Cabell Huntington Hospital's MOMS Program Focuses on Family Recovery

Members of the Highmark West Virginia Foundation presented a check for $75,000 to the MOMS program at the Hoops Family Children's Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital. From left are: Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia; Lisa Marsh, clinical sales consultant for Highmark West Virginia; Sarah Setran, PsyD, integrated and behavioral health addiction psychologist and MOMS program developer; Melanie Akers, director of the Hoops Family Children's Hospital; Jessica Auffant, RN, MSN, FNP-C, coordinator of the MOMS program; Cathy McAlister, manager of corporate communications at Highmark West Virginia and Kevin Fowler, president and CEO of Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Healing from addiction takes a network of treatment and resources that focuses on the whole family. The Hoops Family Children's Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital has created a program that begins once a mother gives birth and provides comprehensive addiction treatment services that promotes the bonding between mother and baby.

The MOMS (Maternal Opioid Medication Support) program was developed to provide addiction treatment services to postpartum women, not currently in a treatment program, while their babies are recovering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (a group of problems that occur in newborns exposed to addictive drugs) in the Neonatal Therapy Unit (NTU).

The goal is to provide medication stabilization, psychological and medical treatment, education and training that will create a solid foundation for a healthy, productive life-style that will benefit the mother and the whole family. This education will include a team of experts who will address the specific needs of each mother and cover everything from counseling to occupational rehabilitation with a goal to end the cycle of addiction.

"With the increase in numbers of women with drug addiction we are seeing an increase in neonatal drug exposure," said Sarah Setran, PsyD, integrated and behavioral health addiction psychologist and MOMS program developer. "It is important for a mother and baby to bond, so keeping a mother close to her baby and providing resources to help her as her baby recovers are very important."

According to Dr. Setran, women make up a significant portion of the addiction population. In addition to the increasing numbers, women:

  • are more likely to suffer from chronic addiction than men;
  • become addicted at a faster rate than men; and
  • are three times more likely to die from an overdose than men.

"One more thing we know is that women are less likely to receive treatment," she said. "We now know that to decrease these numbers and to promote recovery for the family, the treatment of the moms and babies need to be linked together."

Women will receive 100 days of treatment aimed at bridging care to a long-term community substance abuse treatment program that provides comprehensive services. The patients and the referring facility will remain connected to ensure that the transition of care continues.

"Access to treatment will also be offered to fathers who are willing to participate by connecting them with the appropriate resources," said Dr. Setran, "It is more difficult for a patient in recovery to return to an environment where substance abuse continues to take place. We want these women to fully recover and by including the father in the recovery process, there is a higher rate of success."

The MOMS program is funded through grants and donations. The Highmark Foundation, a private, charitable organization dedicated to public health and human service initiatives, recently awarded a $75,000 grant to support the program.

"We are pleased to support this first-of-its-kind program in the region to provide integrated care for women with substance abuse disorders and their prenatally exposed babies," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. "Through this grant, we are hopeful that the MOMS program will lead to better health outcomes for mothers and their babies as well as increase the chances of long-term rehabilitation success."

"We are grateful for the support we have received throughout the community to bring this program to life," said Melanie Akers, RN, director of the Hoops Family Children's Hospital. "There has been a great deal of research and development put into this process and we are confident that we will be able to change lives and provide the care needed for successful recovery."

For more information about the MOMS program, please call 304.526.2058.