West Virginia made national news today, with a story that both gives us hope and breaks our hearts.

For one, abstinence syndrome (NAS) were frequently kicked out of of day care centers.

According to CNN’s story, due to their months of inconsolable crying, tremors and sometimes seizures, they’re too much maintenance for a regular day care center.

The good news is that River Valley Child Development Services specializes in the care for these babies. Their Executive Director, Suzie Brodof, has such a compassion take on the situation: “The moms are not villains,” Brodof said. “They suffer from a disease and are taking steps to care for themselves and their children, and that’s where we come in.”

But the problems persist. RVCDS is the only daycare of its kind in the state. It currently has eight empty beds, because financially, it can’t adequately staff the facility to bring in any new children. They currently serve eight.

One in every five babies delivered at Cabell Huntington Hospital has been exposed to drugs in-utero.

I read today that there’s an effort underway in our state to align state hospitals to receive a sizeable portion of opioid settlement dollars. Some West Virginia legislators want to see settlement funding reserved for prevention and treatment. And these are all good things.

But I haven’t heard a word about setting aside dollars to address ACEs, or lack of pediatric care providers, or better data collection and management of the litany of medical issues this generation of children is going to have. Places like RVCDS should be fully staffed, working at full capacity. We shouldn’t just use the funding to put out fires; we should stop them from starting.

If you’d like to make a donation to RVCDS, visit http://www.rvcds.org/index.html.


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