Turner Partners with Dayton Hospitals to Confront Impact of Heroin Epidemic on Newborns 

Dayton, OH – On Monday, March 10, 2014, Congressman Tuner gathered leaders from local hospitals and the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) at his district office to discuss the impact of the heroin epidemic on newborns. 
The number of Ohio women identified as opiate addicted while pregnant or parenting has grown nearly 200 percent in the past seven years. The GDAHA reports that there was a 35-percent increase from 2011 to 2012 for drug withdrawal in infants. 
“The impact of the heroin epidemic on newborns affects all of us.  Addiction is a terrible disease and beginning life as an addict, through no fault of your own, is really unimaginable.    
I look forward to partnering with Dayton area hospitals and other community leaders to develop and implement a community strategy that provides targeted intervention for opiate dependent women and takes significant steps to identify and treat the entire at-risk population.
Now is the time for decisive, thoughtful action that seeks to provide the best possible start in life for our community’s children,” said Turner. 
Following the meeting, Congressman Turner sent the following letter to the attendees thanking them for their ongoing efforts to counter infant addiction and their willingness to partner on a community-wide initiative. 

To:  Keith Achor – Grandview Hospital
Bryan Bucklew – Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association
Terry Burns – Soin Medical Center/Greene Memorial Hospital
Deborah Feldman – Dayton Children’s Hospital
Julie Liss-Katz – Premier Health Partners
Dr. Tammy Lundstrom – Premier Health
Mark Shaker – Miami Valley Hospital  
Russ Wetherall – Southview Medical Center
From: Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10)
Date:   March 11, 2014
Re:       Dayton Community Strategy to Combat Impact of the Heroin Epidemic on Newborns

Thank you all for your leadership and for taking the time to meet with me Monday morning to discuss the impact of the heroin epidemic on newborns. 
This is a critical issue and I am grateful for the ability to work with all of you towards a solution. 
Last December, I met with Terry Burns, President at Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek. He told me that in the past year, six babies had been born addicted to heroin at his hospital alone.  During our conversation I realized that this was a problem that was increasing in size. The Dayton area has a growing and recognized issue with heroin use and overdose, but little has been documented in the way of the heroin epidemic’s impact on infants being born to addicted mothers. Action had to be taken to fill this gap.  
The experience of Soin Medical Center was reinforced by all of you attendance.  GDAHA confirmed that the medical code used to indicate infant withdraw had increased by 35% between 2011-2012 in the region.
As we discussed, there must be a community-wide goal to identify and treat the at-risk population in order to help prevent infant addiction. While there are challenges in addressing the problem, we must use all resources available and consult all the relevant experts in our area to chart a course of action. 
I look forward to our next meeting on April 7, 2014 where we will bring together leaders in law enforcement, relevant community groups, and treatment professionals to establish how the community can partner together to develop a strategy for a targeted intervention program.  
I am pleased with what we were able to accomplish and look forward to partnering with you in the future to combat the impact of the heroin epidemic on newborns.