The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has announced a $3 million gift from an anonymous donor in support of efforts to help mothers and their babies affected by opioid and other substance use disorders.
The gift will provide about $1 million annually through 2019 to advance both on-the-ground efforts and work that changes systems so that they're more effective in providing care, including residential treatment and supports for pregnant women and babies. According to NHCF, perinatal substance use disorders affect between 10 percent and 20 percent of pregnancies in the United States, and a growing number of infants are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, resulting in withdrawal symptoms, lower birth weight, and other complications. Many affected mothers also are struggling with mental health issues, trauma, homelessness, poverty, and/or domestic violence.
The foundation has already awarded a first round of grants totaling $629,000, including $194,000 to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to create a Perinatal Addiction Center of Excellence focused on best practice models of care, multidisciplinary professional education, targeted research, and provider-to-provider consultation. The grant also will support the expansion of the Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network's "Toolkit for the Perinatal Care of Women with Opioid Use Disorders." Other recipients include Memorial Hospital, which was awarded $82,000 for its program to improve outcomes for pregnant and newly parenting women and their babies; the Community Health Institute, which will receive $85,000 to update knowledge about the prevalence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the state; and Hope on Haven Hill, which was awarded $50,000 to provide high-quality residential care to pregnant and newly parenting women.
"While the challenges are complex, the good news is that there are steps we can take to help these women and their children get well, and be able to thrive," said Tym Rourke, NHCF's director of substance use disorders grantmaking and chair of the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. "There is a lot of good work being done around the state, and this generous donation will build on that work and make a real difference for many New Hampshire moms and their kids."
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the NHCF website.