Members of the OB Department at the Hiawatha Community Hospital.

Hiawatha Community Hospital is proud to announce that the OB Department has been named a Center of Excellence in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) education and training by the Vermont Oxford Network.

In 2018, the Hiawatha Community Hospital joined the Kansas Perinatal Quality Collaborative (KPQC) along with many other birthing centers across the state in a two-year quality initiative to improve health outcomes for infants born at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) through standardization of care in identification, evaluation, treatment and safe discharge of infants with NAS. NAS often develops in newborn babies who are exposed to opioids or other drugs during a mothers’ pregnancy. If the baby is exposed to drugs inside the mother’s womb, he or she is then at risk to go through withdrawal symptoms after delivery. Some of these symptoms include tremors, excessive crying, apnea, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, poor feeding and fever.

Through this program, our staff are able to better identify those infants at risk for NAS and empower parents by identifying resources and providing education prior to the birth of their baby. This program focuses on mothers as the primary treatment for their infants through comfort measures to help relieve some of the symptoms of NAS with the goal to safely discharge the baby home with mom and dad in an environment conducive to helping the baby get through his/her withdrawal.

The core VON-NAS team at HCH consists of Dr. Jessica Jarvis, Brandy Rice, OB RN, Chelsea James OB Nurse Manager, and Christina Simpson, OB RN. The team actively participated in several KPQC workshops and conferences focused on providing peer-to-peer learning and exchanging of ideas. The interdisciplinary team at HCH consisted of not only the OB staff, but also family practice physicians, clinic staff, and various other hospital staff members, who completed their education and training through online learning modules provided by VON and “lunch and learns” led by our HCH VON-NAS team.

“We are very confident that our efforts will provide a positive place for our patients to give birth and that our newborns will be better cared for because of our significant education, standardization of screening tools, and implementation of new policies” says OB Nurse Manager, Chelsea James.

Dr. Jessica Jarvis shared, “Our goal at HCH is to empower our mothers to care for their babies, teach them the needed comfort measures, and give them access to resources they need to be successful mothers, all while providing a safe and comfortable environment for baby.”

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