Wednesday, August 15th
8:00am – 4:00 pm
Breakfast and lunch are served during preconference sessions.
Download the Ebook for this preconference.
This unique preconference gives state policymakers a forum to identify and share innovative policy solutions to improve outcomes for women and children affected by substance use disorder (SUD). Learn about policy approaches to meet the unique needs of families affected by SUD or opioid use disorder, identify financing and service delivery options to ensure access to continuous care for women and children, and examine opportunities for cross-agency collaboration to efficiently support children and pregnant or parenting women affected by SUD. Participants include:
Kate Neuhausen, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Medical Assistance Services
Abby is a Senior Policy Analyst, Substance Use Services at the NH Department of Health and Human Services. Her work focuses on several of the Department’s substance use disorder (SUD) initiatives, including substance use disorder policy analysis and Medicaid coverage for SUD. Abby coordinates activities across the Department and with other State and Federal agencies, and develops and strengthens relationships with external stakeholders in support of the Department’s goals and policies in the area of substance use issues. She currently serves as the Project Director for SUD related programs funded by the Cures Act, including a targeted prevention program for child welfare involved families. Prior to joining DHHS, Abby worked with Bi-State Primary Care Association and the NH Alcohol and other Drug Service Providers Association. Before coming to NH, Abby worked on maternal and child health initiatives in Florida with Healthy Start and the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative.
Debra Bercuvitz is the Substance Use Coordinator for the Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition. She is currently leading projects to improve Early Intervention referrals and enrollment for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Ms. Bercuvitz has been instrumental in the development of many state initiatives including the perinatal recovery coach workforce, perinatal substance use community collaboratives, IDEA Part C services for substance exposed newborns, and the Plan of Safe Care. She was formerly the director of a home visiting program staffed by peer mentors, working with perinatal women affected by substance use disorders, and their children.
Ashley Harrell, Senior Program Advisor, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
Ashley is licensed in Clinical Social Work in Virginia as of 2002. Ashley graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees both in Master’s in Social Work as well as a Magna Cum Laude, Bachelor’s in Social Work.
Karen Palombo, Team Lead - Substance Use Disorder Intervention and Treatment, Texas Health and Human Services
Karen Palombo works for the Health and Human Services Commission in the Medical and Social Services Division in the Substance Use Disorder Unit as the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Intervention Team Lead in Texas. Prior to this experience she has worked in hospital settings, mental health and substance use disorder treatment settings and for 9 years. She graduated from Louisiana State University with her Masters in Social Work. She has three children and currently lives in Austin, Texas.
Ensuring women receive prenatal care during their first trimester is important to supporting healthy mothers, children, and families. States and federal agencies, including the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are increasingly focused on improving rates of early entry into prenatal care as well as improving other measures of maternal and child health quality and access.
This series of fact sheets showcases state policies and programs in four states—California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington—that support improvement in early entry into prenatal care. The fact sheets also highlight how federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in these states are leveraging the state policies and programs to promote early entry into prenatal care as part of a patient-centered medical home.
The series includes spotlights on Washington and California.
- State and Safety Net Provider Policies, Programs, and Practices
- Spotlight on California’s Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program
- Spotlight on Washington’s First Steps Program
This fact sheet series was made possible through the support of HRSA.
Low birth weight and preterm birth carry substantial human and financial costs; they also are associated with health problems that can have long-lasting effects. Renewed state and national commitment to improving birth outcomes and the quality of maternal and infant care are evident in states across the country as well in federal initiatives such as the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality and Healthy Start program, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’ Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns and Maternal and Infant Health Initiative. These federal initiatives engage state policy makers, providers, and other stakeholders.
By Jennifer Dolatshahi
This blog post was originally published on State Refor(u)m’s State of Implementation Blog
Through their Medicaid programs, states may offer specialized pregnancy benefits to women that target risks contributing to poor pregnancy outcomes. Though such benefits are categorized as “optional” Medicaid services, they are seen by many as critical to optimizing maternal health and positive birth outcomes. These enhanced pregnancy benefits support women in having healthy pregnancies and contribute to improved infant and maternal health. Congress gave states the option to offer enhanced pregnancy benefits to pregnant women on Medicaid in 1985, and many states quickly took advantage of this opportunity, adding comprehensive non-clinical and medical pregnancy services to their Medicaid benefit packages. The use of enhanced pregnancy benefits peaked in 1993 when forty-four states provided at least one enhanced pregnancy benefit through Medicaid. Since then, the number of states offering Medicaid enhanced pregnancy benefits appears to have dipped and then rebounded nearly to 1993 levels.
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