The Mission's Pregnancy Support Center
- Need: To help opioid-dependent or recovering pregnant women in rural Tennessee.
- Intervention: At The Mission's Pregnancy Support Center, women and their partners can earn points to spend on needed items like bottles, diapers, and maternity clothes.
- Results: Since the Pregnancy Support Center opened, The Mission has had an increase in attendance at its weekly support group meetings.
According to Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, rural Hancock County, Tennessee, had a drug overdose mortality rate of 52.4 deaths per 100,000 people from 2013 to 2017. In comparison, the state rate was 32.2 and the national rate was 25.1. In addition, the county had a neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) rate of 142.86 per 1,000 hospital births.
The Mission is a faith-based organization in Sneedville serving those in recovery, pregnant women, and their families.
The Mission received some funding from Hancock County Hospital, which received a grant from the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program and divided it among different community organizations. This money paid for a youth rally and information technology assistance and equipment, including:
- Projector and other equipment to host meetings
- Computer, scanner, and printer for the Pregnancy Support Center
Case management for pregnancy/parenting support and substance use will be available to the prenatal group served by the agency. The case manager will act as a liaison for participants and connect them to available services while also providing stable support for this population. One-on-one parenting classes are available to expecting parents as well as parents with children (no age restriction), and program coordinators hope to add small-group classes in the future.
Job training and life skills classes will be offered, along with education about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and NAS. NAS education is currently provided once per quarter by the Hancock County Health Department as a resource that has so far partnered primarily with the county probation office for client referral.
Expecting moms and their partners can earn points at the Pregnancy Support Center by attending parenting skills, budgeting, and the classes mentioned above; completing adult education classes; and attending OB-GYN appointments, among other activities. They can cash in their points to receive items like diapers, bottles, and maternity clothes.
Since the Pregnancy Support Center opened, The Mission has had an increase in attendance at its weekly support group meetings, open to people using drugs, those in recovery, family members, and community volunteers.
Over 200 people attended the youth rally, where a recovering heroin user was the guest speaker.
Currently, the Pregnancy Support Center is only open a couple days a week, but new funding from Ballad Health's Population Health department will allow the center to be staffed and open every day.
Transportation is a barrier for The Mission and the Pregnancy Support Center. Many appointments are missed and opportunities never taken because of the lack of transportation.
Each grant is different in terms of requirements. Project coordinators said that they've received grants before in which the funder did not have specific requirements or parameters for using the money, but the Flex Program, which is a federal grant, has specific guidelines to follow.
Bring your stakeholders to the table and discuss what you can realistically accomplish, keeping in mind barriers like funding restrictions or lack of specific community services. Create 5-year and 10-year goals to remind everyone what you ultimately want to achieve.
Look at what neighboring communities and counties are doing. If they have successful initiatives, learn from their work and ask them to help you plan your project.
Know the population you want to serve and what they want and need.
Contact InformationShaina Greene, Pregnancy Support Center Director
Community and faith-based initiatives
Prenatal care and obstetrics
October 14, 2019
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.