The goal of this initiative is to reduce the adverse outcomes of perinatal (during and after pregnancy) drug and alcohol use for newborns and families. 

Perinatal drug and alcohol use has serious impacts on the health and well-being of children and families around Montana: the problem is on the rise, and affected families are not adequately served by Montana’s current health care system and social services. The number of Montana children in foster care more than doubled since 2011; out of more than 3,200 children in foster care in 2016, 64% were removed from the home for reasons related to parental substance abuse. Among Medicaid patients, the percentage of infants with perinatal drug exposure increased from 3.7% in 2010 to 12.3% in 2016. In a 2017 report, we found that only 6% of Montana’s state-licensed substance use disorder treatment programs serve pregnant women or young families.

There is strong evidence that a few simple interventions can help Montana make a big difference in the lives and health outcomes of families affected by this serious problem. For 2018, we are pleased to announce a major, multi-year commitment to solving perinatal drug and alcohol use.

Early work by our grantees and our review of the literature on programs that address perinatal drug and alcohol use show that supportive, team-based care and better coordination between health care providers and social service agencies offer a powerful way to improve these outcomes.

Funding Opportunity

Grant opportunities are for hospitals and clinics that provide prenatal care, deliver babies, and provide inpatient newborn care. Required grant elements include:

  • Clinical Team: Establish a care team that includes prenatal and post-delivery care with care coordination and “warm hand-offs” to a licensed behavioral health clinician. 
  • Community-Wide Reach: Develop partnerships and a defined referral pattern among practices in the community so that most prenatal patients are screened for substance use disorders and those that need care are cared for by the clinical team. 
  • Multidisciplinary Collaboration: Develop collaborations among the clinical team, child protective services, public health and home visiting programs, criminal justice, and other agencies as appropriate. 
  • Unmet Social Needs: Screen for social needs and use care coordination and collaboration with local organizations to address needs such as transportation, housing, and additional intensive treatment. 
  • Culture Change and Communications: Develop and promote (both in the hospital and community) a supportive approach that engages women and increases participation in prenatal care and substance use disorder treatment. 
  • SBIRT: Implement screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for pregnant women. 
  • Collaboration with Tribes or Urban Indian Health Centers: Develop a strong collaboration with the appropriate tribal or urban Indian health centers if caring for a substantial number of American Indian families. 

If you are interested in applying for a grant under this initiative, please contact MHCF Senior Program Officer Tressie White

Grant decisions will be based on our general selection criteria (which can be found in our 2018 Call for Proposals) and the specific requirements for this initiative.

Integrated Behavioral

Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment

Health Leadership

Focus Area: Behavioral

Solving Perinatal Drug and Alcohol Use Resources

Our Work in Solving Perinatal Drug and Alcohol Use

Solving Perinatal Drug and Alcohol Use Grantees

Kalispell Regional Medical Center: Pathways Treatment Center

Integrated Behavioral Healthcare for High Risk Pregnant Women

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $150,000

With consultation from the National Council for Behavioral Health, this project will integrate behavioral health services into obstetrics (OB) care at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Once implemented, behavioral health screening, diagnosis, and treatment will be fully integrated into the OB clinical care, and provided to mothers as part of standard prenatal care practice. Grant funding will be used to hire a OB behavioral health care coordinator who will offer behavioral health and substance use disorder screenings and treatment to at-risk mothers, develop and implement a fully integrated system of care in the OB clinic, and make necessary referrals to community based care after birth.


Western Montana Mental Health Center - Recovery Center Missoula

Recovery Center Missoula Pregnant and Parenting Women

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $150,000

This project will increase substance use disorder and medication assisted treatment access for pregnant and post-partum women through creating residential treatment homes in Missoula and Lake County. The home in Missoula will be an expansion of Recovery Center Missoula’s home and will serve woman transitioning from inpatient care to residential treatment. The home in Lake County will begin offering treatment and supportive services for pregnant and parenting mothers struggling with addiction. Grant funding will be used for start-up costs and home upgrades.

Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center

From Plan to Action: Prevention and Support for Pregnant Blackfeet Women Using Opioids

Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $75,000

In 2016, MHCF supported the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center and their Boston University-based partners to work with the Blackfeet tribe and the Indian Health Service Blackfeet Community Hospital on early-stage planning work to address opioid use by pregnant women. The funds supported a conference hosted at the Blackfeet Community College, a detailed report and feedback, an inspirational Blackfeet visit to the Lummi tribe’s opioid maintenance program, and the formation of a new, multi-partner opioid prevention task force on Blackfeet.

This project will continue that work through task force strengthening and capacity-building, focus groups/key informant interviews with clinicians and substance-using pregnant women, the production of a “gap analysis” to determine treatment shortfalls for substance-using pregnant women on Blackfeet, and the production of a feasibility analysis and business plan for developing services to address perinatal drug use. The project will also work on perinatal screening for substance use disorders, with a focus on establishing a strong system of care for women who screen positive. The tribe has also requested that the grantee work towards the creation of a tribal resolution for an opioid treatment facility on Blackfeet.

Providence Montana Health Foundation

The Bridge to Hope Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $42,600

This project will provide support for mothers whose newborns are experiencing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) on the Flathead Reservation. The project builds on a previous MHCF’s grant that helped create the Wrapped in Hope Project which addressed perinatal drug use in the region, and will now extend care to families after delivery. This project is designed to reduce the rate of maternal-infant separation in the hospital setting as a result of NAS treatment, engage addicted mothers in the care of their infant through support group sessions, and increase addicted mothers’ voluntary participation in area drug treatment programs by the time of their infants’ discharge. An ongoing series of 10 maternal support group sessions will be conducted by a licensed addiction counselor in partnership with a pediatrician and nursing staff while the newborns are hospitalized for NAS treatment, and mothers will receive materials and modeling related to the holistic care of their infants aimed at facilitating mother-infant bonding. The project will be conducted in partnership with the CSKT Tribal Government and Wrapped in Hope staff at Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Rimrock Foundation

Residential Treatment for Pregnant American Indian Women

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $63,135

This project will help create Elm House, a residential treatment home for pregnant women struggling with addiction that will incorporate perinatal care with addiction treatment throughout the duration of the pregnancy. In partnership with St. Vincent Healthcare’s Provider Network’s Midwives, this treatment modality will promote long-term recovery, while the women receive the necessary obstetric care to decrease the occurrence of perinatal drug exposure and neonatal abstinence syndrome. Priority admission will be given to Northern Cheyenne and Crow patients referred through the work of previous MHCF grants to St. Vincent’s. In addition to treatment, women will receive case management services to ease into the transition to a safe sober living environment with their baby after delivery.

2018 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.