplained weight loss, talk to your doctor.

Risk Factors

The risk of colorectal cancer increases after age 50. However, the number of new colorectal cancer cases in people younger than 50 has been increasing in the U.S. Other risk factors for colorectal cancer include inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, ovarian cancer, having had colorectal cancer or polyps in the past, and being Black.

Take Action


Treatment for colon cancer usually involves surgery to remove the cancer. Depending on how advanced the cancer is, a doctor may perform other treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, or immunotherapy.


The most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened for it routinely. Screening should begin by age 45 and continue regularly to age 75. Different types of screening tests include stool tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and CT colonography. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you and how often you should be tested.

Other Preventative Measures

In addition to getting screened, you can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and knowing your family’s health history.

Coping and Support

A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally challenging. It is important to learn about your treatment options and talk to friends, family, or medical professionals for support. The National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society are resources that can help you become better informed about your diagnosis and treatment options.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service announcement of Community Health Net.



American Cancer Society (2020, July 30). What is Cervical Cancer?  Retrieved January 3, 2023, from

National Cervical Cancer Coalition (2023) Understanding Cervical Cancer Prevention. Retrieved January 3, 2023 from

February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month

A child’s smile is a beautiful thing! And strong, healthy teeth are important for more than just bright, confident smiles.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time to focus on the importance of children’s oral health, especially how to prevent cavities. Cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. Children and adolescents are at higher risk for cavities than adults. But with good dental health habits, cavities are easily preventable.

Get the Facts

  • Cavities happen when the bacteria in your mouth metabolize (eat) sugar. The bacteria then produce acid that eats away at the hard outer surface of the teeth, which is made of enamel and dentin. Enamel and dentin contain a lot of the mineral calcium.
  • Sometimes called cavities or tooth decay, cavities affect more than 1 in 5 children aged 2 to 5 years. More than half of children aged 6 to 8 have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth (also called primary teeth). And more than half of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have had a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth.
  • Cavities can lead to pain, infection, tooth loss, feelings of unhappiness – especially for teens – and problems eating, speaking, and even learning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than other children.

The good news is there are a few simple ways for parents and caregivers to prevent cavities in children.

Take Action

So, What Can Parents Do?

Teaching your child good habits and good attitudes about dental health at an early age can help them maintain good oral health for a lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend simple steps to protect children’s oral health:

For Babies 

  • After each meal, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle.
  • Schedule your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday, or when their first tooth appears.

For Children 


    • Brush your child’s teeth twice each day.
      • Use a soft, small-bristled toothbrush.
      • For children under age 2, use plain water to brush.
    • When your child is old enough to brush on their own, watch them while they brush.
      • Make sure they use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
      • Make sure they spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing.

Children who brush their teeth each day with fluoride toothpaste will have fewer cavities. For children under age 2, talk to your dentist or doctor about when to begin using fluoride toothpaste. And learn more about fluoride below.

What to Eat?

A healthy diet is important for strong, healthy teeth. Getting plenty of calcium will help your child’s teeth grow strong. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt (unsweetened is best)
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Black beans (canned)

Sugary foods and drinks feed the bacteria that cause cavities. So, limit drinks and foods that have added sugars.

  • At mealtime, serve water instead of juice or soda.
  • Fruits and vegetables are much better for oral health than cookies, candies, or even fruit drinks.

During Pregnancy 

Did you know that good oral health begins before a baby is even born?

Gum disease during pregnancy can harm the mother’s health and may be linked to low birth weight in babies. Mothers can unintentionally pass cavity-causing bacteria to newborns. And children are three times as likely to have cavities if their mothers have high levels of untreated tooth decay.

During pregnancy, it’s important to:

  • Make and keep regular dental appointments.
  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice each day.
  • Drink fluoridated tap water every day. (Learn more about fluoride below.)
  • Talk to a dentist or doctor about ways to prevent or manage dental problems.
  • If you have nausea or “morning sickness,” rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water after you get sick. This will help wash stomach acid away and keep your tooth enamel safe.

