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The Mountaineer Visits WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities for a Special Storytime

On July 19th  IMPACT WV, in partnership with funding provided by Save the Children Summer Reading Challenge, hosted a special reading of the children’s book “Musket’s Big Adventure” by the West Virginia University Mountaineer Mascot herself, Mary Roush. Along with a coloring activity and a Q&A with the Mountaineer, children and families in attendance heard the story of Musket, the Mountaineer’s little furry friend, who teams up with other critters in the book to overcome obstacles with the Mountaineer Mascot.

The read aloud was presented in conjunction with Impact WV’s Summer Reading Challenge, a weekly program that offers incentives for families to engage in positive reading experiences throughout the summer. The Summer Reading program supports the core mission of the Impact WV program to provide best practices and strategies that build family supports so children grow up healthy, strong and ready to learn.

A program of the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities, Impact WV creates opportunities to address needs of children diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or exposed to substances in utero by coordinating programs and services that engage the whole family in a two-generational approach that addresses barriers to care that impact children’s health and future development. To learn more about the Impact program and upcoming events like this one, visit https://wvimpact.org/about/ or like “Impact WV” on Facebook.

LIfe Skills Education Sessions

 When: Every third Wednesday of each month from June through November 2:00-3:00pm

 Self-Care June 15

 Let’s look at establishing healthy habits to help manage stress and cope with change and look at ways to help prevent boredom and ideas for things to do to enjoy your time that you make for yourself.

 Budgeting July 20

 Work on making your own spending plan as well as recognizing expenses and income in order to better plan for future purchases. Look at ways to save money when it comes to every day spending.

 Dealing with Conflict August 17

 Stress is something we all must deal with, but not all respond to as well as others. Let’s talk about how to practice conflict resolution in situations with friends, family or employees at work. We will also discuss the importance of communication.

 Cooking Within Limits September 21

 How often do you find yourself stuck fixing the same meals repeatedly? This evening we will look at new ways to fix healthy meals without breaking the bank. A short demo will be shown.

 Parenting Tips and Tricks October 19

 It is so hard to know if you are spending enough “quality” time with your child when you have to divide your time in so many direction. Join us to look at some low-effort ideas to make a big impact that your little ones will be sure to remember!

 Soft Skills for Hard Workers November 16

 Are you interested in applying for a new occupation, but are not sure what to put on your résumé? Join us to learn why you should focus on your soft skills and how to amplify those in an interview.

 Hour-long sessions every month that include a topic of interest to be covered as well as a laid-back environment to ask questions and discuss. Join others in similar situations that you may be able to relate to and connect with both during and outside of the sessions. For more information, or to register for sessions, use the information provided below.

Register for a Life Skills Education Session

Summer Reading Challenge #IMPACTREADS!

Registration for the Summer Reading Challenge is now closed.

IMPACT WV is excited to announce a Summer Reading Challenge in partnership with Save the Children that offers incentives for families to engage in positive reading experiences throughout the summer.

The dates of the challenge will run from June 1 to Sept 8, 2022.

Registration will be open to the 100 participants and on a first come first serve basis. The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities staff, IMPACT WV Patient Navigators, WV Home Visitors, Reach Out and Read (ROR) Staff and Public Libraries are encouraged to share the information with the families they currently work with to provide social service support.

In order to receive the incentive at the end of the program, reading logs must be submitted monthly to Sue Workman, Program Manager for IMPACT WV, by the WVU CED staff, IMPACT Patient Navigators, Home Visitors, or received directly from the families via mail to 959 Hartman Run Road, Morgantown, WV 26505 or emailed to charlotte.workman@hsc.wvu.edu.

Participants will be given the choice of one of the following items: 

Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Blue Swing with Adjustable Strap. Perfect for Baby and Toddler Swing-Set for boys and girls 9 months to 4 years of Age

K’nex Beginner 40 Model Building Set – 141 Parts for boys and girls ages 5 & Up

JOYIN 3.5 inch Giant Wood Yard Dice Game Set with 6 Wooden Dice, 2 Sided Score Sheets, Dry Erase Marker and a Durable Storage Bag for kids and adults.

