Cape Cod Healthcare Recognized for Care of Opiate-Exposed Infants

Heroin Babies

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Staff and administration at Cape Cod Healthcare recognized for their work in treating opiate exposed infants

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Healthcare was recognized Monday as a “center of excellence” when it comes to treating opiate-exposed infants.

The recognition was given by the Vermont Oxford Network to health centers which successfully train at least 85 percent of their designated care teams and complete 17 extensive learning lessons.

According to Cape Cod Healthcare’s CEO Michael Lauf, the organization’s involvement with the program couldn’t have come at a more urgent time.

At one point a few years ago, Lauf said Cape Cod hospital had one month when 50 percent of births came from mothers who had taken opiates during pregnancy.

These infants are not technically addicted to opiates at birth, since addiction implies certain behaviors such as drug-seeking.

They’re exposed, and have developed physical dependencies, but are not “addicted,” according to chief of pediatrics at Dr. Sharon Daley.

She said that it’s a nation-wide issue, not just a Cape-wide one.

In the last year, CCH was joined by over 100 other health centers who took part in the initiative.

“Successfully completing this program changed the way we treated these babies, doing it more effectively now,” Daley said.

Daley stressed it is important to emphasize acceptance in treatment. Mothers, she said, should be the subject of care, and not judgement, in order for the family to recover.

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