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Petaluma Health Center leads effort to link women to services


Sonoma County was one of six sites selected nationally to participate in a CityMatCH practice collaborative to prevent substance exposed pregnancies. In 2012 Rebecca Munger CNM, PHN the Sonoma County Maternal, Child, Adolescent Health Coordinator lead a broad coalition of reproductive health champions who worked across sectors and settings to develop a trio of strategies to reduce substance exposed pregnancies.

The first strategy developed with CDC and WHO technical support was  a bundled screening tool that included substance use, mood disorders and intimate partner violence.  

Today Petaluma Health Center is utilizing this screening tool as part of their efforts to link at-risk pregnant women to treatment and resources. 

PHC Maria Hermosilla   PHC yoga balls

Health care providers, like Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program Case Manager Maria Hermosilla at the Petaluma Health Center, use the survey to link patients to relevant services to help them succeed, including mental health care or rehab.

For some women, the survey is the first time they've been presented with questions about their friends and family, and often helps broaden their perspective to spark a desire for a positive change, she said.

Patients are willing to change and get clean, she said. By asking them those questions, they feel like someone cares for them and someone is taking the time to ask them and to see what their needs are and what the problems are.

Giving the data helps patients see that they're not the only ones, she said. They don't feel that they're weird or the worst mother ever. By telling them you're not the only one, not that it's good, but don't feel lonely. We're here to help you. We're not here to judge them, we're here to help them out and get their lives together.

Denise Pecha, LCSW, CityMatch's director of programs, noted the benefit to providers as well.

Attached is the Prevention of Substance-Exposed Pregnancies Collaborative Report.  CityMatCH, Omaha, NE. (2013).

CityMatCH Sonoma County


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Thank YOU for YOUR work AND Rebecca Munger's work on this excellent evidence-informed tool that we are still using across our FQHCs in Sonoma County.

Your work on this project has helped us collect valuable data on substance use, depression, intimate partner violence, and smoking amongst our most vulnerable pregnant women in Sonoma County. The data from this powerful tool is informing the clinical practice of providers across the county, our Maternal Child Adolescent Health home visiting programs, and our Public Health Department. Thanks for sharing, Karen.

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