Taking Care of Substance Exposed Newborns at #MACoCon

Attendees of the 2018 MACo Summer Conference session “Handle with Care: Substance Exposed Newbornsreceived an update on recent changes in federal and state law concerning substance exposed newborns and learned about what some counties are doing to provide earlier intervention and better management of care for substance abusing mothers and their substance exposed newborns.

From left to right: Brandi Stocksdale, Tiffany Rexrode, and Jennifer Thomas, Bethany Fisher
From left to right: Brandi Stocksdale, Tiffany Rexrode, Jennifer Thomas, and Bethany Fisher

Brandi Stocksdale, the Acting Deputy Executive Director for Programs in the state’s Social Services Administration, set the stage by presenting on federal requirements for addressing substance exposed newborns and the recent change in state law to ensure compliance with federal standards. The bill, which was introduced by Delegate C.T. Wilson and signed into law by the Governor, ensured that Maryland was no longer at risk for losing vital funding. Stockdale also discussed how the state is partnering with local counterparts to implement changes and address areas of concern.

Switching gears to more local perspectives, Tiffany Rexrode, Washington County’s  Assistant Director for Adult, Child, and Family Services, spoke about the range of services offered in the county. Additionally, Bethany Fisher, SEN Specialist for Harford County, and Jennifer Thomas, Staff Development Nurse Special Care Nursery and Pediatrics at Upper Chesapeake Health, jointly presented on the programs and partnerships in place in Harford County to address mothers, families, and substance exposed newborns. The speakers provided statistics on the impacts of substance exposed newborns in the counties and the Harford County presenters shared a jarring video of what it looks and sounds like to handle substance exposed newborns.

The session was moderated by Delegate Eric Bromwell and held on Thursday, August 15, 2018 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City.