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Salem Hospital receives grant to curb newborn drug conditions

Jul 15, 2015

The Salem Hospital Family Birth Center has announced that the March of Dimes Greater Oregon Chapter has awarded $5,000 to the Salem Hospital Foundation to support a perinatal education and awareness campaign.

The grant aims to reduce the risks of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), associated with the use of opiate pain relievers in women of childbearing age in Marion and Polk Counties.

“This generous grant from the March of Dimes Greater Oregon Chapter will help bolster our community education efforts so more people become aware of NAS,” said Audra Stauffer, a staff nurse with the Salem Hospital Family Birth Center. “The goal is to prevent future cases of NAS in newborn babies.”

NAS is a group of conditions a newborn can have when exposed to addictive street or prescription drugs in the womb before birth. A baby can get addicted to these drugs and then go through drug withdrawal after birth. Babies with NAS are more likely to be born with low birth weight, have breathing and feeding problems, and have seizures. Substance use in pregnancy and the number of newborns requiring care for NAS continues to escalate across the United States.

NAS Community Partners—a multidisciplinary and multiagency task force—is launching this initiative locally through support from the grant. The effort includes professional education for health care providers—including physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, dentists and other oral health providers, pharmacists, and community health workers—who serve women living in Marion and Polk Counties.

The Salem Hospital Family Birth Center is also a member of the Vermont Oxford Network, a nonprofit voluntary collaboration of health care professionals working together as an interdisciplinary community to change the landscape of neonatal care. In 2013 and 2014, Salem Hospital and more than 200 other teams developed a systemic approach for offering care to mothers and newborns affected by NAS.

About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes Greater Oregon Chapter Grants Program is made possible through donations from corporate partners and the public. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of mothers and babies by preventing birth defects, preterm birth, and infant mortality. For more information, visit

About Salem Hospital Family Birth Center
The Salem Hospital Family Birth Center is a part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at

About Salem Hospital Foundation
Established in 1968 by a group of Salem citizens interested in advancing health care through donations—the Salem Hospital Foundation is a charitable, tax-exempt organization that supports medical and medically related projects of Salem Hospital. The Foundation's 15 volunteer directors help raise funds and manage the resources of the Foundation, while distributing the funds according to the wishes of those who have given. Find more information at and

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