Latinas Connect June Meeting Minutes

6/15/16 @ 6:30pm

Squirrel Hill Library

Latinas Connect meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be July 20th. Email for more information. 



  1. Community Resources + Announcements
  2. The Midwife Center
  3.  Dress For Success

Community Resources + Announcements

Introduction of Guest #1: Renee Green, Community Engagement Coordinator, from the Midwife Center.

Renee spoke about the services The Midwife Center provide.

  • Prenatal care $6200 total but Center can provide sliding scale. Without insurance, undocumented women would have to pay entire cost.
  • Has capabilities to deliver at hospital, which lowers cost. Would advise undocumented women to set up hospital birth.
  • Women with any type of insurance can go to Center for all prenatal care. Undocumented women can go as well but will have to pay the fees. Center does not ask for identification or proof of income.
  • Walk-in clinic every Friday from 12:30-5 which includes full range of services: annual exams, birth control, breast screenings, pregnancy tests, blood pressure screens, etc.
  • Sliding scale services based on income and household size
  • About a month wait for gyno appointments. Pretty open schedule for prenatal patients. Might be a wait for first appointment.
  • Renee is working with the Intake Specialists to make it easier for women who do not speak English or do not have access to internet.
  • Center wants to see women at least six times before delivery. 32 weeks is the latest a woman can start services.
  • Child bearing class, hypno-bearing classes, breastfeeding classes, and newborn care classes. If women in care for prenatal, offered these classes. Space can be limited and do have ways for women to receive these classes at other places.
  • Free pap services and free STI testing.
  • Every first Friday there is a Spanish-speaking provider at the Center. There are two Spanish-speaking staff in the Center full-time and soon to be a nurse who speaks Spanish as well. Monolingual Spanish speakers should not wait for the first Friday if they need immediate services.
  • Most of the forms are translated into Spanish except general data collection form. The online firms are only in English but staff can assist Spanish-speaking women. Not likely to be translated into Spanish soon because difficult to change the online system. Renee will ask if Center is open to volunteer interpreters and translators.
  • Right now the Center is not seeing a lot of Spanish-speaking women throughout the week. See the most the first Friday of the month. Center is not very well known in Pittsburgh in general.   
  • Two post-natal care visits included in prenatal and delivery cost. Some insurance provides for home visits. Center does two weekly breastfeeding calls for six weeks.
  • Center cannot help women obtain a pump but most insurance does. The Center will write the prescription. Renee can look into further resources. WIC might provide a pump. Undocumented mother would not be covered under WIC but the child would.
  • Center will be participating in Open Streets, June 26. Will have sidewalk games, popcorn, and refreshments. Can come hang out with the midwives.
  • Group suggests advertising via Facebook, in the Latino newspaper, in Spanish-language mass at St. Regis. Facebook ad is currently only in English.
  • Sister Janice with Casa San Jose is an advocate for the Center. Renee can reach out to her again. 
  • Group suggests that Center reach out to Global Link. Might be a way to open up the program to women who cannot afford.
  • Group brought up cultural differences with breastfeeding in Latin America and the U.S. Center supports women in whatever choice they make. Also laws that allow women to take time out of workday to pump. But if women are working under the table, might be more difficult.

Introduction of Guest #2: Monica Mendez with Dress for Success

Dress for Success is part of a global network.

  • Started in 1996 to make sure that women had appropriate clothing for the workplace.
  • Gives a hand up to uplift women to financial independence. Want to provide boutique level experience for women from all walks of life. No minimum or maximum income.
  • Provide soft/strategic skills: conflict resolution, how to deal with difficult employees and bosses, work life balance. Professional Women's Group meets every last Tuesday of every month at 5:30 at the Allegheny Office
  • Provide hard skills: Excel, social media for the workplace, Google docs, Word, Outlook.
  • Will provide women with a suit or whatever they are comfortable in for an interview. Let the women look around and then follow up with help. Also provide shoes (including non-skid, steel-toed). Provides three accessories. Provides three personal care items (tampons, pads, shampoo, ethnically-appropriate hair products, deodorant, etc.). Provides bras. If they do not have, will buy.
  • Will also dress people to ask for applications and going to court.
  • Women need a referral from an agency. Can come from all kinds of services: faith, shelters, etc. Pretty much any non-profit can become a referral agency by filling out the form. Some for-profits as well.
  • Working on establishing more connections with community centers. Can let them know about other organizations and Dress for Success will reach out to them. 
  • Clothes come from donations and Talbots, Pandora, etc. Nothing in the boutique is stained or out-of-date. 90% of the inventory comes from donations. Will accept business professional or casual. Clothing must be clean. Cannot accept clothing in bags. Clothing must be on hangers and ready to wear. Can drop off small donations in the office and will be given a donation form.
  • Always need personal care items, accessories, and shoes. Special need for petite and plus-size clothing. 
  • In Allegheny, Fayette, Washington, Green, and Butler counties.
  • Have contract with Department of Health and Human Services. Dress for Success limited to working only with women. Department of Health and Human Services used to have a program for men but no longer. Dress for Success thinking about providing clothing for men but would have to create new non-profit.
  • Goal is not to just provide clothing but help women feel better about themselves. Track results.
  • Identification required but nothing elaborate. Can be library card, halfway home ID, etc.
  • Monica wants to reach Latinas. Right now not seeing them. Working on translating the documents and going to the community. Would like us to spread the word.
  • Monica can go into the community and talk about the program in Spanish. Can also bring clothing, etc. into the communities. Trying to get a Fashion Van. Staff will also stay for women who need help in the evenings and on weekends.
  •  Also do professional programs. Talk to youth, non-profit, and for-profit. One program is on women in the workplace (how women wear a lot of hats in the workplace) and the other is on personal branding with a focus on unconscious bias. For example, minorities often penalized for talking about diversity while non-minorities are praised.
  • Once a woman gets a job they provide three free outfits.
  • Volunteer opportunities. Seven staff for five counties. Rely on volunteers.
  • Allegheny office is on Baum and Morewood in the Design Center. Bus way and can give women a token for parking.
  • Can email Monica for any more information.


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