A 600-thousand-dollar state grant is coming to Magee-Womens UPMC Hamot to expand their opioid recovery program for pregnant women, babies and parents. 
Medical Director Halina Zyczynski said the problem is great among their patients in the Erie area, yet very few women are in recovery programs. "Do you know when writing this grant we looked at our own statistics," Zyczynski said, "in the preceding year in 2021 - there were over 300 case reports to CYS (Children and Youth Services)...on substance use - in babies urine, in maternal urine screen tests, in blood tests, in umbilical cord samples, so 300 discreet dyads, which is the mother and the infant, with evidence of opioid use or substance use and yet less than a dozen were in active recovery programs."
To close the gap between addiction evidence and treatment, Magee-Womens UPMC Hamot applied in August for a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
The hospital learned in October that it would be awarded a grant and the funds have now come through.  If the program is productive, the state will renew the funding for five years - meaning a commitment of 3-million-dollars for women's recovery in Erie.
The funding will help people turn their lives around from fentanyl, opioid, heroin or cocaine use by providing 24-7 wrap around services from doctors with addiction expertise, to nurse and peer navigators and social workers to even transportation and child care.
That will expand on the recovery work Magee-Womens UPMC has already offered for five years. "Women have turned their lives around, they've gotten jobs, they've gone back to school, they've improved their annual incomes magnitudes by graduating or getting a skill and that's what the wrap around services are all about,"  Dr. Zyczynski said.
The hospital is hiring now to staff the expanded program.