Wheeler family center awarded nearly $3 million grant to support treatment for pregnant women with history of substance use

Published on Friday, 15 January 2021 17:11
Written by Catherine Shen


A $2.7 million grant was awarded to the Wheeler Family Health and Wellness Center that will support treatment for pregnant women with histories of substance use disorders.

Through a partnership with the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on Care Delivery, a three-year, $2.7 million federal grant will help Wheeler increase awareness, expand family-based addiction treatment and other services for pregnant, postpartum women who have histories of substance use disorders in New Britain, Bristol and surrounding local communities.

Wheeler received $337,500 annually for three years and is partnering with DMHAS on a pilot program entitled, “PROUD: Parents Recovering from Opioid Use Disorders.”

“This program comes at a particularly critical time, as research shows disproportionate racial, social and economic disparities in our grant communities, compared with other areas of our state,” said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, PhD and commissioner of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

“These disparities often result in adverse health effects for pregnant and postpartum women, particularly individuals with substance use disorders, especially opioids, who often face barriers to care and are unable seek out – or engage – the treatment they need,” she said.

The PROUD service model will help pregnant and postpartum women to access and retain substance use disorder treatment and recovery services; decrease substance use during prenatal and postpartum periods; and increase parenting skills and attachment, according to Wheeler. The services will also be extended to partners and spouses who may be struggling with substance use disorders, as well as to children and youth in the family.

“Wheeler has a long history of delivering care in the Greater New Britain and Bristol communities, and we are pleased to expand our family-based addiction treatment to meet the needs of individuals and families,” said Sabrina Trocchi, president and CEO of Wheeler. “By providing strengths-based care to expectant and new mothers and their families, with an emphasis on peer support, we are providing supports that address health and other disparities and encourage an environment of recovery to help families to thrive in the short and long term.”

All program participants will have access to myStrength, a highly interactive, individually tailored application used to engage and retain individuals in treatment and sustained recovery.

Connections to primary care, obstetricians, pediatricians, and higher levels of substance use treatment, including intensive outpatient, detox, and medication-assisted treatment will be offered, as well as linkages to a range of community supports, including early childhood resources and services, to meet each client’s needs.

Services will be delivered in homes, through telemedicine visits, or in-person at Wheeler’s community health centers in New Britain and Bristol.

Wheeler’s Health and Wellness Centers in New Britain and Bristol are federally qualified health centers that offer an array of primary care and behavioral health services, including medication-assisted treatment for addiction, through walk-in, appointments, and telehealth and telemedicine services. Other centers are located in Hartford, Plainville, and Waterbury.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 15 January 2021 17:11. Updated: Friday, 15 January 2021 17:13.