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United Way of Lancaster County


Pa. First Lady visits Patients R Waiting to promote funding for feminine hygiene products, maternal health

First Lady Lori Shapiro, left, speaks with Dr. Sharee Livingston at Patients R Waiting on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. (Source:

Pennsylvania First Lady Lori Shapiro visited Lancaster-based nonprofit Patients R Waiting on Monday to discuss Pennsylvania’s efforts to improve maternal health care.

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposes an additional $2.6 million to enhance prenatal care and maternal health education and reduce racial disparities in outcomes. The budget also calls for $3 million to provide free feminine hygiene products in schools.

“Providing period products should not be treated like a luxury,” Shapiro said. Funding access in schools, she said, “will help move past antiquated stigma, provide essential health products for students, and reduce the trauma and stress of women and girls who don’t currently have access, but do have need, for period products.”

Patients R Waiting works to help minority students successfully pursue careers in medicine. Its Diversifying Doulas Initiative aims to improve maternal health outcomes by training minority doulas to provide wraparound support during pregnancy and birth. Its offices are at Southern Market Center on South Queen Street.

“To address health disparities, particularly racial health disparities, we must address the contributing factors that allow them to exist,” said Dr. Sharee Livingston, Patients R Waiting Founding Board Member and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women.

Advocate members like Dr. Livingston “provide insights on how we can alleviate health disparities and create health systems that value, support, and listen to women and girls,” said Moriah Hathaway, the commission’s executive director.