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Regional Health Organizations Receive $300,000 in Funding for Perinatal Opioid Abuse Treatment to Protect Pregnant Women and Their Infants

DETROIT, Mar. 5, 2020 — Five regional health organizations across the state in partnership with their Regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative are receiving a combined total of $300,000 in grant funding to begin new projects, enhance or expand existing projects to prevent and treat opioid use disorder among women, their children and infants during prenatal, pregnancy and postpartum periods. The funding is provided through the “Addressing Perinatal Opioid Use Disorder” initiative, a partnership between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

The following organizations are receiving funding to support projects related to perinatal opioid abuse prevention and treatment:

  • $74,695 to Region 7 Perinatal Quality Collaborative – Sparrow Hospital, Lansing – Funding will support a mobile health clinic stationed on a rotating basis in the parking lot of three substance use treatment facilities. The staff, which consists of a nurse navigator, social worker, Sparrow Hospital medical professionals and peer recovery coaches, provide perinatal and contraceptive care to women with opioid use disorder on Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
  • $50,000 to Region 4 Perinatal Quality Collaborative – Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids – Funding will enhance access to local treatment, support and recovery resources through MIRecovery.info for expecting women struggling with substance use disorder in West Michigan.
  • $66,779 to Region 5 Perinatal Quality Collaborative – Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Saginaw – Funding will support an evidence-based model of group health care, which brings eight to 12 pregnant women together for routine prenatal care. The program aims to address substance use, adequate prenatal care, mental health and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
  • $64,135 to Region 2 Perinatal Quality Collaborative – Munson Medical Center, Traverse City – Funding will support the implementation of universal Perinatal Substance Use Disorder High Touch, High Tech screening, brief intervention and referral for pregnant women at their first prenatal appointment with their obstetric provider.
  • $44,391 to Region 1 Perinatal Quality Collaborative – War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste Marie/Marquette – Funding will help provide onsite care for infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), keeping mothers and newborns together rather than sending babies across the state for treatment. The program will also offer provider and patient education and help implement a Medication Intervention Program (MIP).

“This collaboration is addressing a very specific, complex need for women, children and families across the state who are impacted by opioid use disorder,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of Strategy, Government and Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We’re proud to support organizations and individuals who are engaged within their communities and improving access to resources, education and treatment to help combat the opioid epidemic in Michigan .”

Women with opioid use disorder, who are pregnant or likely to become pregnant, face potentially adverse outcomes for themselves and their infants, including preterm labor, stillbirth, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and maternal mortality. According to MDHHS’ Division for Vital Records, between 2010 to 2017, the rate of infants discharged from hospitals for drug withdrawals has increased by more than 50 percent. The grants were targeted toward non-profit organizations participating in one of the 10 Regional Perinatal Quality Collaboratives in Michigan to establish effective and evidence-based projects that will be sustained beyond the grant period.

“Two of the largest public health challenges facing our state are the opioid crisis and maternal and infant health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “These grants will expand promising practices that make a real difference for mothers and babies in our state, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services looks forward to continuing to partner in this work.”

“We’re eager to join forces with these organizations and support their efforts improving care for women across Michigan struggling with opioid use disorder,” said Audrey Harvey, executive director and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “Partnerships like this allow us to advocate for new practices and evolve the quality of care available in every community.”

About the Partners:

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: The mission of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is to protect, preserve and promote the health and safety of the people of Michigan.  Improving the health outcomes for mothers and babies is essential to the overall health and well-being of our state.  Given the diverse geographic and demographic makeup of Michigan, statewide approaches tailored to the specific strengths and needs of regions, have proven effective.  MDHHS, in collaboration with statewide partners, has successfully launched RPQCs throughout the state.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.