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An Upper Valley hospital is working with a non-profit to open the region’s first maternal residential treatment program

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A hospital in Lebanon is working with a local non-profit to open a residential addiction treatment center for moms and their children by 2024.

Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital will lease its original cottage hospital building to Families Flourish Northeast, a non-profit founded by Dartmouth clinicians who have worked with expecting people dealing with substance use disorders.

The center would have beds for 14 women and their children up to 11 years old, making it the first residential program in the Upper Valley.

There are two other residential programs in New Hampshire that provide a total of 26 beds, but it can take six months to get off a waiting list to get in, according to Courtney Tanner, who chairs Families Flourish Northeast.

She said the pandemic exacerbated the need for these kinds of services. In 2020, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center saw the portion of newborns with perinatal substance exposure rise about 10 percent, according to Tanner.

Dartmouth Hitchcock does have an outpatient program, called Moms in Recovery, but Tanner said there are some people who need an increased level of care.

Between 2018 and 2020, nearly 30 participants in Dartmouth's Moms in Recovery Program received a referral for a residential treatment program. But 25 declined that for a number of reasons, Tanner said, one of which was not wanting to leave their children.

Sue Mooney is the president and CEO of Alice Peck Day. She says the new program would be a long-term one, from nine to 12 months long, instead of a 28-day or 60-day stay.

“APD has a role to play in terms of educating the community and reaching out to people,” Mooney said. “These are our friends, our neighbors, our family, they are folks who are suffering from a treatable disease.”

Tanner said Families Flourish Northeast needs to raise four million more dollars before opening the center and developing programming.

“We do have a strong clinical committee, an interdisciplinary clinical committee comprised of psychiatrist[s] and OB-GYNs and social workers and women with lived experience to start to begin program design,” she said.

APD and Families Flourish plan on opening the center by early 2024.

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