At School 

It’s no surprise that most childhood cavities occur in the back teeth. Even with regular daily brushing, the back teeth can be hard to reach.

Dental sealants can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent cavities. Dental sealants are applied quickly, easily, and pain-free, and they prevent 80% of cavities.  Many schools offer dental sealant programs for children. If your child’s school has a sealant program, sign your child up to participate. If they don’t, ask your child’s school to start one. Or ask your child’s dentist to apply sealants if it’s appropriate.

Fluoride: Good or Bad? 

Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in water and in many foods. Many communities adjust the amount of fluoride in their tap water to help prevent tooth decay. Here’s why:

  • When you eat sugary foods, bacteria in your mouth produce acid that eats away at the hard surface of your teeth (the enamel and dentin). Teeth become weaker and more likely to develop cavities.
  • Fluoride helps rebuild the surface of the tooth in three ways.
    • It makes teeth strong and more resistant to acid.
    • It can stop early tooth decay by putting hard minerals back into teeth.
    • It interferes with bacteria’s ability to make acid.
  • Children living in communities with fluoridated tap water have fewer cavities than children whose water is not fluoridated.

You can learn about the amount of fluoride in your community’s tap water. Visit My Water’s Fluoride.

To prevent cavities, there should be 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water.

Is there too little fluoride in your community’s water? Ask your dentist or doctor if your child should use fluoride supplements, such as tablets, lozenges, or drops taken orally.

Smiles are empowering. And they’re an important part of your child’s overall health. So, remember, to prevent cavities:

  • Brush each day
  • Limit sugar
  • Fluoride in water and toothpaste can help.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Smile!


Call Community Health Net to schedule your child’s dental exam today! Call (814) 456-8548.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public in learning more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.



American Academy of Pediatrics (2020, December 10). Oral Health Campaign Toolkit. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from  

American Dental Association. Burger, D. (2022, October 19). 2023 National Children’s Dental Health Month approaching. ADA News. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Children’s Dental Health. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022, April 6). Children’s Oral Health. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from 

Cleveland Clinic (2022, May 2). 22 Calcium-Rich Foods. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from 

Department of Health and Human Services: Head Start and Early Head Start (2022, November 16). Brush Up on Oral Health: Understanding How Fluoride Helps Prevent and Repair Tooth Decay. Retrieved January 22, 2023, from

National Institutes of Health. Guarnizo-Herreno, C. C., & Wehby, G. L. (2012, June 23). Children’s Dental Health, School Performance, and Psychosocial Well-Being. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from 

World Health Organization (2017, November 9). Sugars and Dental Caries. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from 

HIV Awareness Day

Although the world has made significant progress since the late 1990s, HIV remains a major public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. 

Get the Facts

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. There is currently no effective cure for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Some groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including their sex partners and risk behaviors.

How do I know if I have HIV?

The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your HIV status helps you make healthy decisions to prevent getting or transmitting HIV.

Are there symptoms? 

For many, yes. Most people have flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks after infection. Symptoms may last for a few days or several weeks. Having these symptoms alone doesn’t mean you have HIV. Other illnesses can cause similar symptoms. Some people have no symptoms at all. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Rash
  • Muscle Aches
  • Night Sweats
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

When people with HIV don’t get treatment, they typically progress through three stages. But HIV treatment can slow or prevent progression of the disease. With advances in HIV treatment, progression to Stage 3 (AIDS) is less common today than in the early years of HIV.

Take Action

The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. Knowing your status gives you powerful information to keep you healthy.

If your test result is positive, you can take medicine to treat the virus. HIV treatment reduces the amount of HIV in your blood (viral load). Taking HIV treatment as prescribed can make the viral load so low that a test can’t detect it (undetectable viral load). Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load (or staying virally suppressed) is the best way to stay healthy and protect others.

