TLRMC Opens program to treat addicted mothers

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center has officially opened its Maternal Opioid Medical Stabilization (otherwise known as MOMS) program through which the local hospital will provide treatment and assistance to expectant mothers suffering from addiction.

Discussions began around the first of the year to offer a program at the hospital to help expectant mothers suffering from opioid addiction.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO Wayne Meriwether speaks about the hospital’s newly unveiled MOMS program.

Dr. Sam Buck, an obstetrician-gynecologist with Lee, Buck & Lee who is coordinating the MOMS program with his colleagues in his practice and the hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology department, said the primary goal of the program is to keep babies with their mothers by helping expectant mothers addicted to opioids seek recovery and decreasing the number of babies born withdrawing from opioids.

Buck said the program will help expectant mothers in this situation enroll early in prenatal care to begin treatment as soon as possible.

Hospital CEO Wayne Meriwether said Kentucky has the third highest rate of expectant mothers addicted to opioids in the nation, and it is important for TLRMC to be able to offer the MOMS program because, in rural areas of the state, such care is rare.

“We’re changing that,” he said.

Buck said he hopes the local hospital’s program will serve as a catalyst to improve the health of mothers and their babies and ensure that they are not separated due to addiction.

“This is just the start, guys,” said Buck. “…We need every bit of the help that we can get.”

State Sen. Steve Meredith, who retired from TLRMC a number of years ago after a 30-year career as its CEO, said the local hospital is one of the last rural hospitals in the state to offer an obstetrics department, which is important because without local access to this care, many women would likely go without it.

Meredith commended the local hospital’s administration and physicians for having the courage to begin the MOMS program and for the positive impact it will have on the community.

According to Tiffany Holderman, of TLRMC MotherBaby Care, the majority of addicted mothers who seek out prenatal care suffer from methamphetamine addiction, while the hospital averages around one prenatal patient per month who is addicted to opioids.

To request an assessment for treatment, call Medical Stabilization Program Director Jessica Embry at 270-200-4477 or email her at, after which she will schedule an appointment.

Participants will then be admitted to the hospital for two to seven days, after which they will continue an outpatient treatment program with medication and required weekly visits with a therapist. They will also be required to attend a recovery program.

The hospital, Embry said, will assist participants with finding any community resources they require, such as housing or financial assistance.

Embry also said that participants must comply with the requirements of the program throughout their entire pregnancy.

Matt Lasley, Grayson County News-Gazette