Health Department Launches Strong Beginnings Program

Leonardtown, MD - October 3, 2019 - St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is pleased to announce the launch of the Strong Beginnings Program. The Strong Beginnings Program will provide intensive case management services for women of reproductive age who are facing issues or have needs related to behavioral health, including mental health and substance use concerns for themselves or a partner.

This program aims to: 

• Provide personalized care coordination with referrals to needed services for women identified with maternal depression as well as substance use disorders

• Educate on the impact of mental health and substance use disorders

• Equip caregivers with resources for positive child development and reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impacting children in our community

• Increase communication and collaboration within the healthcare system

“We want to educate and empower women so that they can effectively use our local healthcare system to meet their unique needs,” said Ashley Milcetic, Strong Beginnings Community Nursing Supervisor at SMCHD. “Our hope is that the program will not only help women to improve their own health but will also leave a lasting positive impact on the health of their families.”

The program will serve women throughout the reproductive cycle – preconception, prenatal, and postpartum – addressing issues that arise with each stage and providing individualized support. Home visits, education and specialty referrals will be provided free of charge to program participants. Strong Beginnings also includes an educational  program that will be provided for female inmates at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

Local healthcare providers and partner organizations are working with SMCHD to provide program referrals and to assist with program planning and evaluation. For more information visit www.smchd.or/strongbeginnings or call SMCHD at 301-475-4330.

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