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Mother and Child Dependency Program

MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program

Holistically caring for mothers with drug addiction and their newborns

Each year, MetroHealth’s obstetrics clinics see a growing number of pregnant mothers who are abusing prescription pain medications, and the effects on them and their babies are devastating.

MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program offers pregnant women and their infants a welcoming environment to deal with the medical and emotional problems caused by addictions to drugs such as prescription opiates or heroin. Whether their addictions are yet untreated or they are receiving Methadone or Subutex through a community drug treatment program, our program optimizes services and care of opiate-dependent pregnant mothers and their babies through expert medical care in a nonjudgmental atmosphere and collaboration and coordination with community agencies. 

The goal of MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program is to improve the outcomes of these high-risk mothers and their babies.  MetroHealth wants to see every mom and baby living healthy and to their full potential. 

Services Offered

  • Obstetric Evaluation and Care
  • Psychiatric Evaluation and Care
  • Social Work Services
  • Prenatal Consultation with a Newborn Specialist
  • Pediatric Health Care
  • Education and Family Planning
  • Care Coordination
  • Obstetric Evaluation and Care
    MetroHealth’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, comprised of nationally renowned experts in high-risk pregnancies, is one of the most respected programs in the country.  Women receive obstetric evaluations and examinations by high-risk pregnancy experts who specialize in the care of substance abuse and drug addiction in pregnant women. MetroHealth offers a labor and delivery unit with highly trained staff as well as a Level III (the highest level possible) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for newborns who may require intensive medical treatment after birth. 

    We understand that not every opiate-affected pregnant woman lives close enough to MetroHealth to deliver here.  Thus, we also provide consult services for those patients who live far away.  We can work with your local Obstetrician or Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor to provide you with optimal care.

    We also work closely with various community agencies and recovery treatment centers so that all pregnant women in our program get the best possible care.

    The Mother and Child Dependency Program encourages collaboration in patient care, education and support, which are all very important for our patients.

    Psychiatric Evaluation and Care
    From our experience, a significant number of pregnant women with drug dependency have unmet mental health needs such as anxiety and depression. Our team has a great deal of experience helping these moms. When drug-addicted pregnant women come for the obstetric appointment, they are also offered a psychiatric assessment. This assessment is offered in the obstetric clinic when the patient comes for her OB appointments.

    Prenatal Consultation with a Newborn Specialist
    We offer all moms with high-risk pregnancies, including drug dependent mothers, the opportunity to meet with a newborn specialist to discuss what to expect when their baby is born.  This helps the pregnant mom to be  better prepared.  

    Pediatric Health Care
    The goal of MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program is to improve the outcomes of high-risk mothers and their babies.  By careful medical management of drug dependent pregnant moms, we can reduce the need for Neonatal Intensive Care for their infants.  We want to encourage an environment where the mom and baby are together to bond after delivery.  Comprehensive pediatric care and immunizations are provided to our patients' babies. All children in the program receive regular developmental testing during their first three years, including frequent developmental screenings. The program’s Care Coordinator and a Case Manager provide comprehensive case management and follow-up for each mother-infant pair.

    Education and Family Planning
    The Mother and Child Dependency Program provides extensive pregnancy and childbirth education classes for women and their families. The program also provides education and contraception to patients who wish to delay future pregnancies.

    Care Coordination
    MetroHealth's Mother and Child Dependency Program recently received a March of Dimes grant to provide a Care Coordinator for drug-dependent pregnant women.  The Care Coordinator works closely with the health care team to facilitate a patient-centered medical home for mothers and babies at MetroHealth.  The Care Coordinator meets the mothers during their initial visit for prenatal care and helps them coordinate additional appointments, reminds them of upcoming appointments, sets up patient education classes and coordinates discharge planning for the moms after their deliver their baby as well as schedules follow up appointments.  The Care Coordinator strengthens patient compliance by building trust and support.

    Other Services
    Each pregnancy is different and may require additional health care services to optimize care. Our Mother and Child Dependency Program experts will assess needs of each patient and arrange needed services accordingly such as a liver specialist, nutritional specialist, infectious disease specialist, occupational and physical therapists.

    Our Staff

    Jennifer Bailit, MD, MPH, Obstetrician, Maternal-Fetal Medicine

    Peter Turkson, DO, Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine

    Deepak Kumar, MD, Neonatologist, Newborn Intensive Care Unit

    Namita Swarup, MD, Pediatrician, Normal Newborn Nursery

    Robert Needlman, MD, Behavioral Pediatrics

    Philip Fragassi, MD, Pediatrician

    Victoria Mulhall, RN, Nurse Coordinator, Obstetrics

    Sandra Esber, CNP, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

    Sandra Hoch, RN, Childbirth Educator

    Janice Steinmetz, Teresa Gay Baker and Diane Kahl, Social Work

    Julie Miller, BA, Care Coordinator

    Contact Information

    To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, please call


    To learn more about this program,
    or to schedule a consultation
    please call

    To download a fact sheet about our Mother and Child Dependency Program click here.  


    "State Funding Helps Addicted Pregnant Women"

    "MetroHealth Expands Help for Opiate-Dependent Women, Babies"

    "Dr. Deepak Kumar Speaks About Herioin-Addicted Babies"

    © Copyright 2002 - The MetroHealth System|2500 MetroHealth Drive|Cleveland, OH 44109|(216) 778-7800|All Rights Reserved.
    • © Copyright 2002 - The MetroHealth System
    • 2500 MetroHealth Drive|Cleveland, OH 44109|(216) 778-7800
    • All Rights Reserved.