What should I expect when I go in for an HIV test? 

Your experience may be different depending on the setting.

If you get an HIV test in a health care setting or lab, the health care provider will take a sample of blood or oral fluid.

  • With a rapid test (oral fluid or finger stick), you may be able to wait for the results.
  • With a lab test, it may take several days for your results to be available.

Your health care provider may talk with you about your risk factors, answer any questions you might have, and discuss next steps.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, December 1). HIV basics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. About 1 in 3 people over 65 die from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

Get the Facts

Alzheimer’s disease is a primary cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease damages nerve cells in the brain. In the early stages, there may not be many, if any, symptoms. However, short-term memory loss is often the first sign. Over time, as more neurons are damaged, Alzheimer’s disease results in problems with judgment, language, and thought processes. Eventually, it affects a person’s ability to function and care for themselves.

The term dementia defines brain diseases related to memory loss and diminished cognitive skills. Alzheimer’s disease is probably the most recognized type, but other types of dementia exist.

They include:

  • vascular dementia
  • dementia with Lewy bodies
  • mixed dementia
  • dementia caused by Parkinson’s disease
  • dementia caused by Huntington’s disease
  • Statistics from 2022 estimate that there are more than 6.5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States.

There’s ongoing research into ways to prevent and manage Alzheimer’s disease. As science learns more about how Alzheimer’s disease develops, there may be ways to prevent or slow the progression. However, there are a few medical treatments available. The newest medication, Aduhelm (aducanumab), was just approved in June 2021. This medication reduces the buildup of beta-amyloid protein plaques in the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, these plaques start to block and disrupt normal nerve cell function.

Take Action

In Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a buildup of inflammatory proteins in the brain. Many chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, are also shown to involve inflammation. So, talk to your doctor if you are at risk for diabetes or heart disease.

Other recommendations include:

  • eating an anti-inflammatory diet, such as the Mediterranean way of eating
  • regular monitoring of blood pressure and treatment with dietary changes, activity, and medications, as needed
  • quitting or cutting down on smoking if you smoke
  • practicing physical activity
  • managing cholesterol levels with dietary changes and medications as needed
  • monitoring blood sugar levels and managing prediabetes or diabetes with dietary changes, physical activity, and medications as needed

Heart disease may also be a cause of vascular dementia, which results from narrowed blood vessels in the brain. This leads to a decrease in oxygen to brain tissues.

For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts (


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Community Health Net Annual Meeting: Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities

Join us on Friday, October 21, 2022, at Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel

The 2022 Community Health Net Annual Meeting is your opportunity to network with healthcare and business professionals from throughout the Erie Region as we gather to discuss the important impact of mental health on our community. During the program “Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities,” community members will enjoy a lively presentation from our guest speaker, Mary Anne Albaugh, MD, DLFAPA.

About Our Speaker

Guest speaker Mary Anne Albaugh, MD, DLFAPA, is a Community Psychiatrist working with the Deerfield Behavioral Health of Warren group practice, a member of Journey Health System. A graduate of Gannon University and the Hahnemann University School of Medicine (now Drexel University College of Medicine), Dr. Albaugh is double-boarded in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. With greater than 30 years of clinical experience, she has dedicated her career to improving the mental well-being of communities throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania. Dr. Albaugh’s powerful message is more important than ever and is sure to provide valuable insights for those in attendance. She will elaborate on lessons learned while providing psychiatric mental health care and consultation throughout the region. She will discuss the importance of improved mental health for children, adolescents, adults, and families, prevention and early intervention, attachment disruptions, and complex trauma, social determinants of health and mental health-whole person care, models of collaborative care that reduce disparities, and the need for increased access and support for the mental health needs of the community.


Buffet lunch will be served beginning at 11:45 am, followed by the Annual Meeting
Tickets – $30 per person | $200 per table of 8

For more information, contact Mary Lynn Slivinski at 814-454-4530 ext 227 or

October is Sudden Infant Death Awareness Month

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a real fear for parents. It can affect any family, seemingly without reason or warning.

