Wrapped in Hope: Giving fragile babies a better future

June 01, 2016

It was a discovery that caused medical providers to pause. One in five babies born at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center battled drug addiction – an alarming statistic on its own, but even more so considering the hospital only performs about 140 deliveries each year.

For several years, Providence and community providers noticed an increase in the number of babies born addicted to drugs. The increase in meth and opiate use was becoming frighteningly clear. Drug-affected babies go through varying levels of withdrawal that complicate their recovery, not to mention adding medical problems later in life. In response, Providence came together with the Lake County Public Health Department, Tribal Health and St. Luke Hospital to create the Wrapped in Hope initiative. 

This group of partners received a grant for $200,000 from the Montana Health Care Foundation to implement their innovative ideas focused on helping drug-dependent moms get the prenatal care they need. Wrapped in Hope is currently creating standard processes and support systems across Lake County, including specialized education for hospital staff, launching a community awareness campaign, and fulfilling a critical need for licensed addiction counselors at both hospitals.