Registration is now closed.

Families can read any books they’d like. Below are suggested ways to access free books:

1. Local libraries located by visiting the WV Library Commission page https://librarycommission.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

2. Little Free Libraries located on the map in their local area https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

3. Request a loan from the WVUCED Disability Resource Library. The West Virginia Disability Resource Libraries (DRL) are free of charge for the general public and provide online request access and mail-out service. All materials are designed to support parents, families, educators, and the general public on information related to disabilities. Resources include fiction and non-fiction books for children, youth and adults as well as DVDs, teaching curricula, demonstration kits, and adapted toys. New patrons simply create an account on the website and create a cart of the items they would like to borrow. After signing the electronic loan agreement, requested items are mailed or made ready for pick up at one of the library locations (Morgantown or Big Chimney). 

4. WVU Department of Pediatrics Reach out and Read (ROR) Program to promote pediatric literacy and encourage registration in the STC Summer Reading Program.   Doctors and nurses encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement, provide a developmentally appropriate book and offer literacy rich waiting room environments. https://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/pediatrics/reach-out-and-read-ror/

The Summer Reading Challenge is offered with financial support from Save the Children.

Virtual Employment Expo Presented by IMPACT WV

Employment Expo Flier

Who: Participants and family members of IMPACT WV Participants 

When: April 7th, 2022 from 4pm-6pm 

Where: Virtual platform via Zoom Link provided upon registration 

If unable to join from home, Physical locations will also be available to attend the streamed event in some locations. For more information go to the link provided. 

Keynote Speaker Bre McUlty – Co-Producer of OVERDOSED a 2021 Documentary 

Covering the Topics of: 

-What do you want in Employment 

-Where to look for Employment 

-Resumes and Cover Letters 

-Workplace Professionalism 

-Overcoming Stigmas 

-Education Options 

-Interview Skills 

Those that attend will be entered to win a Free Door Prize

Other resources will be available as well

Register by going to the following link: https://cedwvu.wufoo.com/forms/r57tvch1hmhfdt/ Or by emailing klemley@hsc.wvu.edu or by calling Kayla Richard at (304)293-4692.

#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/

This Story Starts in Ireland

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Read This Story Starts in Ireland

Hello, My Name is Brian

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Read Hello, My Name is Brian

Opioid victim channels her grief into a documentary film focusing on the drug epidemic in West Virginia

Mary Sue Connolly; Director of Overdosed, a documentary about the US opioid epidemic. More importantly, I am also a family member of someone who was lost to addiction. I lost my 21 year old nephew, Paul, to an overdose on November 24th 2016 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Since the devastating loss of Paul I have been on a journey to find answers about how this epidemic unfolded and snowballed into the largest public health crisis the country has seen. [...]

Read Opioid victim channels her grief into a documentary film focusing on the drug epidemic in West Virginia

10 Tips to Get You Through the Holidays on Your Journey to Recovery [BLOG]

For many, the holidays are looked forward to as the most wonderful time of the year. However, for many it is also a time that is loaded with expectations that can sometimes be overwhelming. [...]

Read 10 Tips to Get You Through the Holidays on Your Journey to Recovery [BLOG]

How to navigate an interview after recovery [BLOG]

many more exciting things. If you have found that one of these things is to start a new career, congratulations! While this is more than likely something that is very exciting, we know that it is also a bit scary to go into something unknown. [...]

Read How to navigate an interview after recovery [BLOG]

Sizing up the milestones [BLOG]

 Before you even leave the hospital after giving birth to your newborn, they are already being weighed and measured against a list of norms and expectations. While this will be something that will continue for many years to come, it is very important in the first few years. [...]

Read Sizing up the milestones [BLOG]

Missed [BLOG]

I never missed a shot of meth...but the truth is I did miss all the time. I missed birthday, holidays, family dinners. [...]

Read Missed [BLOG]

Postpartum depression: You are not alone [BLOG]

Since the beginning of time, women have been giving birth and then having to heal from the event during the postpartum period that follows. However, it was not until the late 1980’s that awareness began to surface on the prevalence of postpartum depression and the struggles that many women go through during recovery.  [...]

