Advancing Care By Rocking Back And Forth

All infants cry. They’re often fussy, leaving no doubt when they’re uncomfortable, tired or hungry. When an infant born to a mother who used opioids during her pregnancy cries, it’s usually a sign of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a group of physical withdrawal symptoms that go beyond the typical fussiness of a newborn. Symptoms can include inability to sleep, fever, jitteriness, diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing, and more. To provide comfort to infants while they go through drug withdrawal, some Premier Health hospitals offer infant cuddler programs  where volunteers provide the additional support that these tiny patients need.

And our efforts to address the addiction crisis gripping our region doesn’t end there. Our Promise to Hope Program helps expectant moms who are addicted to opiates improve their health and the health of their unborn baby by providing medically assisted addiction treatment, obstetrical care, and behavioral health care. And then there’s Samaritan Behavioral Health, which has been compassionately providing mental health and addiction services that touch, teach, and heal for more than 50 years. Samaritan Behavioral Health distributed more than 3,273 naloxone kits last year, with some of those kits reversing overdoses in at least 171 people, likely saving their lives.

Premier Health also is working to safeguard our communities by partnering in the launch of OneFifteen in conjunction with Verily, one of Google’s Alphabet sister companies, to build upon the community’s response to the addiction crisis and refine best practices for addiction treatment. And our hospitals offer disposal containers, where more than 1,000 pounds of drugs that might have fallen into the wrong hands instead have been discarded safely and securely.

At Premier Health, it’s core to our mission to proactively care for the community, addressing public health imperatives such as the opioid crisis head-on.

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