Women's Health

Spectrum Health GREAT MOMS Program receives grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation

December 17, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., December 17, 2018– The Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Encompassing Addiction Treatment with Maternal Obstetric Management (GREAT MOMS) Program has received a $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

The program is part of Spectrum Health Maternal Fetal Medicine program.. The comprehensive program embeds addiction treatment in a prenatal care clinic, with the ability to coordinate with other specialties if needed depending on the unique medical needs of each patient. Postpartum support and treatment is also available through the program.

So far, more than 25 babies have been born to mothers who have gone through this program.

Cara Poland, MD, Spectrum Health Medical Group, oversees the GREAT MOMS program. She is one of the first board-certified addiction medicine specialists in the U.S. and is the Michigan chapter president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“If a woman is actively using opioids, her body is often going in and out of withdrawal, which places physical stress on her body and on her baby,” Poland said. “Through GREAT MOMS, women schedule a block of appointments where they can receive care from an addiction specialist, certified nurse midwife and others involved in their care. All the appropriate care they need is offered at the same time, in the same place. Longterm, babies born to moms taking medication to treat an opioid use disorder do well, typically without long-term complications.”

The grant will provide funding to treat more women with buprenorphine to help them reduce or quit use of heroin or other opioids. Poland said medication to treat addiction during pregnancy is preferable and produces better outcomes than quitting “cold turkey.” When left untreated, opioid use disorder during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, stillbirth, placental abruptions  and prematurity in infants. Babies born to moms taking opioids are at risk for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which includes symptoms such as body shakes, excessive crying, fever, diarrhea and breathing problems that are caused when the baby goes through withdrawal.

“Blue Cross is proud to invest in organizations and individuals across the state who are working on improving access to quality, affordable health care for Michiganders,” said Audrey Harvey, MD, executive director and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

Grant funding will ensure more women throughout Michigan can access the type of comprehensive treatment available through GREAT MOMS, which is working to develop a toolkit with key recommendations, resources, checklists and more for general obstetrics practices. The toolkit will be a 2019 pilot program and available for public distribution in 2020. (if included – this sentence should be a quote)

If you are interested in the GREAT MOMS program as a patient or obstetrician wanting to participate as a pilot site, call Spectrum Health at 616.391.3681.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan received the J.D. Power Award for “Highest Member Satisfaction Among Commercial Health Plans in Michigan.” For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Sarina Gleason
Media Relations
Phone: 517.256.5618
Email: sarina.gleason@spectrumhealth.org