ENFIELD — Families Flourish Northeast, a newly established nonprofit, is addressing the critical need for a residential treatment center for pregnant and parenting women in the Upper Valley.

The burden of the opioid crisis has substantially increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with overdose rates and other complications of substance use devastating the lives of families and communities across New Hampshire and Vermont. Although the impact on pregnant and parenting women and their children also continues to grow, treatment availability does not match the need in rural communities, and most programs do not allow women to bring their children with them.

“The substance use epidemic is tearing families apart, and the economic stress caused by the pandemic makes pregnant and parenting women especially vulnerable. It is critically important to provide treatment services that do not ask women to choose between getting the level of care that they need and leaving their children behind,” said Daisy Goodman, a nurse midwife who provides women’s health care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s outpatient perinatal treatment program.

Currently, NH has only two residential programs which accommodate children in the southern part of the state, and Vermont has only one program. These programs have a limited number of beds and typically long waiting lists. Founded in 2020, FFNE’s mission is to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of addiction and promote family healing and sustained recovery. FFNE will create a warm, supportive, and safe environment that welcomes women to stay with their children throughout recovery.

Families Flourish is guided by a board of directors, including Chair Courtney Tanner, JD, MSW of Bedford, director of government relations at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; Treasurer Alice Ely, MPH of Grantham, executive director of the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley; Secretary and Clinical Committee Chair Tamara Barry, APRN of Etna, retired OB/GYN nurse practitioner formerly of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Development Committee Chair Laurie Storey-Manseau, MA, of Hopkinton, principal of StoreyManseau, LLC; Physical Plant Committee Chair Tom Sullivan, LEED AP of Bedford, manager of Sullivan Construction, LLC; Aurora Drew, PhD of Grantham, faculty at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; Lisa Baldez, PhD of Hanover, professor of government and Latin American, Latino and Caribbean studies at Dartmouth College; Gene Calvano, MS of Manchester, founder and former owner of Small Business Computers of New England, Inc.; Steve Genest of Nashua, retired human resource professional; Lynn Guillette, CPA, MHCDS, MBA of Lebanon, vice president of payment innovation and strategic administration at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; and Lisa Johnson, MS of Norwich, Vt., marketing and communications professional at Upper Valley Produce.

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