“Holding Little Lives in Our Hands” is a presentation that describes the dramatic rise of neonatal abstinence syndrome across eastern Tennessee and what East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is doing about it. It will be presented to the Altrusa Club on Sept. 25 by Cheryl Allmon, director of volunteer services and programs at Children’s Hospital.
Children’s Hospital has received national attention for their multifaceted approach to treating infants who are born suffering from prescription drug dependence. In 2012, the hospital treated nearly 300 infants suffering from withdrawal from drugs. The number of infants affected by addiction at birth continues to rise each year. The first step in treating the infants is to assess the severity of the addiction.
“These babies suffer real pain,” Allmon said. “Using protocols that include dark rooms, rocking beds, and volunteer cuddlers, we can ease that pain.
“It all starts with a multi-disciplinary assessment process to help us build the right plan for each infant,” Allmon said. “And our volunteers make a huge difference.”
Altrusa International is a service organization comprised of community members focusing on leadership, partnership, and service with an emphasis on literacy and education.
The meeting starts with a lunch buffet at 11:45 a.m. followed by the program at noon at the DoubleTree hotel. The public is invited to attend. Reservations are $13 each and may be made by sending an e-mail to [email protected] by Sept. 23.