DENVER, COLORADO (January 31, 2019) — Over eighty clinicians from NICUs and Mom and Baby Units and partners from around the state gathered at the Colorado Hospital Substance Exposed Newborns (CHoSEN) Collaborative Winter Forum in Denver on Thursday to share best practices around caring for women and newborns impacted by substance use, especially opioids. The CHoSEN Collaborative is supported by the COPIC Foundation and the Colorado Office of the Attorney General and includes sixteen Colorado birthing hospitals already committed to a set of practice changes as part of a statewide quality improvement initiative. The project is a partnership between the Section of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine; the Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative (CPCQC); Illuminate Colorado; and the Colorado Substance Exposed Newborns (SEN) Steering Committee.

“We have the opportunity as providers not only to improve our practice while engaging families in the care team but also to improve measurable outcomes for newborns and families impacted by substance use during pregnancy,” said Dr. Susan Hwang, the physician champion of the CHoSEN Collaborative and neonatologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and University Hospital. Hwang went on to share preliminary results of the CHoSEN Collaborative’s aggregate data demonstrating a drastic decrease in length of hospital stays for opioid-exposed newborns and an increase in prenatal counseling and service referrals for families. “This is just the beginning of how we can improve the experience of opioid-exposed newborns and their families in our state,” said Hwang.

“We know from experience that collaborative action is most effective in achieving healthier outcomes for moms and babies,” shared Jaime Cabrera, executive director of the Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative (CPCQC). CPCQC is a statewide nonprofit network of hospitals, healthcare facilities, clinicians and public health professionals that improves the health of women and infants through continuous quality improvement.

The day concluded with a look ahead to the policy changes needed to ensure families impacted by opioids during pregnancy get the support they need. “This legislative session we have the chance to expand services to pregnant and postpartum women impacted by substance use in order to keep Colorado families happy and healthy,” said Jade Woodard, executive director of Illuminate Colorado and co-chair of the Colorado SEN Steering Committee. Illuminate Colorado is a statewide organization dedicated to building brighter childhoods through education, advocacy, and family support. “It will take all of us—clinicians, advocates, and most importantly families—to ensure our policies and practices are building systems to strengthen families.”

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Media Contacts:

Katie Facchinello, Director of Communications

Illuminate Colorado

c: 303-246-2062

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