State Health Care Authority Provides Grant to School of Nursing to Support State Opioid Response Plan

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Contact: Kristine Wright

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Washington State Health Care Authority Provides Grant to UW School of Nursing to Support Washington State Opioid Response Plan

September 12, 2019 Seattle, WA — The UW School of Nursing announced that it has received a $550,000 grant from the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) to address needs and services for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder. The project will find better ways to support pregnant and parenting individuals with opioid use disorders, to provide clinicians with the skills to engage in a therapeutic relationship, and to support development of effective parenting.

Through this effort, UW School of Nursing will develop and conduct opioid clinical training and development materials and will provide outreach to community-led and hospital assessments. The project builds on the research of the School’s nurse-midwifery faculty (principal investigator Ira Kantrowitz Gordon, PhD, CNM, ARNP, FACNM and co-investigator Molly Altman, PhD, CNM, MPH) and the professional development programs and research of the Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development led by Monica Oxford, PhD, MSW.

“Every new family needs support and education to thrive, and that includes pregnant and parenting individuals with opioid use disorders,” said HCA Director Sue Birch, BSN, MBA. “This funding will enhance our state’s capacity to build healthy families and communities.”

“We are honored to be selected to work with the Health Care Authority on this critical project. Our efforts will result in creating enhanced maternal-child relationships between women affected by opioid use disorder and their newborn infants, leading to increased parenting self-efficacy and better social and psychological development outcomes for children,” stated Azita Emami, PhD, MSN, RNT, RN, FAAN.

The UW School of Nursing is committed to:

  • Providing Promoting First Relationships ® clinician training across the state. The training will support health care professionals, including nurses and physicians, to provide a trauma-informed, relationship-based services to women who have Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and their newborn infants.
  • Developing training materials that will be updated and expanded to include content on caring for newborns withdrawing from opioids, supporting the best practice of Eat, Sleep and Console. We will also create a smart application to deliver educational material that focuses on how health care professionals can enhance mothers’ (with OUD) capacity to provide nurturing care to her infant.
  • Conducting community and hospital assessments that include community-led prioritization of questions and concerns by pregnant and parenting individuals with opioid use disorder and evaluating accessibility to “rooming-in” for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

About the School of Nursing

Celebrating 100 years in nursing education and research, the University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently a top-ranked nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit

About the Barnard Center

The Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development supports the professional development of interdisciplinary infant and early childhood practitioners and conducts research related to infant and early childhood mental health. The Barnard Center is named after University of Washington nursing scholar Dr. Kathryn Barnard, a pioneer in infant and early childhood mental health. It consists of three divisions:

  • Research: This unit has secured over 20 million dollars of funding from the National Institutes of Health in research funding in the past 10 years. One of the primary aims of our recent research is to conduct randomized clinical trials on home visiting programs to test their effectiveness in diverse populations of caregivers and children.
  • Dissemination: This unit houses the Parent-Child Relationship Programs @ the Barnard Center [PCRP] is a self-sustaining program at the School of Nursing. PCRP is a go to resource that provides professional development opportunities to over 2000 professionals, annually, who work with parents and children under the age of five.
  • Workforce development: This unit aims to build a sustainable professional development landscape on the behalf of the early childhood workforce development to secure training resources to better equip those professionals who work with families every day and provide services to support the care and well-being of young children.

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