HHS Secretary Becerra and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean Thank Redeemer Health During Visit | Redeemer Health
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HHS Secretary Becerra and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean Thank Redeemer Health During Visit


“I’m so proud of Holy Redeemer Hospital and the entire system, for what you do for the youngest babies, for our seniors, and for everybody in between,” said Congresswoman Madeleine Dean during a roundtable discussion about maternal health at Holy Redeemer Hospital. “When it comes to addressing health needs, the pandemic underscored the health disparities in our nation, with poor and minority populations in the greatest need. Yet, they are often ignored and left in the shadows. Not here at Holy Redeemer.”

Redeemer Health proudly hosted the discussion and a tour of the NICU with Rep. Dean and Xavier Becerra, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Ala Stanford, Regional Director of the Department of Health and Human Services also joined. Redeemer Health hosts included Holy Redeemer Hospital’s Chief Administrative Officer, Cass Egan; Chief Nursing Officer, Anne Catino; and Director of Maternal Child Health, Christina Marczak. Other guests included fellow grant awardees Martha Sharkey, founder of Today is a Good Day Foundation; and Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, Chief Medical Officer at MossRehab.

The goal of the visit was to talk with our hospital leaders about maternal health programs, specifically services for new mothers who are challenged with addiction.

“President Biden has instructed us to invest directly in maternal health,” said Secretary Becerra. The Redeemer Health programs serving moms struggling with addiction recently were awarded two grants to fund program expansion.

Critical services for pregnant mothers with substance use disorder (SUD) and their babies who are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) expanded thanks to the grants. One of the grants was awarded by United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the other came thanks to Rep. Dean’s support via congressionally directed funding. The number of babies born with NAS in the Philadelphia region has increased significantly in recent years, so this expansion is vital to the Redeemer Health mission.

The hospital’s SUD program works to improve outcomes for mothers with addiction since 2013. Historically, treatment has included psychosocial care and clinical support. With the grant funds, Redeemer Health added an initiative called Navigational Empathy for SUD and Treatment (NEST), providing additional access to behavioral health counseling services and support from patient navigators.

“The opioid epidemic in the Philadelphia region has put so many moms and babies at risk,” said Catino. “The funding gave us the capacity to support these patients with a trusted advocate who provides resources that strengthen their well-being. We now provide the services of a behavioral health counselor who offers in-person and telehealth services to these vulnerable patients.”

NEST navigators eliminate barriers to transportation, appointment scheduling, counseling and childcare. They connect patients with dietary consultants, parenting education and childbirth classes, early intervention services for non-insured families, recovery support activities, and translation support for patients whose language of choice is not English.

About 40 families affected by SUD and NAS are cared for at Redeemer Health every year, said Catino.

Photo - During a discussion with dignitaries about maternal health at Redeemer Health, clockwise from left: Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, Martha Sharkey, Dr. Ala Stanford, Sec. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Madeleine Dean, Cass Egan, Anne Catino, and Christina Marczak, MSN, RN.