Metro Health Department and Norton Healthcare partner to host Town Hall on impact of substance abuse among pregnant women

October 22, 2020

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and Norton Healthcare are sponsoring a Facebook Town Hall on the topic of substance abuse and its impact on pregnant women and their families Thursday, October 22 at 6 p.m.

With October being Substance Abuse Prevention month, the health department’s Healthy Start program and partners are highlighting efforts to educate people and bring awareness to the impact of opioid, alcohol and other drug abuse on early childhood development.

Town Hall panelists also will discuss the programs and resources that support mothers and fathers. The discussion will be facilitated by Ana’Neicia Williams, a Louisville licensed clinical social worker and mental health practitioner with the Mother/baby unit at Baptist Health Louisville.

Viewers of the town hall will be able to interact with panelists in real-time by asking questions, offering commentary and feedback during discussion.

Kentucky’s incidence rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) – a collection of symptoms newborns experience in withdrawing from drugs they were chronically exposed to in the womb –was one of the highest in the nation in 2018, with an average of 16.52 cases per 1,000 live births, according to the NAS Reporting Registry Annual Report.

Williams said education is key to turning that around. “Early identification of women who use substances before and during pregnancy is critical to providing appropriate health services and treatment referrals,” she said.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Lori Devlin, a Neonatologist and physician at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Director of the Neonatal Fellowship Program, will talk about quality improvement and educational endeavors in the area of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
  • Tamara Givens, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and mental health therapist at New Leaf Clinic, will share insights on mental health treatment through outpatient therapy.
  • Shreeta Waldon, a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Senior Program Manager of Volunteers of America’s Freedom House in Louisville, will address the cycle of addiction and share information on programs such as family counseling and drug and alcohol dependency education.
  • Bobbie Bledsoe, a Certified Peer Support Specialist at Seven Counties with their addiction services and will speak about comprehensive recovery programs with pregnant and parenting women.
  • Angela Adams, a Clinical Social Worker and Mental Health Counselor with Norton’s MOST Program will convey the dangers of substance abuse during pregnancy and bring awareness about specialized care resources.




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Information about Healthy Start, it’s programs, resources and events can be found at The Healthy Start Louisville program can be reached at 502-574-6661.