The Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition is a multi-sector and provider initiative that convenes monthly more than 30 community agencies, and is facilitated by nurse leaders from the Birthplace at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center. The goal of the Coalition is to improve maternal mental healthcare at the community level. Efforts include universal postpartum depression protocols for screening from first prenatal visit through second year postpartum, a weekly support group, and a community resource and referral guide. The Coalition serves as a referral network “so that no mom suffers without immediate and knowledgeable help and support in Franklin County.”
The Coalition is also leading the way in integrating perinatal mental healthcare with trauma-informed and recovery programs to better support moms with substance use disorders.
In 2015, the Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition in collaboration with the Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center and Baystate Pioneer Women’s Health developed EMPOWER (Engaging Mothers for Positive Outcomes With Early Referrals) to address the needs of this vulnerable population that requires comprehensive, multifaceted, coordinated care by all providers and agencies involved.
Key accomplishments of the EMPOWER program include: training all providers in Perinatal Substance Use Disorder and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral (SBIRT); implementing a comprehensive screening and referral program; providing care coordination from first visit through the postpartum period; developing a Recovery Coach Program; and creating a pregnancy plan of safe care to help women build a team of support during their pregnancy.
Baystate Franklin Medical Center is an entity of Baystate Health.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts hospitals provided $641 million in community benefits for residents of Massachusetts in Fiscal Year 2018. These hospital community benefits programs – provided at no cost to those being served – are not reimbursed by state or federal governments, by any health insurance company, or through any public subsidy.