Spotlight on Women’s Health and Maternal Care:

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Eim Leah & WINGS Awarded WellCare Grants Partnering with the Community’s Own Support System

As recently reported, WellCare Health Plans of New Jersey, Inc. has awarded grants to several non-profit Lakewood organizations that support and promote health and wellness within the community. In choosing its final awardees, WellCare officials attached significance to organizations that address crucial social determinants of health, especially areas that are otherwise under-serviced,
In recognizing the need to support and promote women’s health and maternal health, the first grants were awarded to Eim Leah and WINGS for their outstanding work in servicing these important needs.

Eim Leah: An inside look:

The birth of a new baby is a special time for mothers and families alike. However, in many situations, the arrival of another addition to the family can herald challenges that some women find overwhelming. This is especially so for mothers of growing families with little or no family support system and limited financial resources. In these cases, post-partum stress can jeopardize both the physical and mental health of the mother. Eim Leah was created to address this pressing need. The organization provides comprehensive support services for eligible families, including meals and afternoon childcare for older siblings. Eim Leah has grown incredibly since its founding and has implemented a system that is a model of efficiency and professionalism, delivering quality services to more than 1,000 families annually.

“When we first considered the idea, we consulted with other organizations like Chai Lifeline and Bikur Cholim,” says co-founder Mrs. Toby Bergman. “We discovered that there was a gaping void in this area, and that the need was greater than anyone realized.” The rest, as they say, is history. With the close input and guidance of rabbonim and community leaders, notably Rav Moshe Zev Feldman, Eim Leah has risen to the challenge of providing services to an exponentially growing community, without missing a beat. The long-term beneficial impact on women and families can hardly be estimated: how many potential crises have been avoided thanks to the incredible work of Eim Leah’s selfless volunteers?

Taking flight with WINGS

Beyond the specific area of post-partum, women’s lives are definitely subject to substantial stress factors. The pressures of raising children, pursuing a livelihood to help support a family,  and even dating and marriage, can all take an emotional toll on even the most balanced and capable women. For many women, life can gradually devolve into in a frenzied juggling act where survival until tomorrow is the goal. This unhealthy pattern is liable to leave fatigue and unhappiness in its wake, with emotional fallout that can include anxiety or depression.

WINGS was founded to provide women with a healthy and stimulating outlet; a place of their own where they can come up for air. WINGS offers a broad range of engaging classes that help women to: maintain focus on their real goals; stay in touch with their own emotional and physical needs; grow as individuals; set realistic and attainable goals; and improve as mothers, wives, grandmothers, and community members. With a beautiful and inviting café and lounge area, WINGS also provides an unparalleled setting for positive and meaningful social interaction.
“The most typical compliment we receive is when new members approach me and say: ‘I don’t know how I managed before I came to WINGS’,” notes Mrs. Leah Lustiger, who serves as Program Coordinator. “From post-seminary girls to mothers of young children to retired grandmothers – they can’t get over the difference WINGS has made on their quality of life.”

Indeed, it is remarkable that a fledgling organization has resonated so deeply and impacted so many lives in such a short time. WINGS and WellCare representatives are exploring the possibility of offering classes on pertinent women’s’ health issues with a special sensitivity to the community’s needs.
WellCare’s Unique Perspective

As a company that sees the bird’s-eye-view of healthcare, WellCare is keenly aware of the enormous role played by social service organizations within communities.

“On a more fundamental level than physical, behavioral or medical care, it is the safety net of a community’s social services infrastructure that has a great impact in determining that community’s overall health,” says Ms. Aviva Woog, WellCare’s Community Connections Manager.

Indeed, WellCare’s partnership with the organizations that support these goals is a testimony to the company’s vision, altruism, and sense of communal responsibility.


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