(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) today announced the award of $750,000 in federal funding to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to improve quality of care and reduce costs for pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance use and their infants. This funding is distributed from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) through its Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Model program. Across the country, substance use is now a leading cause of maternal death and poor maternal outcomes.
Senator Shaheen has strongly supported efforts to address maternal mortality and opioid use disorder (OUD) among pregnant women, cosponsoring the Help for Moms and Babies Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and allows pregnant women receiving OUD treatment at certain residential facilities to be eligible for Medicaid coverage for prenatal services, and the MOMMA’s Act, which would extend Medicaid coverage for low-income women for a full year following the birth of a child, rather than the current two-month postpartum coverage period.
“We need to ensure that mothers struggling with substance use have access to services that can protect the health and wellbeing of themselves and their children, and put them on the path to recovery,” said Senator Shaheen. “This federal grant will make a real, tangible difference in advancing these goals and will help save lives. Ensuring those on the frontlines of the substance use disorder epidemic have the resources they need to respond to this crisis will continue to be my top priority in the Senate.”
“This federal grant will help mothers battling substance use disorders build better lives for themselves and their children,” Senator Hassan said. “Talking with mothers recently at Moms in Recovery in Lebanon, I heard once again from them about the importance of increasing access to treatment. I will continue working to secure resources to combat the opioid crisis and turn the tide of this deadly epidemic.”
“Preventing and treating substance misuse in pregnant women and new mothers is vital to combating the opioid and addiction epidemic,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This funding will help new and expectant mothers in New Hampshire get back on their feet and live healthier lives, as well as improve the wellbeing of their infants and children. I will continue working to support those on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic and those who are struggling with addiction.”
“If we hope to put this addiction epidemic behind us, it is critical that we not only provide treatment for those in need, but also work to break the cycle of addiction,” said Congressman Pappas. “These federal dollars will go a long way in doing just that by providing better coordinated care for mothers and their infants at a time when they are most in need. There is nothing more important to me than the health and well-being of our communities, and I will continue to work alongside the delegation to ensure we receive federal support to bring this epidemic to an end.”
Senator Shaheen has spearheaded the fight against the substance use disorder epidemic in the Senate. In bipartisan funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2020, Shaheen secured a provision based on a key component in her Turn the Tide Act that provides flexibility for treatment providers to be able to use opioid response grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorder. Shaheen helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which the Senator helped broker, has been included by Congress over each of the past three fiscal years. As a result of her efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program.