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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Since 2011, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has continued to see a dramatic increase in the number of newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). To better understand this phenomona, our team of experts agreed that we needed a better method for tracking trends and collecting data.

As a result, the hospital has spent three years researching and developing a formal NAS care coordination service to address the gap in tracking, support and follow-up for a significant number of infants and their caregivers after discharge.

The goals for the first phase of the program included:

  • Conduct site visits to other NAS programs to evaluate best follow-up practices
  • Develop collaborative partnerships with other programs working with NAS patient families
  • Research former patients with a history of NAS to identify services being used after discharge
  • Develop a business plan for creating a NAS care coordination service

Children’s Hospital launched Grow with Me, a program that preemptively addresses the medical, developmental and emotional needs of children born with NAS. Under the guidance of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the Grow With Me coordinator ensures every patient has an appropriate primary care physician, connects parents with behavioral health care providers, primary care providers, addiction services and other resources that will help build a healthy home environment for the child.

Today, Grow With Me has 250 patients and an average 68 percent participation rate.

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