Vermont Oxford Network (VON) has awarded a “Center of Excellence in Education and Training for Infants and Families Affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome” designation to Franciscan Health Crown Point.

The award recognizes that at least 85 percent of the multidisciplinary care teams participating in “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Collaborative: Improving Care to Improve Outcomes” completed universal training for care of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Infants born with NAS, a drug withdrawal syndrome caused by exposure to opioids while in utero, are more likely to have respiratory complications, feeding difficulty, low birthweights and extended hospital stays.

Carrie Renschen, MSN, RNC-NIC, director of the Family Birth Center at Franciscan Health Crown Point, said, “I am proud of our staff for embracing this learning opportunity to improve outcomes in our neonatal patients exposed to substances in utero.”

Indiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (IPQIC) partnered with VON to provide 52 hospitals in the state universal training designed to standardize care policies. The collaborative approach to universal training included rapid-cycle distribution of current evidence-based practices to the entire interdisciplinary workforce engaged in caring for substance-exposed infants and families. This approach has been proven to reduce length of hospital stay and length of pharmacologic treatment while increasing family satisfaction. Franciscan Health Crown Point is one of the 16 hospitals in the state that achieved the excellence designation from VON.

“Congratulations to all the care teams across the state of Indiana who have shown how dedicated the state is to caring for this vulnerable population affected by the national opioid epidemic,” said Jeffrey Horbar, Chief Executive and Scientific Officer of VON.

As a global leader in data-driven quality improvement for newborn care, VON leads multi-center quality improvement collaboratives and provides resources to help interdisciplinary teams improve on the most critical and complex challenges facing newborn caregivers.