Multidisciplinary professionals who are engaged in the Colorado Hospital Substance Exposed Newborns (CHoSEN) Collaborative’s efforts to increase consistency in implementation of best practice in the identification of and response to newborns prenatally exposed to substances convened virtually on May 24, 2022 to engage in shared learning and receive updates on work happening across the collaborative.

As part of the CHoSEN Collaborative’s efforts to improve the experiences and outcomes of pregnant and newly parenting individuals impacted by substance use beyond the birth hospitalization, the day focused on support and harm reduction during the prenatal and post-discharge periods. A panel of individuals with an active role in the Denver Health/CHoSEN Perinatal Navigator Program answered questions about the program’s efforts to begin supporting impacted individuals as early as possible during the prenatal period, and Dr. Don Stader with the Colorado Naloxone Project (CNP) spoke about the importance of sending families home with naloxone and CNP’s efforts to ensure that birthing facilities are able to do so.

Speaking to why it is so important to ensure that facilities give families naloxone directly rather than just a prescription for it, Dr. Stader shared:

People often don’t fill the naloxone you prescribe because of stigma. . . . when you send a patient home with naloxone, you not only keep that patient safer; you keep the community around the patient safer.

Keeping with the theme of improved care of families beyond the birth hospitalization, Dr. Leslie Caldarelli, medical director of the NICU at Prentice Women’s Hospital and neonatal co-lead of the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative (ILPQC) gave a keynote presentation on ILPQC’s efforts to optimize coordinated discharge for opioid-exposed newborns, including their process and outcome measures, quality improvement strategies, and the tools and resources utilized.

To help attendees understand the legal requirements for addressing the needs of infants and families impacted by prenatal substance use, Dr. Kathi Wells of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect and Jade Woodard of Illuminate Colorado shared information about the history, current state, and ongoing reauthorization process of the Plans of Safe Care element of the Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act (CAPTA).

To round out the day, CHoSEN Collaborative participants shared updates on the SCL Health Systemwide SUD AIM/Maternal Mental Health Rollout and the Recovery Nurse Advocate Program at Intermountain Healthcare-Lutheran Hospital, and Dr. Susan Hwang shared the most recent data on several of the CHoSEN Collaborative’s key drivers and information about next steps and ways to be involved with CHoSEN and related efforts.

Missed the event or looking to refresh your memory of the day?
​Find the materials, recordings, and opportunities to engage below.

Opportunities to Engage

If you are interested in getting more involved in CHoSEN, need a presentation for your stakeholders, have specific data needs, or would like to schedule a virtual site visit, please reach out to Susan Hwang at

For any questions or to get involved in any of the perinatal behavioral health related funding projects below, contact

For any questions or to get involved in the implementation of the 2021-2022 SuPPoRT Colorado priority areas, contact Kelli Sutton at

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