Family Health Services News


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WIC holds clinics in Owego, Waverly, Spencer, and Berkshire throughout each month at the following locations:                                                                                          

Owego: 110 Central Ave

Waverly: Waverly Methodist Church, 158 Chemung St

Spencer: Inspire Community and Fitness Center, 57 East Tioga St

Berkshire: Berkshire Community Hall, 12633 Route 38

For specific times and days when these clinics are open visit the WIC calendar at:

WIC Calendar

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Understanding risk factors is a crucial part of prevention and early intervention. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.,

  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women

  • It is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in women

  • Anyone with breast tissue is at risk and though it is rare, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer

  • Because men are less likely to assume a lump is cancerous, they often delay or do not seek treatment

People with breasts should get an annual breast exam even if they are younger than 40. Getting annual exams along with conducting breast self exams at home is great way to manage breast health. If you are looking for services, Tioga Opportunities Inc., Family Planning provides cancer screenings and information on how to conduct a breast self exam.

Farmers’ Markets are a great place to find healthy foods for the entire family!

A variety of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs may be purchased with Farmers’ Market coupons and are offered to all participants on the WIC Program starting in June.

Use the link below to find a local Farmers' Market:

Local Farmers' Market


The World Health Organization lifted the “public health emergency of international concern” designation for Zika last November. But that status change did not mark the outbreak's end. Between then and January, some 4,000 new cases were reported in just the U.S. and its territories.

Contracting the Zika virus during pregnancy can lead to birth defects such as damage to the brain and microcephaly. Pregnant women are encouraged to avoid travel to areas with Zika and advised to talk to their healthcare provider before traveling to understand the risks if in the event they do need to travel to a Zika area.

For more information regarding the Zika virus visit: Zika



Drinking water is important for your health. It keeps your energy levels up, stokes your immune system, boosts your metabolism, and can even help you lose weight!

Most of us struggle to drink the recommended 8 glasses or 2-litres daily. Try some of the tips below to drink more water every day without it being a chore.

  • Start your day with water
  • Infuse your water with fruits, vegetables, or herbs
  • Use a straw
  • Sip Tea
  • Cut juice with sparkling water
  • Make your water extra “cool” by adding mint, cucumber, or fresh fruit to your usual ice cube tray.
  • Foods like cucumbers, salad greens, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and (of course) watermelon are high in water content and can help keep you refreshed throughout the day.






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Below are some ways to help you prevent tick bites:

  • In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself:
  • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
  • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
  • Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions.
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation.
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
  • Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

If you do get a tick bite, below is a quick guide on how to properly remove it:

Remove a tick.jpg

For more information

View this Youtube video

Or visit: Tick Information

You think you're doing the right thing giving your baby a bottle to help settle into nap or bedtime. But if that bottle is filled with anything but water, you may be setting your baby up for bottle rot or early childhood tooth decay and bottle rot. What is bottle rot? And how can you avoid bottle rot?

What Is Bottle Rot?

Bottle rot is tooth decay of your baby's first teeth. It happens when sugary drinks like juice, milk, or formula cling to your baby's teeth for a long time. A bottle may help him or her to fall asleep, but inside the mouth, bacteria are feeding on the juice, producing the acids that cause tooth decay.

Bottle Rot Attacks Baby Teeth

Baby teeth do several really important jobs. They help your child learn how to chew solid food and speak properly. They also serve as placeholders and guides for your child's permanent teeth. So, it's important that you protect your child's baby teeth from bottle rot and other types of harm.

You can prevent bottle rot from destroying your baby's dental health by taking some simple steps.

• Give babies only water in a bottle during a nap and bedtime.

• Limit the amount of juice and other sugary drinks during the day.

• Wipe your baby's gums with a clean, damp baby washcloth after mealtimes.

• Never dip a pacifier in sugar, honey, or other sweeteners.

• If your water is not fluoridated, ask your child's dentist or doctor if you should use a fluoride supplement.

• Avoid cleaning a baby's pacifier with your mouth, sharing chewed food or using the same spoon.

• Schedule your baby's first dental check-up by the time the first tooth comes in.

Physical activity for young children is an important component of early brain development and learning.  When adults model and teach the importance of physical activity, young children are more likely to adopt a lifetime of healthful practices and behaviors.

Click on the link below for 15 simple outdoor activities you can do to get your children moving.

Outdoor Activities

It’s important to drink water to maintain balance of fluids in the body, energize muscles, moisten tissues, keep skin healthy, regulate body temperature and maintain kidney and bowel function.

