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New pilot program could become model for treating moms with addiction

New pilot program could become model for treating moms with addiction (WKRC){br}
New pilot program could become model for treating moms with addiction (WKRC)
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CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A new pilot program for Tri-State moms in recovery could be a national model for overcoming addiction.

Often when a woman is addicted to drugs or alcohol and she gets pregnant, she is separated from her baby, both during and after delivery. But, a local organization called Bethesda Ideas Investments Innovation, or Bi3, is funding a new program that is trying to improve the way we care for mom and baby in the Greater Cincinnati area.

"I'd been using for six years and I never thought in a million years I was gonna get clean," Jordan Newsone said.

Not only is Newsone clean and sober, but her son Mikey, who is now 7-months-old, was even born in good health.

"He stayed his 96 hours in the hospital then he came home," Newsone said.

Home at the time was the First Step Home.

"First Step Home is a program for women in recovery for drugs and alcohol, and we allow children to live here with the moms up until age 12," First Step Home president and CEO Margo Spence said.

The program, however, is taking the mom and baby recovery care to a whole new level.

"There's really no program we know like this," Jill Miller of BI3 said.

Jill Miller is part of a team called BI3. As part of an initiative to transform healthcare, they've awarded a special grant to First Step Home for a pilot program to not just bring mom and baby together after birth when they're healthy and sober, but to keep them in delivery, even if mom is still in treatment.

"We allow the women to go into the program two weeks prior to delivery so they have a chance to prepare for their babies," Spence said.

They then deliver at the hospital and are able to return to treatment with their babies, rather than being separated during this delicate time.

"The objective was to keep them together," Miller said.

Spence says the program is still in its infancy, but early results show it's a big incentive for moms to get and stay sober.

When Jordan first found out she was pregnant with Mikey, she says she was still "in the middle of a warzone," so staying with her baby every step of the way, she says, has put them both on a path for a healthy future - exactly what the pilot program was designed to do.

"It's not just about the pregnancy," Spence said. "It's not just about having the baby. It's also about housing and helping them get back into the workforce."

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This is a joint program with TriHealth's Good Samaritan Hospital, which is where the babies are delivered and have a specialty with mothers delivering babies while being addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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