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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Grants $100,000 to Improve Substance Abuse, Parenting Services

Teddy Wingert

| 4 min read

DETROIT, Feb. 13, 2024 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation announced today it has awarded $100,000 to provide specialized substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services to pregnant and/or postpartum women (PPW), their identified co-parenting partners and minor children. Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine received $60,000 to support a study, led by Karren Campbell, Ph.D., to evaluate the Enhanced Parenting Program and participants of Enhanced Women’s Specialty Services at Flint and Saginaw Odyssey Village Houses to optimize residential and outpatient services. Flint Odyssey House received $40,000 to use results from the study, under the direction of Kristen Young, to inform the expansion of services to pregnant and postpartum women at its Port Huron House.
Flint and Saginaw Odyssey houses provide residential, detox, outpatient, enhanced parenting, and recovery housing substance use disorder treatment services. The MSU research will examine pandemic-era changes in treatment effectiveness by identifying effective intervention components not supported by previous Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funding through:
  • Helping to understand and address reasons for alarming decreases in inpatient enrollments and increases in residential treatment non-compliance.
  • Identifying the most impactful component of community-based outpatient services.
Flint Odyssey House will take insights gleaned and modify treatment services by adjusting residential service delivery and using the most effective outpatient services to provide new, cost-effective parenting services to the underserved PPW at the Port Huron Odyssey location.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen pregnant and postpartum women checking themselves out of residential SUD treatment after an average of 15 days instead of the recommended 90 days. That’s alarming, but at the same time, they did much better than expected with their follow-up outpatient substance use disorder and parenting services,” said Karren Campbell, Ph.D., Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “We want to understand how the needs of these women have changed in both settings to improve inpatient services and length of stay, as well as discover which components of the outpatient services are the most effective so they can be used in Port Huron, which does not have the resources to provide comprehensive parenting support or any residential services for pregnant and postpartum women.”
Flint Odyssey House will use its grant funding to enable the expansion of optimized SUD treatment outpatient services to PPW, their identified co-parenting partners, and minor children at the Port Huron Odyssey House. The goal is to improve engagement and retention of pregnant and/or postpartum women who have demonstrated high attrition rates from residential substance use disorder treatment, reduce health disparities related to postpartum depression, and increase supportive services to minor children, co-parenting partners, and extended family.
“Those who are pregnant or on the postpartum journey need specialized substance use disorder programming to emerge healthy and whole for themselves and their family,” said Audrey Harvey, executive director and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “University-community partnerships have a long history of making crucial impacts informed by research and the voice of communities. Michigan State University and Odyssey House’s partnered work is critical for women and their families to take control of their lives and have the tools and resources they need to succeed. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is honored to provide this grant that will enhance the quality of care and increase care in an underserved region.”
The Port Huron service expansion will focus on advancing health equity to access quality SUD services support for PPW populations and their families. Through professional development, two-parent advocates (SUD-trained recovery coaches) will provide the following community-based services:
  1. Act as community-based navigators to reduce barriers to accessing SUD treatment services.
  2. Identify and provide support services to co-parents/parenting supports for all minor children.
  3. Provide referrals and transportation support to receive identified services.
  4. Train and support PPW in self-screening and reporting the presence of postpartum depression.
  5. Provide the ROSE program (Reach Out Stay Strong, Essentials for newborns) as an evidence-based intervention to prevent and decrease the risk of postpartum depression.
  6. Conduct outreach and other engagement strategies to provide access to and increase participation in treatment and parenting education for racially and ethnically diverse populations.
“This funding support confirms BCBSM Foundation’s commitment to supporting research and programs that address the needs of Michigan’s most vulnerable populations as well as the researchers and community organizations who serve them,” said Kristen Senters Young, Director of Women’s Specialty and Prevention Services at the Flint and Port Huron Odyssey Houses.
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 and administers health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com. For more on the BCBSM Foundation, visit bcbsm.com/foundation.

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