« News

Node Investigators Launch Purple Pod to Augment Care for Pregnant Women on Buprenorphine

This past September, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s (DHMC; Lebanon, NH) Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) implemented the Purple Pod – a division of OB/GYN that provides weekly clinics for patients with pregnancies complicated by substance use disorders (SUDs) who are receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) from providers outside of the hospital’s “Moms in Recovery” program.

Northeast Node Core Investigator Daisy Goodman, DNP, MPH, CNM, WHNP-BC, OB/GYN Dr. Timothy J. Fisher, MD, MS, and three second-year residents Tara Higgins, Meredith Pavicic, and Zachary Spalding, noticed that pregnant patients receiving MAT from providers outside of DHMC were not receiving other wrap-around services that mothers in their own perinatal SUD treatment program were receiving. The Purple Pod was launched to address this gap.

DHMC’s OB/GYN department provides treatment in “pods” to allow for more continuity of care for pregnant patients across the length of their pregnancy.

Once implemented, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) Pediatrician Steve Chapman, MD (also a Northeast Node Core Investigator), began a similar pod in the pediatrics department, caring for babies whose parents are in treatment for SUDs. The pod in pediatrics continues wrap-around services from OB/GYN after birth.

“They were getting high-quality, routine obstetric care from us, but without a lot of the education to help prepare them for coming to the hospital and understand how best to care for their babies. To address that, we decided to develop a mini clinic. One of the things we help them understand is that their babies need to be observed in the hospital for four days after they are born and may need to be treated for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). And we make sure they have all the social supports they need,” Goodman said.

As part of this broader initiative in New Hampshire, the second-year OB/GYN resident curriculum focuses on obtaining a buprenorphine waiver and caring for pregnant women with SUDs.

You can read more about the Purple Pod on DHMC’s website.