Grant Application

Mandy Fauble, PhD, LCSW, Safe Harbor Behavior Health of UPMC Hamot

Proposed Innovation

At UPMC Hamot, many newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) suffer from exposure to opiates and other substances. As the number of pregnant women struggling with opioid abuse continues to rise, so does the need to provide services devoted to her healthy pregnancy, safe delivery of her baby, and a recovery plan that supports both.

This project seeks to reverse the growing impact of opioid abuse by implementing a Pregnancy Recovery Center (PRC) in the Erie area modeled after a program initiated by Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. The goal of this program includes use mobile case managers (MCMs) to provide outreach to pregnant women and new moms during and after pregnancy.

Improvements in Action

The PRC model brings all the important pieces of care together while adding mobile case managers who can extend care into the community, helping more pregnant women get treatment as early as possible and continuing after delivery beyond the stressful postpartum period.

Through this project, PRC will work with Safe Harbor’s “Warm Handoff” program to provide prompt counseling to pregnant overdose patients in the emergency department and follow-up to ensure continuation of prenatal care education and support. Outreach will include referrals to obstetricians and gynecologists, women’s care services, and social service and county agencies. In addition, MCMs will continue working with new moms to connect them with parenting support — including transportation assistance to needed services — and education, plus substance use disorder care. A rewards program will be used to encourage mothers to stay in treatment and recovery by providing diapers and personal care items to those who reach specified milestones.


Establishing a program using MCMs to provide outreach to pregnant women and new moms will remove barriers and provide the needed comprehensive care and support that is currently lacking in the Erie area. It is expected to improve compliance with prenatal care and substance use disorder care, resulting in healthier moms and babies.