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#IMPACTCOVID Social Media & Communications Toolkit

Picture of two women. One is not wearing a mask and holding a sign that says " Just Been Vaccinated. #Stopcovid. The other is wearing a mask and holding a sign that says "Time for vaccination. #stopcovid."

The IMPACT COVID Communications Toolkit provides communications and messaging resources to use to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage the communities you serve to get the vaccine and help protect against COVID-19.

Navigating DHHR Benefits When You Are Having Difficulty Connecting With A Worker

Navigating DHHR Benefits can be tricky, especially since COVID restrictions do not allow most workers on site. The good news is figuring out your benefits doesn’t have to make you pull your hair out. I’m going to review a few of the common benefits and how to best get in contact with a worker if you are needing more assistance. 

Woman looking at phone and confused
Navigating DHHR Benefits When You Are Having Difficulty Connecting With A Worker

IMPACT WV Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Initiative to #VaccinateByADA

Morgantown, W.Va. –The IMPACT WV project at the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) is launching a new public health initiative, COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities.

The WVU CED, a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network across the country, is one of 23-AUCD network centers strategically located across the country to reach local disability communities, reduce access barriers, and promote vaccine confidence. The goal is to vaccinate all eligible people with disabilities by the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th.

African American man in antiviral mask gesturing thumb up during coronavirus vaccination, approving of covid-19 immunization. Young doctor giving vaccine injection to male patient

The initiative focus on building vaccine confidence in the disability community through family conversations in the weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Network centers will share information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in community meetings, newsletters, social media campaigns, short videos, and other local outreach efforts.

The IMPACT WV project at the WVU CED is working with communities to coordinate services that address needs of children diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or exposed to substances in utero. (https://wvimpact.org/)

“This initiative builds upon IMPACT WV work, a two-generational way of thinking by providing key information about the COVID-19 vaccine for families to use when in shaping their views of the vaccine for their health and future. Family members are important influencers in the lives of people who have a substance use disorder (SUD),” says Dr. Lesley Cottrell. “Providing the tools and resources to support those family conversations around health and vaccines will get us one step closer to our #VaccinateByADA goal and a healthier future.”

IMPACT WV will assist Patient Navigators, Peer Recovery Coaches, and partner with Home Visitors to share information intended to boost confidence in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines with families of infants with substance use exposure. The project’s Patient Navigators will follow up with the families to address any vaccine misconceptions and share information about how to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn more at: http://www.cedwvu.org/ and https://wvimpact.org/covid.

Who Suffers When There’s No Self-Care?

Amanda Newhouse, LICSW, PCIT Level- I Trainer, IMH-E® is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked in behavioral health with children and families for over 16 years. For the past 6 years, she has placed her focus on mothers with children under 5 years old. She shares that perhaps her most important accomplishment is being a mother of two for the past 22 years.

Read Who Suffers When There’s No Self-Care?

Dental Coverage Updates

picture of a calendar with dental appointment

With the new year came positive changes to Medicaid’s dental program. Any Medicaid recipient 21 and older can now receive emergent procedures to treat fractures, reduce pain, or eliminate infection; and diagnostic, preventative, and restorative services up to $1000 in a calendar year. For more information about services, restrictions, and providers please see West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services Attention Adult Dental Program Providers!

Transportation Resources

Transportation is always a barrier to receiving services, the following resources are available to help:

Jobs & Hope

Service Provider: LogistiCare- Circulation Service Area: All 55 WV counties Population: Jobs & Hope participants Contact: 1-833-784-1385 or jobsandhope.wv.gov
Offers on-demand rides around the clock for participants of Jobs & Hope until they have secured personal transportation.

State Opioid Response Transportation

Service Provider: WV Public Transit Authority (WVPTA) Service Area: All 55 WV counties
Population: Individuals with an opioid use disorder (OUD) Contact: 1-888-696-6195 or https://wvtransit.com
WVPTA offers free transportation for both urgent and non-urgent needs for individuals with OUD seeking treatment and recovery care services, including Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), within 24-72 hours of request for transportation. After-hours transportation and services outside of traditional public routes are offered.

