Mayor Adams To Open Clinic For Expecting And Parenting Families With Substance Use Disorder

March 26, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals today announced plans to open an $8 million health and substance use disorder clinic for pregnant and postpartum women and their families.

The clinic will offer pregnant and parenting individuals living with substance use disorder — a dependence on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs — a safe and supportive place to access prenatal and postnatal care, addiction medicine, and behavioral health care. As the city aims to reduce Black maternal mortality by 10 percent and reduce opioid deaths by 25 percent by 2030, this clinic will support healthy birth outcomes, reduce the likelihood and impact of postpartum relapse, and address the needs of older children living in these families. Funded with an investment through “Women Forward NYC: An Action Plan for Gender Equity” — the Adams administration’s $43 million plan with the ambitious goal of making New York City the most woman-forward city in the country — the clinic will build on the city’s cross-sector work to improve the health and well-being of all women.  

The 6,500 square foot space, expected to open in 2026, will serve approximately 200 families per year and will be located at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx — the borough with the highest rate of opioid overdose death in New York City. In addition to substance use support, patients will also be able to access connections to community-based organizations for other critical services supporting recovery, such as housing, food, and employment. Care teams will be comprised of medical and behavioral health providers, including social workers, community health workers, and certified peer counselors with lived experience of substance use disorder.

“This is a critical moment for women’s health in New York City and across the country,” said Mayor Adams. “Addiction and substance use disorder doesn’t discriminate, and overdoses are a leading cause of deaths in pregnant and postpartum women in New York City, affecting not only the new parent, but also their family and loved ones. Our administration has taken action to boost birth equity and support new families — expanding the doula program citywide, signing a package of bills to strengthen maternal health, and setting the ambitious goal of reducing Black maternal mortality by 10 percent by 2030 — and today’s announcement of the Family Substance Use Disorder clinic coming to NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln is a continuation of that critical work. Our children are our most precious resource and by investing in them and their families from the start, we’ll build a safer and healthier city for generations to come.”


“Today’s $8 million investment, part of ‘Women Forward NYC,’ shows concrete steps the administration is taking to build lasting structures to support families before and after welcoming a child,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “We also know that the opioid crisis has touched so many families, and this new clinic will be a place for support, connection, and assistance as practitioners walk with new and expecting parents on their journey to better health. Finally, this new clinic is part of a broader strategy to reduce Black maternal mortality by 10 percent by 2030 and to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 25 percent by 2030. Thank you to the specialized teams doing this work to help us tackle these issues that affect so many families in the Bronx and beyond.”

“Substance use disorder is not only detrimental to the user, but also impacts the pregnancy and family — nuclear as well as extended,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Pregnancy is a time when motivation for behavior change is high. It is our aim to leverage this personal motivation, coupled with peer support, professional guidance, and whole family engagement, to achieve a clean and sober intact family unit within which the child and his or her siblings thrive.”

“Unfortunately, substance use disorder does not discriminate for pregnancy, and overdoses are a leading cause of deaths in pregnant and postpartum women in New York City,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Service Officer Wendy Wilcox, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG. “There is a critical and harmful intersectionality between maternal health and substance use disorder, which may lead to disastrous consequences for both pregnant and postpartum people and their children. For this reason, I am thrilled NYC Health + Hospitals is launching a holistic program to treat pregnant and postpartum people who have substance use disorder with their families. This is a crucial step to lower maternal mortality and morbidity and save lives!”

“Supporting our pregnant and postpartum women through this clinic fills a crucial gap in our system,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Deputy Chief Medical Officer and System Chief of Behavioral Health Omar Fattal, MD, MPH. “We hope this new clinic will be a beacon for pregnant women and new mothers to ensure support is available across the spectrum of medical, behavioral health, and social services. We are excited to develop new ways to address the great need for specialized substance use services in the Bronx.”

“An integrated service setting like this changes the treatment landscape for families challenged by addiction,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Director of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Growth and Strategy Jennifer Havens, MD. “Bringing the whole family into comprehensive non-judgmental care holds the most promise for parents’ and children’s well-being.”

“With overdose a leading cause of Black maternal deaths, and the tragic ripple effects, stigma-free access to substance use disorder and mental health treatment for expecting families is a must,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “We celebrate the opening of NYC Health + Hospital’s first family substance use disorder clinic and hope it will lead to healthier, stronger families and communities.”

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest provider of behavioral health care in New York City. The system provides almost 60 percent of behavioral health services citywide, serving over 75,000 patients annually across emergency, inpatient, and outpatient care. It offers a spectrum of services that treat substance use disorders, including several outpatient substance use clinics, four opioid treatment programs, buprenorphine treatment in person or via a telehealth visit through Virtual ExpressCare, and treatment for withdrawal from alcohol and opioid use at five of its substance use clinics on a walk-in basis. 

NYC Health + Hospitals’ wide range of obstetric and gynecologic services includes primary care, family planning, abortion care, prenatal through delivery care, midwifery and referrals for doula services, postpartum care, breastfeeding and lactation services, breast exams, nutrition, behavioral health referrals, preventive care, and vaccinations. Nearly 16,000 children are born at NYC Health + Hospitals each year. Gynecology services include menopause and fibroid treatments, as well as specialty practices for gynecologic cancers, pelvic pain, and endometriosis. Patients wishing to make an appointment can call 844-NYC-4NYC.

In January 2024, following his State of the City address, Mayor Adams announced “Women Forward NYC.” Supported through city dollars, private and public partnerships, academic institutions, and federal grant funding, the action plan addresses gender disparities by connecting women to professional development and higher-paying jobs; dismantling barriers to sexual, reproductive, and chronic health care; reducing gender-based violence against women; and providing holistic housing services, including for formerly incarcerated women and domestic and gender-based violence survivors.

“Substance abuse and addiction do not only affect individuals; children are particularly vulnerable to the secondary effects,” said New York State Senator José M. Serrano. “The services that this clinic aims to provide will help address the wide-ranging impacts of substance-use disorder on both mothers and children, helping families break free from the grip of substance abuse.”

“As the daughter of doctors who worked in drug addiction medicine, I have seen firsthand how escaping substance abuse saves lives,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “A new perinatal substance use disorder clinic in the Bronx, the borough with the highest overdose death rate, marks a revolutionary step forward in maternal health. Pregnancy is meant to be a time of joy for families, and substance use treatment for expecting parents will keep addiction from casting a shadow over such a beautiful occasion. This clinic will also help us reach our dual goals of reducing maternal mortality and opioid deaths. Today we bring this gift to thousands of parents in the Bronx.”

“The substance use disorder clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln will address the dual crisis of the opioid epidemic and maternal mortality and morbidity,” said New York State Assemblymember Yudelka Tapia. “The Bronx has been uniquely impacted by these crises with the highest opioid overdose of any borough and a maternal mortality rate that is double the citywide rate. Creating a safe and supportive place is critical in ensuring pregnant and postpartum individuals can access health care services and community-based supports.”

Photo credit: HWM.



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