Charitable Foundation Launches $3 Million Effort To Support Moms, Babies Affected By Opioids

Oct 10, 2017

Annette Escalante of the state's Division of Health and Human Services speaking Tuesday in Concord.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

The message from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to expecting and new mothers struggling with addiction is simple: help is available, and more is coming.

The Foundation on Tuesday announced a new three-year $3 million grant program, courtesy of an anonymous donor, that will help fund both residential and outpatient programs in the state that support mothers and their babies affected by substance misuse.

“It is our hope that for moms who are struggling with their own substance misuse, that they don’t hide in the shadows, that they take that courageous step, because there are people like our donor and there are people like those in this room, that are waiting to help,” said Tym Rourke, who oversees substance use disorder grantmaking at the Foundation, during a press conference in Concord.  

The opioid epidemic has led to an increasing number of babies exposed in utero to drugs. The results for these newborns can be symptoms of withdrawal, lower birth weight, as well as other complications.

Facilities around the state are struggling to keep up with the demand for addiction services for new mothers, including Rochester’s Hope on Haven Hill. The facility has space for eight women--and eight babies--and keeps a long wait list. Through the Charitable Foundation’s new grant program, Haven Hill executive director Courtney Tanner says it will receive $50,000 to deepen its work.

“How can we support mom so that baby and mom can stay together, bond together, and recover together?” said Tanner.

The Foundation says it has already distributed $600,000 through its first round of grants, including awards to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Families in Transition, and the Cynthia Day Family Center.