$1.6 Million Grant Makes Strides Against Prenatal Substance Abuse
It may seem to be common sense that pregnancy and drugs and alcohol don’t mix, but every year thousands of babies suffer due to prenatal substance abuse. In 2010, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center had almost 3% of babies that tested positive for drugs on the day they were born. That number has increased each year, but officials say even three percent is too much. Beltrami County Health & Human Services Director Becky Secore says, “We’ve seen it increase in the number of referrals we’ve gotten related to this issue and we see the damage that’s done to families when this comes out at a birth.”
Even with its challenges, reducing prenatal substance abuse is rewarding work, and thanks to a new grant from PrimeWest Health, that work just got a whole lot easier. PrimeWest has awarded a $1.6 million dollar grant to reduce substance abuse during pregnancy in collaboration with Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Beltrami County Health and Human Services, and Red Lake Family & Children’s Services.
When it comes to this grant, what’s good for the mom is good for the baby, and the project will hopefully help change some regional statistics with hands-on case managers. The grant will not only provide direct services for moms-to-be, but will also include education and improve statistics through collaboration. And through that collaboration, officials hope to save many lives. But, they say even if they can change the life of one mom and one baby, it will all be worth it.