Routes to Recovery

Service Provider: CORE/RPWV Service Area: Cabell County Population: Individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD)Contact: Heath Collins (304)962-7918) or hcollins@recoverypointwv.org
Offers free transportation to treatment and recovery care services for individuals with a SUD. Ride types include: Treatment and Recovery, Medical and Dental Appointment, Resource agencies, drug-court, and employment related appointments. 

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

Service Provider: LogistiCare Service Area: All 55 WV counties Population: Medicaid Members Contact: 1-844-549-8353 or www.logisticarewv.net
NEMT is available to Medicaid members for transportation to WV Medicaid covered services. For urgent trips reach out to Help4WV at 1-844-435-7498.

IMPACT WV has been chosen as one of six recipients for the $5,000 2Gen Level Up Prize! 

Exciting news! IMPACT WV has been chosen as one of six recipients for the $5,000 2Gen Level Up Prize! Our submission, “Making Tomorrow Better Together: Process Outcomes and Measures for 2Gen Organizational Changes” not only helped our organization review and solidify measures and outcomes, but also that of our community. To learn how we used this resource to advance children and families, check out their recent blog!  https://ascend.aspeninstitute.org/category/blog/

Raising COVID-19 vaccine confidence in those impacted by Substance Use Disorder

Did you know people with substance use disorder are at increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19? IMPACT WV is working to increase vaccine confidence among those with substance use disorder by delivering targeted outreach messages based on the Stages of Change. [...]

Read Raising COVID-19 vaccine confidence in those impacted by Substance Use Disorder

Individuals with Disabilities & Substance Use: Let Talk About It

Did you know that individuals with disabilities frequently develop substance use disorders to offset physical pain, emotional and mental disorders, low moods, and anxiety? It is not uncommon for disability and addiction to switch roles between cause and effect. Some individuals struggling with a substance use disorder end up developing a disability or disabilities as a result of their alcohol or drug abuse, whereas other individuals begin using alcohol or drugs as a means to cope with their disability. [...]

Read Individuals with Disabilities & Substance Use: Let Talk About It

Navigating DHHR Benefits When You Are Having Difficulty Connecting With A Worker

Navigating DHHR Benefits can be tricky, especially since COVID restrictions do not allow most workers on site. The good news is figuring out your benefits doesn’t have to make you pull your hair out. I’m going to review a few of the common benefits and how to best get in contact with a worker if you are needing more assistance. [...]

Read Navigating DHHR Benefits When You Are Having Difficulty Connecting With A Worker

Who Suffers When There’s No Self-Care?

One of the most difficult concepts to put into practice, when you are a mother, is self-care. “Self” is not a word that comes to mind when you are a mother. Your hair is decorated with cheerios, your clothes are saturated with bleach or food stains, and your name is a constant echo. But who really suffers when we don’t care for ourselves? Who usually get’s the irritability that follows? [...]

Read Who Suffers When There’s No Self-Care?

Self-Care for Parents and Babies

We always hear, “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but what else can we do while our baby sleeps or we just aren’t tired when the baby is? We often feel as if we can do it all, alone, but the reality is… We still need to take care of ourselves. We all need support. We must fill our own cups in order to fill others’ cups, too. Self-Care comes in many forms, here are a few. [...]

Read Self-Care for Parents and Babies

A few myths about cavities in baby teeth

As a pediatric dentist, I often hear some comments from parents and family members about why they believe the young patients have cavities on their baby teeth. [...]

Read A few myths about cavities in baby teeth

Substance Use and Oral Health

It is often said, a smile is the window to the soul –but can substance use really affect one’s smile and overall oral health? …. The answer is a resounding YES! Even after just a short period of substance use, whether it be through drugs or alcohol, your oral health can begin to reveal the signs of addiction. The bottom-line is, your oral health reflects everything you do. So, how does substance use affect teeth and oral health? [...]

Read Substance Use and Oral Health

Palette of Grief® After a Substance Use Death

When someone you care about dies, it can break your heart. When they die suddenly because of a fatal overdose, your heart can shatter into a million pieces. Although your mind feels like it is spinning out of control and your heart is breaking, there are ways to manage your loss. [...]

Read Palette of Grief® After a Substance Use Death

What are Protective Factors?

