LA GRANDE -- Grande Ronde Hospital (GRH) announces CHARM, a new program developed locally to help women deliver healthy babies. The acronym CHARM stands for Children and Recovering Mothers. It is a confidential, affordable health care program for pregnant women struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. Through the CHARM program, GRH and other community partners have formed the CHARM collaborative. The collaborative works together to offer early intervention and resources throughout pregnancy with the purpose of reducing the risk of pregnancy and post-partum complications and ensure a healthy newborn.
The CHARM program was “born” at GRH’s Family Birthing Center (FBC). Efforts from FBC Nurse Manager Jenny Gonzalez and her staff drew the local collaborative together. That group includes the GRH Women’s and Children’s Clinic, which provides prenatal care for mom and baby; and the Center for Human Development (CHD), which provides A&D Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers post-delivery support resources and programs such as WIC and Babies First.
Other local partners in the collaborative include Grande Ronde Recovery for alcohol and drug counseling, as well as drug replacement therapy as needed; the North East Oregon Network (NEON), the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO), and the Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Initiative, Inc. (GOBHI). The collaborative is working on additional resources that will be made available as the program develops. Those additional resources include access to safe housing, baby necessities, transportation, and registration assistance with other support services such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and health care services.
“We experience firsthand the heartbreak of newborns addicted to drug and alcohol as they suffer withdrawals and are discharged to a potentially unsafe home environment. We understand these mothers need help and we want to help them,” says Gonzalez.
The national CHARM program has a proven track record of success, so Gonzalez knew it would work in Union County. CHARM provides comprehensive and compassionate care and support, while recognizing the difficulty of addiction and substance abuse. It is not punitive.