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Mother and Child Dependency Program

MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program

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 heroin and prescription opiates. 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 care, collaboration and coordination in a nonjudgmental manner. 

The goal of MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program is to improve the outcomes of high-risk mothers and their babies.  We want to see healthier moms and their babies living to their full potential. 

Services Offered

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, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Sandra Hoch, RN, and Karen Tatter, RN, Childbirth Educators

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

Vanessa Caretto, Melissa Kozub and Jen Beauchesne, Occupational and Physical Therapy

Lisa DeJesus, BA, Care Coordinator

Contact Information

To learn more, or for a consult, please call 216-778-5498.


Contact Us:
To learn more about this program, or to receive a consultation please call 216-778-5498.

Local News:

WKYC-3: Tiniest Victims Story
Plain Dealer:  Opioid Addiction and Birth

© 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.