Read Postpartum depression: You are not alone [BLOG]

Pampering Your Newborn [BLOG]

While new parents are often encouraged to engage in skin-to-skin or kangaroo care with their newborns, many are not shown the techniques they can use to further the bonding and lessen the stress of their new bundle of joy through infant massage. [...]

Read Pampering Your Newborn [BLOG]

Substance Use and Disabilities, How Are They Related?  [BLOG]

How are substance use and disabilities related? This is a common question for so many. Yet the link between substance use and disabilities is not talked about often in society. The truth is that the link between the two is very common.  However, treatment rates are very low. We know a few things but rarely connect the two.  [...]

Read Substance Use and Disabilities, How Are They Related?  [BLOG]

Someone to listen [BLOG]

People sometimes just need someone to listen to them. Someone to share some misery and take some of the load for them. [...]

Read Someone to listen [BLOG]

5 Simple Parenting Skills to Enhance Your Relationship with Your Young Child [BLOG]

As a parent, you may be bombarded with advice on the best parenting practices. You want to know how to interact positively with your child, but all of the tips and suggestions can be confusing and overwhelming. In this post, we want to share with you five easy skills that you can use throughout the day to make your interactions with your children easy and enjoyable. These five skills are often referred to as PRIDE skills, as they spell out the acronym “PRIDE.." [...]

Read 5 Simple Parenting Skills to Enhance Your Relationship with Your Young Child [BLOG]

Building Attachment [BLOG]

We have all heard how critical it is for a mother to attach to her newborn in those first few hours of life and then for the first three years of the baby’s life. Attachment is so much more. Attachment begins from the moment an individual emotionally acknowledges their pregnant and those outward emotions turn inward. Prenatal attachment is linked to positive postnatal development of the child.  [...]

Read Building Attachment [BLOG]

Getting Connected for Family Health Care [BLOG]

Raising a family isn’t easy, so take a minute and give yourself some well-deserved credit for all of the hard work you do, day in and day out, to keep your family safe, happy and healthy! Studies have shown that women typically make the majority of healthcare decisions for their families, but you don’t need to do it alone.  There are so many resources available that can help ease some of your stress. [...]

Read Getting Connected for Family Health Care [BLOG]

Words Matter

I often see and/or hear professionals use the terminology “infant born addicted” or “the infant is addicted to substances.” I believe it’s important to use the correct verbiage if we want to see change and end stigmas. [...]

Read Words Matter

Child Welfare and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many complicated challenges, especially for parents, and mothers with substance use disorder have dealt with even greater challenges. One study found in a sample of 508 mothers that 39.2% of them had increased their substance use. [...]

Read Child Welfare and COVID-19

A Mother with Substance Use Disorder is Still a Mother

Motherhood is a time in many women’s lives in which they look forward to. Tiny booties, darling onesies, and numerous congratulations are typically in order. However, mothers who use substances are often deprived of this joy because of the stigma they encounter. Fear of custody battles, harsh judgment, and ridicule – that is what these mothers face, even when in recovery for their disease. Mothers who have a substance use disorder are deemed instantly unfit, but the truth of the matter is these moms care and want the best for their children like many other mothers. The moms care to the point they are willing to battle the monster of addiction, which is not a small feat.   [...]

Read A Mother with Substance Use Disorder is Still a Mother

Adverse Babyhood Experiences: A Focus for Prevention

Recently, adverse babyhood experiences (ABEs) have expanded on what is known about childhood adversity. ABEs are ten categories of negative events that happen to a mother before she conceives a child and the negative events that occur during pregnancy, labor, and up to the child’s third birthday. [...]

Read Adverse Babyhood Experiences: A Focus for Prevention

Shaping Health Through Childhood Experiences

What happens during one’s childhood has a tremendous impact on the way their body and mind develop, with both adverse and positive childhood experiences playing their own roles. [...]

Read Shaping Health Through Childhood Experiences

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’s 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’s 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

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