Studies suggest it takes 21 days to create a habit but, bottom line, bad habits can always come back, so think “long-term lifestyle change” instead of “short-term fix” by incorporating more water intake into your daily routine. How much water you need depends on your gender, age, size and activity level, so for starters drink enough to maintain a pale urine color.

Here are a few tips to get you started with better hydration habits:

Drink a glass of water as part of the morning routine. Make it something you do with breakfast or after brushing your teeth — drink 8 to 16 ounces. Warm, cold, with or without lemon, however you enjoy it most.

Pack a water bottle. Having water on hand makes it easier to increase intake because it’s a constant reminder and easy access. Remember to fill it up a few times throughout the day, especially after meals.

Serve water with dinner. Having a pitcher at the table is a good idea so refills are easy and encouraged.

Opt for water over alcohol. Women should limit themselves to one alcoholic drink per day, while men should limit consumption to two drinks per day. If you have more than one alcoholic beverage, have water after your first drink. You could also try seltzer water with a slice of citrus, cucumber or mint-infused water instead of another drink.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued advice regarding eating fish. This advice is geared toward helping women who are pregnant or may become pregnant - as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children - make informed choices when it comes to fish that is healthy and safe to eat.

To view recommendations click below:

Updated Fish Recommendations

In October 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released Media and Young Minds, the new screen time policy statement. This policy provides guidance for providers, families and industry to promote the development of children 0-5 years old and maximize benefit from newer digital technologies. Overall guidelines are as follows:

Avoid fast-paced programs with distracting content and any violent content

Avoid using media to calm children

Monitor apps and media content; test apps before the child uses them

Keep mealtime, bedrooms, and parent-child playtimes screen free

No screen time one hour before bed

Age specific guidelines are as follows:

<18 months: No screen media except video-chatting with a trusted family member or friend.

18-24 months: Choose high quality programming/apps (i.e. Common Sense Media, PBS Kids, and Sesame Workshop) and avoid letting children use the media by themselves.

>2 years old: One hour or less of high quality screen time. Co-use with parent to promote enhanced learning, greater interaction, and limit-setting.

To facilitate family management of screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently launched a Family Media Plan. This online application empowers families to create a customized plan for managing family screen time. Using this plan, families will be able to reduce overall screen time, improve the quality of screen time, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Tioga Opportunities, Inc., Women, Infant, & Children (WIC) program would like to give a special thank you to the Walmart Foundation for a $1,000 grant to help with our 2017 Healthy Lifestyle Initiative. This year we are focusing efforts to enhance awareness of prenatal participants, to better understand the need for extra calories during their pregnancies in order to achieve healthy birth outcomes. Increased education & awareness will highlight portion control (in regard to the need for extra calories), in helping mothers navigate what is healthy for them and baby. WIC plans to use the awarded grant money to provide those participants who are a part of the Healthy Lifestyle Initiative, portion size containers so they can use what they learn as part of the WIC experience, at home.

For more information on how to apply for WIC please call 607-687-3147
Did you know that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month?  Each year nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. Of those 13,000 women more than 4,000 of them will die as a result. The main cause of cervical cancer is the virus known as Human Papilloma Virus. As a part of our commitment to reproductive health we’d like to highlight the importance of HPV awareness, cervical cancer prevention, and overall cervical health.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most commonly transmitted STI. It can cause genital warts, cancer, and can change cells in the cervix. The most common forms of HPV are preventable with a series of three shots, known as Gardasil. It is recommended that both men and women become vaccinated sometime between the ages of 11 and 26. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can also cause cancer of the mouth, throat, anus, penis, vagina, as well as cause genital warts.  The CDC states that nearly all sexually active women and men will come into contact with at least one strand of HPV in their lifetimes which makes vaccination crucial.

Starting at the age of 21, it is recommended that women receive their first Pap smear, and every three years after that. This is because pap smears can help detect changes in cell structure. Some women may need a PAP smear more often if they have a history of cervical cancer or abnormal results. Getting regular PAP smears can help detect the changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer, as well as the early stages of cancer. The earlier a provider can detect these changes, the higher the likelihood of survival.

PAP smears are typically free and covered by insurance, even if it’s a high deductible plan. Call Family Planning at 607-687-5333 to schedule an appointment. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale and most insurances are accepted. 

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Our Address:

Tioga Opportunities, Inc.
9 Sheldon Guile Blvd.
Owego, NY 13827

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Contact Us

(607) 687-4222
Toll-free at 866-352-3680.
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