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Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gets $2.7 Million to Help Pregnant Women Fight Opioid Addiction

Robert Garrova for NHPR
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster speaks during Dartmouth-Hitchcock's press conference on a $2.7 million federal grant to help pregnant women with opioid use disorder

Dartmouth-Hitchcock announced a $2.7 million federal grant today that will go toward treating pregnant women struggling with opioid addiction.


The non-profit health system says the two-year grant will allow it to help seven maternity care offices throughout the state build out Medication Assisted Treatment programs. The idea is that pregnant women suffering from opioid use disorder will be more likely to seek help in a maternity care environment.


Dr. Julia R. Frew is Director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Moms in Recovery program, which will serve as the model for the program.


“Our ultimate goal is to build a network of what we term ‘recovery-friendly’ obstetric practices around New Hampshire with very close connections and ties to all of the community resources that already exist or are in the process of being built,” Frew said. She added that the Lebanon and Keene sites are currently operational, with Bedford/Manchester, Nashua, Littleton and other locations to follow.


Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig agreed it will provide more opportunities for women to receive help.


“Where there may be a stigma and they didn’t realize where they could go, this money will allow them to get the word out in terms of where the access is and then pregnant women will be able to get the treatment they need to deliver a healthy baby,” Craig said.  


The grant, part of the 21st Century Cures Act, will also allow maternity centers to provide psychiatric consultation and recovery coaching.


U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen called this “an example of federal dollars being put to good use,” but with several recovery centers across the state closing their doors, Mayor Craig and others say more support is needed.

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