Get the Facts

Sometimes a baby who seems healthy dies during sleep. If this happens to a healthy baby younger than one year old, it’s called sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. In most cases, a parent or caregiver places the baby down to sleep and returns later to find the baby has died. But, unfortunately, it’s no one’s fault. SIDS can happen even when you do everything right.

What causes it?

Doctors don’t know what causes SIDS, but researchers are studying the possibility that SIDS may be caused by problems with how well the brain controls breathing, heart rate and rhythm, and temperature during the first few months of life.

Some factors may increase the risk of SIDS.

If during pregnancy, the mother:

  • Is younger than 20 years old.
  • Smoked or vaped.
  • Uses drugs or alcohol.
  • Did not have prenatal care.

If the baby is:

  • Premature.
  • Part of a multiple pregnancy (for example, a twin or triplet).
  • Put down to bed on their stomach or side.
  • In a bed on a soft surface or with loose blankets or pillows.
  • Sharing a bed with parents, siblings, or pets.
  • Dressed too warmly or in a very warm room.

Take Action

There is no sure way to prevent SIDS. But there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other deaths related to sleep.

  • Put your baby to sleep on their back, not on their side or tummy.
  • Don’t expose your baby to secondhand smoke.
  • Have your baby sleep in a crib, cradle, or bassinet in the same room where you sleep. Don’t sleep with your baby in the same bed.
  • Never sleep with a baby on a couch or an armchair.
  • Keep soft items and loose bedding out of the crib.
  • Make sure that your baby’s crib has a firm mattress (with a fitted sheet). Don’t use sleep positioners, bumper pads, or other products that attach to crib slats or sides.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature so your baby can sleep in lightweight clothes without a blanket.
  • Consider giving your baby a pacifier while they sleep.


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month

Protecting your child from potentially treatable diseases is vital if you are expecting parents or new parents. Newborn screening identifies conditions that can affect a child’s long-term health or survival.

Get the Facts

Newborn screening is a public health program that tests spots of blood from all newborns for certain conditions that are not noticeable at the time of birth but can cause serious disability or even death if not treated quickly.

Infants that develop conditions may seem perfectly healthy and frequently come from families with no previous history of a condition.

Early detection, diagnosis, and intervention can prevent death or disability and enable children to reach their full potential.

Each year, millions of babies in the U.S. are routinely screened, using a few drops of blood from the newborn’s heel

Babies are screened for certain genetic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders, and are also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center.

The National Institutes of Health states, “Using a few drops of blood, newborn screening detects a treatable condition in about 1 in 300 babies born each year, a total of about 12,500 cases each year.”

Take Action

Screening occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours after delivery. A “heel stick” provides blood drops that are collected on sterile, absorbent filter paper.

Most states also include a hearing test in newborn screening.

Many states measure the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood to identify infants who need to see a heart specialist immediately.

Some states require a second blood test to ensure accuracy when an infant is ten days to 2 weeks old.

When you are thinking about getting a screening test, talk with your health care provider.

Find out what the test is like and how the test may help your child.

Ask what further testing and follow-up will be needed if a screening test result shows a possible problem.


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Helping Good People Feel Great!

Be your best self, live healthy and strong, and see clearly what’s ahead while showing your beautiful smile!

At Community Health Net, we love to help good people feel great every day! We provide top-quality medical, dental, vision, pharmacy, behavioral health, and other specialized health services, regardless of your ability to pay, insurance status, or type!

Did You Know?
Community Health Net has happily provided great healthcare to individuals and families in Erie for over 35 years. We are home to about 100 staff and clinicians who love the place we call home. Experience the care of our team at Community Health Net! Make an appointment today!  Call 814-455-7222 or click here to request an appointment online!

phone number