Firefly Program Takes Pregnant Women, New Moms Fight Addiction

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – A new program called Firefly is working to help pregnant women and new moms manage their addiction without traveling across town.

“Having all of this under one roof is basically what I think will make this program successful,” said Reagan Burgenheim, Peer Recovery Specialist at Firefly.

In addition to peer recovery specialists, the new Firefly program includes social workers, an outpatient lactation consultant, obstetrics, pediatrics and psychiatry professionals, and a clinical program manager to help provide comprehensive services. that meet the needs of this patient population.

Burgenheim helps new patients navigate the program.

“One addict helping another is definitely unprecedented,” Burgenheim said.

Her role as a recovery coach is what sets the MOM program apart from Firefly’s maternal opioid abuse.

“It is a privilege to work with recovery coaches,” said Dr. Jessica Young, OBGYN and addiction medicine specialist. “They bring their expertise, their hearts, their passion to support recovery and it is essential to help people have a sense of community and to feel less alone.”

Overdose is one of the biggest threats to Tennessee mothers.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 62 women died in 2019 while pregnant or within a year of becoming pregnant. One third of the women struggled with drug addiction. The department reported that 81% of these deaths were preventable.

“We are seriously short of programs that target pregnant women with opioid use disorder and postpartum people with opioid use disorder,” said Dr. Young.

Firefly is part of the Vanderbilt Women’s Health Clinic in 100 Oaks.

“We hope that by creating safe spaces like this we can see this as a chronic illness rather than a moral failure,” said Dr Young.

The MOM program is for women in Middle Tennessee covered by TennCare. It is funded by a five-year, $ 5.3 million grant that the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services gave to Tennessee and eight other states.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you don’t have to do it alone. Access to recovery resources is available anytime by calling or texting the Tennessee Redline at 1-800-889-9789.

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