Our own Dora Anim, Sr. VP of Programs and Services, recently sat down with Steve Brown of WGRZ, an NBC affiliate in Buffalo, to talk about how we’ve worked collaboratively with our hospital members in Greater Cincinnati to implement universal drug testing for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

NAS is a condition that occurs in newborns after being exposed to a mother’s opioid use while pregnant. As a result, babies are born with painful withdrawal symptoms that can become life-threatening if left untreated.

To address this problem in Greater Cincinnati, The Health Collaborative worked with area hospitals to coordinate universal drug testing for pregnant mothers. Universal screening has led to early detection of babies with NAS, and early treatment is key for NAS babies in helping them manage their symptoms in an inpatient setting, which ultimately saves health care dollars.

The project began in early 2013.  Today, 18 medical facilities in Greater Cincinnati are collaborating with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on early detection of NAS.  In doing so they are protecting our most vulnerable population, and saving health care dollars required to treat NAS when symptoms are left untreated.

Click here to view the video of Dora’s conversation with WGRZ’s Steve Brown.

Dora also talked to Todd Dykes, WLWT, about how we’ve been able to achieve this unique collaboration to improve NAS outcomes across our community:

As heroin epidemic rages, Cincinnati hospitals drug testing moms-to-be