Hushabye Nursery Receives $800,000 Grant From The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation To Provide Care to Opioid-Exposed Newborns And Their Families.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation awarded an $800,000 grant to Hushabye Nursery – a nonprofit providing specialized care to opioid-exposed newborns and their families – to help establish a permanent facility to treat infants suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Hushabye Nursery will be the first medical center of this type in Arizona, and the third in the entire country. The facility, located at 3003 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, is scheduled to open in September 2020. The newly renovated space will include a dozen private rooms for babies and their caregivers, a nursing station, consultation space, and outpatient therapy areas. Once complete, the nursery will serve more than 100 babies and their families each year.

“Opioid use disorder is a chronic illness – a brain disease. We intend to disrupt a system that often separates families due to a lack of appropriate and effective treatments. These families need a collaborative recovery process to be successful and the babies have a much better outlook if we can keep them in their biological home,” said Tara Sundem, Hushabye Nursery executive director and founder. “Because of people like Bob and Renee Parsons, we can continue to care for these innocent children and provide vital support for their families as well.”

The number of children diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) has grown by more than 200 percent since 2008. Hushabye Nursery was founded by two neonatal nurse practitioners in response to the alarming increase in the number of babies they saw in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) who were suffering drug-related withdrawal symptoms. They also witnessed the intense family trauma caused when NAS babies were taken from their parents, often without explanation or notice, and by newly sober mothers facing difficult DCS situations and court battles.

“It is heartbreaking that so many babies are born into the world experiencing pain and suffering because of the opioid epidemic sweeping our country,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “Hushabye Nursery is filling a critical need by treating opioid use disorder in both infants and their mothers.”

Conventional healthcare facilities and training are not ideal for the complexity of caring for patients with opioid use disorder. Hushabye Nursery works to provide NAS infants with a quiet, therapeutic environment as they withdraw and offer ongoing behavioral health, recovery, and financial aid services to their families. Part of Hushabye Nursery’s outreach is connecting with pregnant women at methadone clinics, where they are starting the first phase of recovery. The goal is to empower these mothers through education and invite them to join the Hushabye Opioid Pregnancy Preparation and Empowerment (HOPPE) Program.

“Hushabye Nursery is providing two very important services – specialized care for opioid-exposed newborns and compassionate support for mothers in need,” said businessman Bob Parsons. “Both services work to build healthy families and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community.”

Provider partners like Dignity Health, Southwest Human Development, Community Medical Services, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Maricopa Integrated Health Services will allow the organization to incorporate new practices into their care and improve health. To learn more about the organization or how to get involved, please visit the Hushabye Nursery website at www.hushabyenursery.org.