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Program also receives $233,000 grant to increase service in Luzerne County

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger’s Free2BMom program, designed to assist pregnant women and new mothers who are struggling with substance use, has expanded to serve Columbia County residents. 

The program also received a $233,000 grant from the AllOne Foundation to increase its capacity in Luzerne County.

Developed by Geisinger’s Steele Institute for Health Innovation, Free2BMom launched in 2019 in Luzerne County to serve pregnant women and new mothers with opioid use disorder. The program’s multidisciplinary team provides counseling, social support and medication-assisted treatment for women in recovery during pregnancy and for two years after childbirth. To date, the program has assisted 141 women in Luzerne, Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties.

“Our goal at Geisinger is to help mothers stay in recovery and ensure that their babies have a healthy start in life,” said Loreen Comstock, director of Geisinger’s Nurse-Family Partnership program. “Free2BMom empowers each mother and her baby to thrive physically, psychologically and socially.”

Opioid use was a factor in one in every 51 maternal hospital stays during 2016 and 2017, according to the 2019 PA Health Care Cost Containment Council’s Hospitalizations for Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) report. Between 2000 and 2001, that rate was one in 329. The report also found that 48 percent of maternal hospital stays where opioid use was present resulted in premature or early-term deliveries. 

In 2017, Geisinger cared for 232 delivering mothers who had been diagnosed with an opioid use disorder, and 142 babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Nearly a third of those mothers delivered at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Luzerne County. Since its inception, Free2BMom has enrolled 114 women in Luzerne County, and the grant from the AllOne Foundation will enable the program to serve an additional 50 women. While initially designed for women with opioid use disorder, the program is now open to women with any substance use disorder. 

“We’ve already seen tremendous success with the Free2BMom program in Luzerne County,” said Karen Murphy, Ph.D., Geisinger’s chief innovation officer and founding director of the Steele Institute for Health Innovation. “We are so grateful for this additional funding that will allow us to serve even more moms and their babies in our community.”

Geisinger works with an array of community organizations to assist Free2BMom participants with transportation, job training, legal services, nutrition and exercise and more. 

Free2BMom is open to all pregnant women or those who have recently given birth, regardless of ability to pay. Mothers and community agencies interested in participating may call 844-762-2864 or email free2bmom@geisinger.edu.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

For media inquiries:

Ashley Andyshak Hayes
Marketing Strategist
Marketing & Communications

570-271-8081
arandyshakhayes@geisinger.edu