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Pike County awards grant to The Wright Center for expansion of Healthy MOMS services for women with substance use disorder


The Wright Center for Community Health has received a nearly $60,000 grant to expand treatment and recovery services in Pike County for pregnant women and new mothers with substance use disorders.

The funding will support the Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support, more commonly known as the Healthy MOMS program, a multi-agency effort that The Wright Center co-founded five years ago to help combat the opioid crisis. The Healthy MOMS program was launched in Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties but has grown to serve women and their families throughout much of Northeast Pennsylvania.

The newly awarded grant will be used to assist Pike County Children and Youth Services’ clients who are referred to the program. The financial support was provided jointly by two federal agencies – the Administration for Children and Families and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – and made available through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and Pike County.

Maria Kolcharno headshot on a blue background

Maria Kolcharno

“We are very grateful to Pike County officials for this impactful financial support, which will allow us to help additional mothers and their families who live in that fast-growing part of our region,” said Maria Kolcharno, director of addiction services at The Wright Center for Community Health and a key leader of the Healthy MOMS program. “A case manager and certified recovery specialist will assist the women in connecting to appropriate treatment and wrap-around services so they can overcome barriers to care, focus on building lives in recovery, and successfully raise their children.”

“Pike County Children and Youth Services is excited for this opportunity to not only support mothers, infants, and their families to live healthier lives, but are forever grateful for this collaborative approach as we continue our community outreach,” said Michele Burrell, administrator, Pike County Children and Youth Services. “The Healthy MOMS program, while working in conjunction with the Pike County Children and Youth team, will be able to offer an extensive community approach.”

Established locally in late 2018, the Healthy MOMS program is modeled after a program of the same name in Ohio and aims to help pregnant women and new mothers achieve and maintain sobriety. To date, it has supported more than 450 mothers and 233 babies.

Participants are offered blanket services, including medication-assisted treatment and addiction services, primary health care, OB-GYN care, counseling, parenting tips, legal advice, and various other supports. Each mom ideally remains engaged in the program until her child turns 2 years old.

A collaborative venture from the start, the Healthy MOMS program relies on the substantial and sustained contributions of dozens of community partners, including Maternal and Family Health Services Inc., the Lackawanna/Susquehanna Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, area hospitals, Outreach, and many other social service, government and health-related agencies.

More information about the project and its partners is available at HealthyMOMS.org or 570-995-7821.

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