HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A transition care center for babies born addicted to drugs is waiting to open it’s doors to little ones in need. Lily’s place, in Huntington, was all set to open when Cabell Huntington Hospital announced earlier this month they were teaming up with the facility.
Mary Brown, one of the founding members of the Lily’s Place Board, said the partnership is more than they could have hoped for and will provide the best possible care for babies with special needs.
“It means a seamless continuum care between any prenatal records that the babies would have, any birth records, any information and documentation the babies had at the hospital,” explained Brown.
Babies born addicted to drugs need special care and often for several weeks, even months, after their births. Lily’s Place has room for 29 newborns to receive all care they need while providing parents with with classes and counseling.
At times, Cabell Huntington’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit, or NIC-U, is bursting at the seams. Lily’s place will help transition the babies to a less sterile environment with just as much medical care.
“It takes the baby out of the hospital environment and allows them to recover in a more home-like setting and it also frees the hospital’s beds up,” explained Brown.
Along with the medical records, the hospital will also be providing clinical staff to help care for the babies, on a short-term basis, at Lily’s Place.
Brown said the epidemic of babies born with prenatal drug exposure has been on their radar screen for several years. That’s why they founded Lily’s Place and decided to take a proactive approach to a distressing problem.
“We kind of felt this was going to be something that was a model for the rest of the United States and that’s exactly what it’s turning out to be,” said Brown. “We’ve had calls from everywhere, people wanting to find out about it.”
Because Lily’s place is now affiliated with Cabell Huntington, they have to meet joint commission standards, including an inspection of the building by the hospital’s engineering staff. Brown said there’s no word on when that will happen. But she’s anxious to get the formalities out of the way and start helping babies recover.