There are ways to build and strengthen the characteristics that keep WV families strong and resilient. Through the strengthening of coping strategies and by building resilience, WV families can deal more effectively with stressful events and eliminate some of the risk and negative impact of times of stress and anxiety. By building the factors that protect us from breaking down and/or giving up, we can learn to find balance and overcome negative impacts more constructively and effectively. Strong families build stronger communities! [...]

Read What are Protective Factors?

Motherhood: Relationships Matter!

The addition of a new baby can make creating or maintaining outside relationships a struggle whether that be with family, friends, or a partner. If your baby is born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), they may experience prolonged periods of fussiness which may lead to greater stress on you and your relationships. Don’t worry, there are a few tips that can help you navigate this time! [...]

Read Motherhood: Relationships Matter!

Financial Considerations

Written by: Rebecca Campbell, MA Understanding finances when raising a baby can be difficult, but with a good plan of action and resources to assist you, it is not impossible. When you have a new baby you will have additional financial obligations to consider such as diapers, wipes, formula, medical appointment/medication costs, clothes, childcare, and [...]

Read Financial Considerations

Returning to Education After Baby

Written by: Rebecca Campbell, MA Have you ever wanted to further your education, but you were concerned about barriers you may face especially now that you have a new baby? The good news is there are options available to tailor your education directly to your needs and schedule. You can participate in online learning, find [...]

Read Returning to Education After Baby

Getting a Job: Rights as a MAT user and employment and childcare resources

Written by: Rebecca Campbell, MA Disclaimer: Resources referenced within this blog are based on resources available prior to Covid-19. Resources may not currently be available to all individuals, but local DHHRs can provide updated information on resources as well as availability and requirements once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.  Hi moms! Now that you have had [...]

Read Getting a Job: Rights as a MAT user and employment and childcare resources

The Stigma of Maternal Substance Use

Mothers with substance use disorder (SUD) or a history of SUD face heavy stigmatization (Betsy Hardy, BSN, 2017). Stigma is a known barrier to treatment seeking. [...]

Read The Stigma of Maternal Substance Use

Bonding with Baby

Bonding is the term often used to describe the intense attachment between a parent and child. We are going to examine some thoughts and feelings you may experience when your baby is born, when you are in the hospital and lastly, when you go home. [...]

Read Bonding with Baby

What to expect next with a Home Visiting Program

Caring for a new baby with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) can be very stressful and overwhelming. Don’t worry Mama, home visiting programs are here to help you! Read more to learn about different home visiting programs. [...]

Read What to expect next with a Home Visiting Program

Why Mothers Should Really Consider Breastfeeding

New moms have all kinds of worries and fears. Mom’s who are in treatment for substance abuse worry about LOTS of additional things. Although most people don’t realize it, mothers whose infants go through withdrawal feel a tremendous amount of guilt, shame and so much fear for their babies. Breastfeeding can be a bridge to help mothers feel like they are helping their babies – even making their babies feel better during a truly stressful time. In truth, YOU are the medicine that your baby needs! [...]

Read Why Mothers Should Really Consider Breastfeeding

Signs of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)

Many babies exposed to certain substances in the womb (especially opioids) will show some signs of withdrawal after birth since they are no longer exposed to those substances once their umbilical cord is cut and their bodies process those substances out of their system. [...]

Read Signs of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)

Here comes baby!

Congratulations mama, you have made it through your pregnancy, successfully grown your baby and are about to give them life! He or she will soon be in the world and, holy cow, there’s a lot to learn. Don’t worry, there are so many resources out there to help guide you on this new journey of motherhood so that you and your baby can grow and thrive together. [...]

Read Here comes baby!

IMPACT WV Launches Facebook Page

We’ve launched a Facebook page! As you may know, IMPACT is a two-generational way of thinking that creates opportunities for children AND their parents or other caregivers TOGETHER. With that in mind, we wanted to create a space where we could share resources or useful information directly with parents and caregivers, service providers, and the general public. Knowledge is key, and we want you to continue growing and learning alongside us.

Please visit the new Facebook page and be sure to “Like” and “Share” our page to help us grow our online community!

New Module- Social Services

A new online learning module is now available for you to take! Introducing Social Services- Individuals who have been diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders can experience difficulties accessing needed resources due to stigma, among other barriers. These modules were developed to provide resources available to individuals within the state of West Virginia as well as for providers to assist them in ensuring the individuals they serve receive the assistance needed. 

