HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A two-year, $250,000 health grant from Hearst Foundations will support the development of a comprehensive system of care through the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health for pregnant and parenting women on the road to recovery.
The project will grow family-centered recovery care in Cabell, Kanawha, Jackson and Putnam counties in West Virginia, the four counties currently served by the Great Rivers Regional System of Addiction Care initiative. These services will expand the efforts of Healthy Connections, which started serving pregnant and parenting mothers in 2017, through family navigation services. Family navigators work alongside a family to advocate for service access, treatment and recovery, and healthy family development. Funding from Hearst Foundations will bring family navigators into four more communities.
In addition to successful initiatives like the Maternal Addiction Recovery Center and Project Hope for Women & Children, which are already underway through the Marshall School of Medicine and Marshall Health, the funded project will leverage a number of existing partnerships and resources, including Great Rivers Regional System for Addiction Care, Healthy Connections and the Provider Response Organization for Addiction for Addiction Care & Treatment (PROACT).
“Having a baby can be an overwhelming experience, only complicated by the disease of addiction,” said Lyn M. O’Connell, Ph.D., associate director of community services at Marshall Health. “Family navigators are an essential and unique support for pregnant and parenting women that promote recovery and encourage healthy relationships. This funding will allow us to support more children and families.”
In 2018, Marshall Health launched Great Rivers Regional System for Addiction Care thanks to funding from the Merck Foundation. The collaborative works with more than 70 organizations and agencies to build an infrastructure and strengthen community partnerships in communities and neighborhoods hit hardest by West Virginia’s opioid epidemic. This project will build on the collaborations developed in the first year of Great Rivers.
Since its inception, the Hearst Foundations have distributed more than 21,000 grants to nearly 6,000 different organizations. The foundations’ goal is to “ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.” This is the first award Marshall Health has received from the Hearst Foundations.