As the regional medical education nucleus, and home to a large Maternal Fetal Medicine Practice that treats women with high-risk pregnancies,    Eastern Virginia Medical School recognized the need to convene a regional training focused on opioid use disorder in pregnancy. Hampton Roads suffers from a three-fold higher death rate for infants than the national average according to the Virginia Department of Health. Studies indicate that infants, particularly African American infants, die due to lack of adequate prenatal care, unsafe sleep practices, and substance use disorders. In fact, 32% of deaths were related to past or current maternal substance misuse. Further, in Virginia, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is on the rise. In the Eastern Region of Hampton Roads, 4.7/1000 infants were born with NAS.

In coordination with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health and EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences held "Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants" on May 11, 2019.

From the SAMHSA website: "The Clinical Guidance offers standard approaches to a range of real-world scenarios faced by healthcare professionals working with mothers and infants.  For each scenario, the guidance offers clinical action steps and supporting evidence. The action steps reflect the best available treatment, including medication-assisted treatment for the mother and infant and appropriate types of social supports and follow-up services." (

Thanks to the continuing interest in this program, another training is being considered for later this year. For more information, please contact the Brock Institute at 757-446-6027 or to be placed on the mailing list.