Montana State Legislature
HJR 32: Prenatal Drug Use
House Joint Resolution 32 requested a study of prenatal drug use and mitigation of neonatal abstinence syndrome. The committee decided at its June 2019 meeting to limit its involvement in the study to hearing from the Department of Public Health and Human Services and other organizations about their efforts to address these issues.
At its November 2019 meeting, the committee learned about the Montana Perinatal Behavioral Health Initiative, an effort first undertaken by the Montana Healthcare Foundation, a charitable trust, and later joined by the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Using funding from the foundation and from a federal grant awarded to DPHHS, the initiative is providing support to health care providers in communities with hospitals that deliver babies. Providers must work closely with pregnant and postpartum women who have substance abuse or mental health disorders. Grant recipients must provide team-based, integrated care that includes a care coordinator and that focuses on encouraging women to reduce substance use or obtain treatment.
Committee members also visited St. Vincent Healthcare to speak to midwives who are participating in the initiative, which has since been renamed the Meadowlark Initiative.
The committee decided in May 2020 that legislation related to the study wasn't needed at this time. Instead, members decided that the 2021-2022 Children and Families Committee should review the results of the Meadowlark Initiative to determine if any future legislative action is needed.