The University of Massachusetts Amherst

The use of digital recovery narratives in increasing hope and supporting sustained recovery for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder

Date Funded: 
Jan 11, 2019
Funding Organization: 
Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal Child Health Bureau

A team led by Mary Paterno, PhD, CNM is one of ten team winners of Phase 1 of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) “Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women and New Moms” National Grand Challenge. Dr. Paterno's team won for the proposal, “The use of digital recovery narratives in increasing hope and supporting sustained recovery for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder”. 

In addition to Dr. Paterno, the team includes Daniel Weinshenker from StoryCenter and Pam Fitzpatrick from the Salasin Project/Western Massachusetts Training Coalition.

Each of the winning teams in Phase1 receive a $10,000 cash prize and advance to Phase 2. For Phase 2, Dr. Paterno's team will hold a digital storytelling workshop with women in recovery from opioid use disorder, develop a discussion guide, and host a community screening of the stories in Greenfield, MA to promote community discussion on opioid use disorder among pregnant and parenting women on how best to support them at the community level.

The winning innovations are technology-based solutions to improve access to quality health care for pregnant and new mothers struggling with opioid use disorder. The innovations aim to reduce barriers in obtaining safe and effective care and treatment, especially for families in rural and geographically isolated areas Challenge entrants included multidisciplinary teams of academics, health professionals, tech companies, IT designers, as well as individuals, community groups, and startups.

The challenge is one of four Grand Challenges, all of which address critical maternal and child health issues, launched by HRSA’s MCHB.