In this module, you can expect to:

  • Identify statewide resources available within the areas of Food Insecurity, Housing, Transportation, Utilities, and Interpersonal Violence
  • Review background for the resources available
  • Identify statistics regarding the need for assistance within the state
  • Review for providers how to identify assistance needs as well as identifying how to provide linkage and referral services

New Blog Post: Why Mothers Should Really Consider Breastfeeding

October 12, 2020

Read IMPACT WV’s latest blog post on “Why Mothers Should Really Consider Breastfeeding,” written by Molly Scarborough McMillion who has been a registered nurse for 30 years, Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator for 19 years and worked in the Greenbrier Valley for the past 18 years working with moms and babies. https://wvimpact.org/blog/why-mothers-should-really-consider-breastfeeding/

IMPACT Launches New Blog Series for Moms

August 20, 2020

The IMPACT WV project has launched a new blog series for moms who have had, or will be having, a baby exposed to substances during pregnancy. The new series will share posts twice monthly about a variety of topics to help provide education that builds family supports for children to grow up healthy, strong and ready to learn.

Read the first blog post “Here Comes Baby!” Check back often to read and share upcoming blog posts.

Future Topics:

  • Treatment of baby with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
  • Signs and symptoms of NAS
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and breastfeeding
  • Bonding with baby
  • What to expect next with the Home Visiting Program
  • Getting a job: Rights as a MAT user and employment and childcare resources
  • Financial considerations when providing for a baby
  • Educational considerations when providing for a baby
  • Healthy relationships for moms
  • Family strengthening
  • Grief surrounding substance use
  • Self-Care for mom and baby

IMPACT Presents to Pediatric Grand Rounds

June 24, 2020

The IMPACT WV team presented to 94 faculty and staff in the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Pediatric Grand Rounds. The presentation titled “New and Developing Resources for Care of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Patient (Powerpoint)” provided information on short and long-term care of infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and the intersection of medical and home visiting services for families impacted by NAS.

Attendees learned information about the IMPACT WV program and explored the educational modules in development as well as resources for families and providers.

Presenters:

Autumn Kiefer, MD
Cody Smith, MD
Lesley Cottrell, PhD
Patricia Moran, MD
Charlotte Workman, BS, CCRP

New program to help families dealing with substance abuse

The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities is collaborating with Burlington United Methodist Family Services, WV Home Visitation Providers and Wheeling Hospital to create a new program called WV IMPACT.

The program aims to address the needs of children who are exposed to substances while the mother is pregnant.

“How we’re going to do that is with a multi-generational approach, which is treating the entire family,” Tracie Murphy, a supervisor for the family services in Grafton said.

Read the full article on WDTV

WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities develops collaborative to address neonatal abstinence syndrome service challenges

MORGANTOWN, W. Va.— Over the next five years, a West Virginia University partnership with three divisions of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will target the prevalence of neonatal abstinence syndrome and the effect it has on children’s developmental outcomes.

“This initiative is designed to coordinate individual agency efforts into a common and stronger network that will continue to serve the state, serve groups of children and their families who lack access to services, and efficiently provide resources without duplicating effort or costs,” said Dr. Lesley Cottrell, WVU CED Director.

The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities will partner with the West Virginia Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, Project W.A.T.C.H. and the West Virginia Home Visitation Program. This collaborative has developed the Appalachian Rural Health Integration Model, which will work to continue strengthening the existing infrastructure for children with special needs and their families.

The project, funded by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau, will expand the home visitation infrastructure in six northern West Virginia counties that have some of the greatest incidence rates of NAS among infants.

“Home visiting programs in WV are serving more families impacted by substance use and demonstrating higher needs than ever,” said Jackie Newson, Director of the West Virginia Home Visitation Program. “The opportunity to better meet the needs of families through expanded services and stronger resource efforts for families will have significant long-term impact on our State. We look forward to the partnership with WVUCED and Project WATCH.”

Expanded programming will address parental depression, service coordination with substance use providers within the region, social service patient navigation, and the availability of education, employment, and development specialists.

-WVU-

md/09/10/18

CONTACT: Melina Danko
Communications Officer
WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities
304.293.4265; mdanko@hsc.wvu.edu

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.