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Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Jennie K. Scaife Charitable Foundation Grant Supports Individualized Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Opioid Use Disorders at AHN

PITTSBURGH – Funding granted to Allegheny Health Network (AHN) from the Jennie K. Scaife (JKS) Charitable Foundation will enable AHN to continue and expand its Perinatal Hope Program, a comprehensive care model that supports expectant and postpartum mothers with opioid use disorders by providing medication-assisted treatment, drug and alcohol counseling, health and wellness education, social support services, and connection to community as part of their obstetrics care.

In 2016, AHN launched the program to mobilize critical resources to surround pregnant women who are struggling with substance use disorders. The effort is designed to be a “one-stop shop” that brings together different services, healthcare professionals, and educational materials so women can get maximum support from routine prenatal visits and subsequent postpartum appointments.

The program also works closely with AHN Recovery Medicine, part of the AHN Center for Inclusion Health, to provide rapid access to services for pregnant women with substance-use disorders, as well as to the AHN Women’s Behavioral Health program for those struggling with postpartum depression.

“Our clinicians at Allegheny Health Network understand that expectant and new mothers with substance use disorders often face a unique set of challenges that require an additional level of specialized care and attention,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN. “With this generous support from the Jennie K. Scaife Foundation, our Perinatal Hope Program can continue to deliver convenient, compassionate care in a safe and supportive atmosphere where each patient, and her family, will be guided toward purposeful care plans and ultimately, better outcomes for themselves and their babies.”

The rate of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – a set of complications caused by a newborn’s drug withdrawal due to a mother’s substance use disorder – is two times higher in Pennsylvania when compared to the national average. NAS is a group of conditions caused when a baby withdraws from certain drugs, most often opioids, that they were exposed to in the womb. Neonatal symptoms of NAS include tremors, seizure, breathing problems, slow weight gain, fever and GI complications, among others. According to the CDC, nearly 80 newborns are diagnosed with NAS every day.

“We’re extremely grateful to the JKS Charitable Foundation for their recent funding of our program, which will further advance the lifesaving work delivered by our remarkable clinicians and caregivers across western Pennsylvania,” said Marcia Klein-Patel, MD, PhD, OB/GYN physician and Chair of the AHN Women’s Institute. “Since its inception, the AHN Perinatal Hope Program has made an immeasurable impact on the lives of many, and through the ongoing support of local philanthropic and government organizations, we can continue to grow our footprint within the communities we have the privilege to serve.”

Earlier this year, AHN announced the expansion of Perinatal Hope Program with two additional office locations in the region, as well as the hiring of clinical staff including a peer recovery specialist, behavioral health consultant, social worker and certified nurse practitioner. Currently, the program operates out of Jefferson, Forbes, West Penn, and Saint Vincent hospitals as well as the AHN Northern Regional OB/GYN practice in Cranberry Twp., Pa.

The JKS Charitable Foundation is a newly formed, private charitable foundation that was funded by the late Jennie K. Scaife.  The Foundation awards grants to charitable organizations that strengthen families, advance the health and welfare of women and children, help break the cycle of addiction, and promote positive interactions between people and animals that advance the welfare of both.  Central to the Foundation’s mission is the award of grants to charitable organizations that serve to prevent and to intervene early in addiction.  The Foundation actively seeks opportunities to support charitable organizations that serve the needy of western Pennsylvania, where Jennie K. Scaife was born and raised.

“Our mission at JKS Charitable Foundation includes supporting programs directed toward early intervention and prevention efforts in opioid and alcohol-use disorders. We are pleased to support high-impact organizations like AHN that break down barriers to help women and children lead brighter lives, so that they’re able to flourish and to achieve their full potential,” concluded David Zywiec, President of the JKS Charitable Foundation.

To learn more about the AHN Perinatal Hope Program, visit the website.

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