ROXBURY, Mass., Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Whittier Street Health Center is the Greater Boston home for the Moms Do Care Program, a free multi-pronged recovery program for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid-use disorders.
Despite years of city, state, and federal initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, a recent September 2019 report by the Boston Public Health Commission stated 14,000 needles a week are collected from the streets and drop-off kiosks of Boston.
"Whittier has long been committed to confronting the opioid crisis," said Frederica Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. "We launched an anti-opioid program 'It Takes A Village' in 2017 and we've seen a 42 percent drop in opioid prescriptions with Whittier's patients, but we've still got a long way to go as a city."
Moms Do Care was initially launched on Cape Cod and at the UMass Medical Center in Worcester and now operates at multiple locations across Massachusetts.
The program is focused on women (18 years and over) who are either pregnant, postpartum and/or parenting a young child. Moms Do Care targets whole-person wellbeing including mental health care, social services, Safety and Nurturing Support groups, and medication-assisted treatment (such as methadone) if needed.
"It's voluntary, it's anonymous, none of your information is given out, and your name is never used," said Renee Donahue, Care Coordinator and recovery coach for Whittier's Moms Do Care Program. Donahue noted that for mothers, the biggest deterrent to reaching out for care is the fear of losing their children. "The program isn't affiliated with DCF or probation, and neither am I," added Donahue.
Among the many benefits provided by Moms Do Care are childcare, transportation to services, and after-hours support. By affiliating with Whittier Street Health Center, the program is also able to connect participants to pediatric and other health care services, in addition to social services to assist with housing, employment, and life skills.
The program also offers participants the opportunity to give back by serving as recovery coaches for other mothers in the program.
"There's no shame in asking for help," added Donahue, "no matter how deep and hopeless it gets – there's always a way out."
The mission of Whittier Street Health Center is to provide high-quality, reliable and accessible primary health care and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. The health center also provides a partnership with Dana Farber Cancer Institute; general dentistry; HIV services; laboratory; OB/GYN; pediatrics/adolescent health; LGBTQ clinic; eye care; and mental health counseling. Whittier also runs over 40 social service initiatives from a food pantry to a wellness center/gym. Whittier Street Health Center is a 501c3 charitable organization.
Renee Donahue, Care Coordinator for Moms Do Care at Whittier, Shows Needles Used for Drug Abuse
Boston Public Health officials recently announced the city collects 14,000 needles a week in its continuing battle with opioid abuse. Whittier Street Health Center serves as the Greater Boston location of Moms Do Care, a free treatment program for opioid-addicted mothers.
SOURCE Whittier Street Health Center