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> Health Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services (MOMS) Program

MOMS Program
Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services


Welcome to the MOMS Program!
Promoting the birth of healthy babies to pregnant women living in Tompkins County.

(607) 274-6361

PREGNANT WOMEN who meet certain income guidelines can receive NYS Medicaid for their pregnancy, delivery and for at least two months after delivery. Their baby is also covered under NYS Medicaid for the first year of life. The MOMS program serves Medicaid eligible pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and after delivery.

MOMS Income Eligibility (Rev. 3/2018)
Family Size Monthly Gross Family Income
2 $3,018
3 $3,795
4 $4,572
5 $5,349
6 $6,126
7 $6,902
8 $7,679

   *A pregnant woman counts as 2!

Your First Appointment

If you are pregnant and live in Tompkins County, you may be eligible. Call (607) 274-6361 to schedule an appointment. You will meet with a Community Health Nurse who will help you with:

  • Free pregnancy testing 
  • Health Insurance application
  • Enrollment into the WIC program
  • Make an appointment with a participating OBGYN

Your MOMS Nurse

After you are enrolled into our program, you will be assigned a Community Health Nurse. She will contact you to make appointments for home visits during your pregnancy and after delivery. The number of visits may vary according to necessity. At each visit during your pregnancy, your MOMS nurse will:

  • Assess your blood pressure, weight, and nutrition
  • Listen to your baby’s heart beat
  • Review how your pregnancy is going
  • Prepare for your labor and delivery
  • Start you on the path to successful breastfeeding

Meet Our MOMS Nurses! Click Here.

FREE Childbirth Classes

As a MOMS participant you will be offered convenient childbirth education classes for you and your birthing partner at the Health Department office located at 55 Brown Road, Ithaca NY. Community Health Nurses teach the classes which cover the following topics:

  • Labor and delivery
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Medication Options
  • Creating your birth plan
  • Newborn care
  • Breastfeeding

A tour of Cayuga Birth Place, located at Cayuga Medical Center, is arranged for all participants!

Breastfeeding Support

Your Community Health Nurse is a Certified Lactation Counselor. She can answer your questions about breastfeeding and help you to become a successful breastfeeding mother. Your nurse will also visit you after your baby is born to weigh your baby, ask how feedings are going and answer any questions you may have about yourself and your newborn. For more information on breastfeeding, click here.

The MOMS Program CARES

We care about the health of pregnant moms and their babies! That’s why we offer:

  • Care: Nursing care begins with your very first visit and concludes with a post-partum visit with you and your baby in your home.
  • Assistance: in obtaining a physician, accessing Medicaid, WIC and other community services and programs.
  • Resources: information on pregnancy, nutrition, labor, delivery, baby care and infant growth and development.
  • Education: free Childbirth Education classes and access to our book and video library.


Contact us!

Make your first appointment today. Call (607) 274-6361.

If you are currently enrolled in our program, feel free to call your MOMS Nurse between scheduled visits with any pregnancy, infant and/or breastfeeding questions that you may have.

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Meet our MOMS nurses…

Lori Sibly

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor.

Lori has been a nurse in the MOMS program for the past 20 years. Before coming to the Health Department she worked many years in a hospital. Lori's primary focus is assisting pregnant women with their Medicaid application. She also refers them to a MOMS home visiting nurse and various agencies in the community. Lori enjoys working with families to bring a healthy baby into their home. In her free time Lori likes to spend time with her family and friends and the beautiful Finger Lakes area.  

Gail Birnbaum


Bachelor of Science Midwifery, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Lactation Counselor.

Gail has extensive experience in Maternal-Child Health spanning several decades in a variety of settings. She formally had an independent midwifery practice in the community for twenty years and continues to teach childbirth education at Tompkins County Health Department. She is currently a participant and treasurer of the Ithaca Breastfeeding Coalition. She joined the MOMS team in 2006 and is happy to have found such a fulfilling place to serve women and their babies in Tompkins County. Gail loves the outdoors, traveling with her husband and enjoying her grandson.

Deb Axtell

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor.

Deb came to the MOMS program in 1990, after working in various hospitals in New York State in Pediatrics, Maternity, Special Care Nursery, and Labor and Delivery. Deb enjoys Public Health Nursing because she gets to share knowledge and skills learned from the hospital setting, with moms in the more relaxed home setting. She especially enjoys answering questions about breastfeeding and how beneficial it is to mom and baby. Deb finds the variety of cultures in Tompkins County most interesting. She knows that motherhood can be uncharted territory in any culture.

Karen LaCelle

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor.

Karen’s nursing experience has led her through hospital, school, and home care settings, caring for people across the age spectrum. She joined the MOMS Program in 2012 as a Community Health Nurse and Certified Lactation Counselor. She finds it rewarding to utilize Tompkins County’s many local programs and resources to assist pregnant women in preparing for their new baby - or babies. In her free time, Karen enjoys quilting, spending time outdoors, and visiting with her 3 sons and their families.

Rachel Buckwalter

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor.

Rachel’s nursing career has included hospital, community and public health settings in Alaska, Maine and New York. She has provided nursing care for people across the lifespan, including hospice nursing. She joined the MOMS team in 2016 and feels right at home as Maternal- Child Health is her first love. She is particularly interested in helping to make breastfeeding successful. When not working, she can be found baking, caring for her two kids, two cats and playing the piano.

Celeste Rakovich

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor.

Celeste is an experienced pediatric and Maternal- Child Health nurse. She has worked in home care with special needs children, ages birth to 21, as well as in hospital settings on the Pediatric unit and Labor and Delivery. She Joined the MOMS team in 2016 as a full time Community Health Nurse and programs outreach coordinator. While Celeste is passionate about nursing, on her off days she also enjoys swimming and gardening with her young family of six. She speaks Russian, Spanish and is enthusiastic about empowering women through education and support.

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