Back to top

Boston awarded $2.6 million for women, children in substance use treatment facilities

October 27, 2017

Public Health Commission

Published by:

Public Health Commission

The funds will integrate medical care into the Boston Public Health Commission's residential substance use treatment program, Entre Familia.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today announced the City of Boston has received a $2.6 million federal award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand treatment, prevention and recovery support services for women and their children in substance use treatment facilities. The grant will serve 180 Latina women and their children in Entre Familia, a City residential substance use treatment program that offers culturally sensitive, gender-specific care and services.

This grant will support Entre Familia over a five-year period. The funds will integrate on-site primary and mental health care into the program by partnering with Boston Medical Center's Project RESPECT (Recovery, Empowerment, Social Services, Prenatal care, Education, Community and Treatment), a high risk obstetrical and addiction recovery medical home for pregnant women and their newborns.

This project will build upon the program's mission of providing cost-effective, comprehensive and sustainable clinical treatment and support services that address the needs of Latina women and their children, a population historically underserved in substance use treatment.

"This award will make a lasting, crucial difference in the lives of women and their children that are served by BPHC and Entre Familia," said Mayor Walsh. "Since 2014, we have helped over 11,000 people receive help with substance use disorders. I'm proud this funding will give young families the wraparound services they need and the support that will set them on a path to recovery."

"It is imperative that we work together to face this epidemic, and we look forward to working with the Boston Public Health Commission to expand access to the necessary treatment for Latina women with substance use disorders and their children," said Kelley Saia, MD, director of BMC's Project RESPECT.

As the first hospital in the region to have started a program specific to these patients more than three decades ago, BMC is a leader in caring for women with substance use disorders both during pregnancy and after they deliver their baby.

This award continues the Walsh Administration's goals to ensure all residents have access to the substance use treatments and supports they need. In 2014, more than 11,000 people received services for substance use disorders in Boston, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In 2015, Mayor Walsh created the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services, which works closely with the Boston Public Health Commission, other City of Boston departments, state and federal agencies, local service providers, and community networks to build and support recovery services throughout the City.

Since then, Boston has more than doubled staff and expanded hours at the City's access to care program, created the City's first 24/7 recovery support hotline through 311, and added a street outreach team in heavily impacted areas. Most recently, Mayor Walsh doubled the capacity of the Mobile Sharps Team to pick up improperly discarded hypodermic needles, and began to pilot an engagement center for individuals in need of a space to spend time during the day and get connected to the many housing and recovery services offered by the City and partners.

The Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women awarded to Boston is part of a $49 million nationwide award from SAMHSA. BPHC is one of 19 organizations across the country and the only health department selected to participate in the program, which is designed to expand services for women and their children in residential substance use treatment facilities.

"Opioid use disorders continue to plague our nation," said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. "These funds will support and expand prevention, treatment and recovery services in America's communities." 

Entre Familia is a six to 12-month residential substance use treatment program that guides Latina mothers into recovery by offering core clinical treatment services, including screening, counseling, and referrals to relevant care. Since the inception of the program in 1996, Entre Familia has helped 800 Latina women and their families on their paths to recovery.

Earlier this month, Boston was also  awarded a $2.4 million SAMHSA grant to support Boston's continued work in ending chronic and veteran homelessness. The grant will serve 270 chronically homeless individuals by further increasing the City's capacity to house and provide treatment for homeless individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.

About the Boston Public Health Commission

The Boston Public Health Commission, the country's oldest health department, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of BPHC's mission -- to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into six bureaus: Child, Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; Recovery Services; and Emergency Medical Services.

news and announcements