New Blog Post: The Stigma of Maternal Substance Use

The latest blog post written by Dr. Cody Smith, a neonatologist and pediatrician, shares how mom’s battle the stigma of Substance Use Disorder. The post shares a series of Q&A to help answer the common questions.

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.

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.


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.



CONTACT: Melina Danko
Communications Officer
WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.