Evangelical Community Hospital’s Obstetrics Unit—The Family Place—Earns Honors

November 01, 2021


The Family Place, Evangelical Community Hospital’s obstetrics unit, has earned several honors in the areas of maternal substance use and opioid use disorder care. Through education and implementation, The Family Place has received distinction from both The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and the Vermont Oxford Network (VON).

The JHF issued a Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) award of $15,000 to The Family Place in recognition of the quality improvement milestones they’ve completed to improve care for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder (OUD) and newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The award will be used to offset the cost to reach those milestones as well as to further support efforts at Evangelical to collect data and conduct quality improvement projects related to OUD and NAS.

The Family Place also received a VON Center of Excellence in Education and Training for Infants and Families affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Award. Evangelical Community Hospital is one of 17 hospitals in the state that achieved the excellence designation from VON and contributed to the fourth statewide recognition of excellence in education and training from VON.

The VON award recognizes that core members of The Family Place multidisciplinary care team participated in the “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Collaborative: Improving Care to Improve Outcomes” training for care of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS is drug withdrawal syndrome experienced by infants exposed to opioids while in utero. Infants born with NAS are more likely to have respiratory complications, feeding difficulty, low birthweights, and extended hospital stays.

“It is a priority of The Family Place staff to give all babies the strongest start possible in life,” said Kelly Solomon, RN, Director of Maternal Child Care and Critical Care. “The commitment our staff has dedicated to be fully educated on how to best work with mothers and their newborns where substance use issues are present shows the compassion and understanding they have for our patients. As the needs of our patients change, they continue to learn more to be fully equipped for complete care.”

The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) partnered with VON to provide 20 hospitals in the state universal training designed to standardize care policies. The collaborative approach to universal training included rapid-cycle distribution of current evidence-based practices to the entire interdisciplinary workforce engaged in caring for substance-exposed infants and families. This approach has been proven to reduce length of hospital stay and length of pharmacologic treatment while increasing family satisfaction. 

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