WASHINGTON, DC (WOAY)- U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins announced Wednesday morning that he has secured a commitment from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to implement a number of best practices to help babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, exposure to drugs during pregnancy.
Rep. Jenkins has been working through legislation he introduced, the Protecting NAS Babies Act, and directly with HHS to implement key findings for treating newborns from a report authored several years ago.
The report was written thanks to legislation cosponsored by Rep. Jenkins, but HHS never fully developed or implemented a strategy to put these recommendations for treating newborns into practice. As a result, Rep. Jenkins has continued to push for HHS to take immediate action to ensure newborns are receiving the very best possible care.
“Suffering through withdrawal from exposure to drugs such as heroin and other opioids is a horrific way to start one’s life, but tragically that’s still the reality for too many newborns in West Virginia. I am pleased to have received this commitment from HHS to implement these best practices to ensure that every newborn has a chance at a healthy and happy start to life.
“Places in West Virginia like Lily’s Place and Cabell Huntington Hospital are leading the way with cutting-edge care, and we must make sure that all healthcare facilities are using the most updated and appropriate care methods. One of the best ways we can fight the drug crisis is to share treatment plans, approaches and interventions that are working so they can be implemented nationwide. I thank HHS for following the recommendations in my legislation and working with us to help the most innocent victims of the drug crisis,” Rep. Jenkins said.