Pilot treatment program for pregnant, postpartum women awarded to W.Va.

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Behavioral Health was awarded one of four grants under the State Pilot Grant Program for Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women (PPW-PLT) from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The three-year grant will invest $2.7 million in services supporting pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder in West Virginia. This grant will propel a statewide coordinated continuum of care with a focus on collaborative family-centered approaches and evidence-based service delivery.

The grant will enable expansion of the state’s Drug Free Moms and Babies (DFMB) program, an integrated comprehensive medical and behavioral health program for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder. The grant will also support the establishment of a state Project Director position within DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral health to coordinate an effective state continuum of care specifically supporting women’s behavioral health care.

“With the help of our partners, this grant will enable us to further support pregnant and postpartum women and families impacted by the ongoing opioid epidemic,” said Christina Mullins, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health. “We remain committed to expanding access to family-centered services that address substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery across West Virginia.”

The Drug Free Moms and Babies program, developed in 2011 by the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership with funding from DHHR’s Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, is a comprehensive and integrated medical and behavioral health program for pregnant and postpartum women. The project supports healthy mother and baby outcomes by providing prevention, substance use screening, early intervention, substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services. Currently there are 17 sites statewide which offer this program.

The Bureau for Behavioral Health will work in collaboration with the WV Perinatal Partnership to build upon the success of these programs under this new project to enhance and expand services for the vulnerable and underserved population of pregnant and postpartum women and their families.

The WV Perinatal Partnership is a not-for-profit statewide quality collaborative comprised of health care professionals and public and private organizations working together to improve perinatal health in West Virginia.

“We’re very excited to be part of this project and look forward to our continued collaboration with the Bureau for Behavioral Health to improve the health of women and their infants in West Virginia,” said Dr. Kimberly Farry, Board Chairperson of the WV Perinatal Partnership and obstetrician and gynecologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon. “As I see first-hand in my medical practice, there is a significant need for improved systems of care. This grant provides a wonderful opportunity to develop much needed services for West Virginia’s women and their families.”

Find more information about the Bureau for Behavioral Health at https://dhhr.wv.gov/BBH/ and the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership at https://www.wvperinatal.org/.

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