Story provided by Reid Health.
July 30, 2021 -- Reid Health and Meridian Health Services have joined together to launch a maternal treatment program in Richmond called The Nest.
Substance use disorders, drug overdose deaths, and neonatal abstinence syndrome continue to be a significant problem in Wayne County. From January to August 2019, Reid had 543 deliveries and of those, 170 had a positive drug screen at the time of delivery.
The Nest aims to address those issues through integrated mental health, addictions, and medical services for pregnant women and those who have recently given birth.
"The program provides a welcoming and supportive environment where women can go without feeling judged or overlooked," said Erika Brandenstein, M.D., Reid OB/GYN and Medical Director for The Nest.
Discussions between Reid and Meridian began in mid-2017. At the time, Meridian had recently started a maternal treatment program in Delaware County in response to a high number of newborns there being born with neonatal abstinence syndrome and there was interest in replicating the program in Wayne County.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed initial plans for implementing the program until this year.
"With Meridian's expertise in addictions and recovery, including Richmond's Residential Recovery Center and other maternal treatment programs throughout the state, we found Reid Health to be a great partner with us in providing OB/GYN services for the pregnant mothers here in Richmond," said Gerry Cyranowski, Regional Vice President for Meridian.
"Pairing individual and group addictions counseling with MAT and pre- and post-natal OB/GYN care is essential for the effective treatment of women with an opioid addiction."
Dr. Brandenstein is certified to prescribe medications used to treat opioid dependence.
"By providing medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, comprehensive prenatal care, counseling, and social services, we are giving women hope," she said.
"I believe as long as a woman has hope, she has a chance to turn her life around and become the mother she desires to be. The Nest is giving women who are struggling with addiction hope for a new life."
Those interested in joining the program can fill out a form on the Reid Health website or talk with their provider about getting a referral. The Nest serves women who are currently pregnant, as well as those who are up to two years post-partum. Participants can bring their baby with them.
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