First Lady Melania Trump traveled to Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday morning. The visit highlighted Boston Medical Center’s treatment programs for babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), as part of the First Lady’s Be Best initiative.

Mrs. Trump, joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, met with leadership and staff from Boston Medical Center during a roundtable discussion.  The First Lady received a briefing on the hospital’s programs that center on the care of mothers and their children.  Project RESPECT provides medically assisted treatment to nearly 200 women annually, creating a more stable environment for babies. Cuddling Assists in Lowering Maternal and Infant Stress (CALM) is a program that utilizes volunteers from within the community to hold babies with NAS, providing them comfort while decreasing their withdrawal symptoms when the child’s parent is not available.  The final program discussed was the Supporting Our Families Through Addiction and Recovery (SOFAR) Clinic.  The SOFAR Clinic, launched in 2017, focuses on the wellness of a family during the recovery process. The program’s overall goal is to maintain the health of the family and to provide them with the education and resources they need to overcome the lasting effects of addiction.

The First Lady concluded her visit with a tour of Boston Medical Center’s Pediatric Unit. Mrs. Trump met with children and families who are currently enrolled in the hospital’s recovery program, SOFAR, and learned about their experiences with NAS and opioid addiction.

The First Lady’s Be Best initiative has taken her to hospitals throughout the country and she has been dedicated to promoting community resources meant to help families affected by the opioid epidemic. She has visited hospitals and recovery centers such as Lily’s Place in West Virginia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Be Best is dedicated to shining a light on programs similar to the ones I learned about today at Boston Medical Center,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “The programs implemented supply the necessary services and education to patients and families struggling with addiction.  Thank you to Boston Medical Center for welcoming me today. It was evident that the care and compassion that the medical staff devotes to the patients and their families has a positive impact on the entire Boston community. I will continue to raise awareness about Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and promote the incredibly important resources and programs that provide families with the care and help they need.”

“Infants suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) represent one of the most heartbreaking aspects of our country’s opioid crisis.” Said Secretary Azar.  “As part of our comprehensive, science-based strategy, HHS has put a particular focus on better understanding NAS and the needs of mothers and infants impacted by it. I appreciate the personal leadership of the First Lady in drawing attention to NAS and the families struggling with it. Our trip to Boston Medical Center was part of work that we’ve done together to learn from the experiences and stories of clinicians, researchers, and families who are tackling NAS.”

Roundtable Participants:

Secretary Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary
Lauren Baker, First Lady of Massachusetts
Kate Walsh, President and CEO of Boston Medical Center Health System
Bob Vinci, MD, Chair, Chief of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center
Aviva Lee-Parritz, MD, Chair, Chief Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston Medical Center
Elisha Wachman, MD, Neonatologist at Boston Medical Center and Director of NAS/NOW Care
Eileen Costello, MD, Chief of Ambulatory Pediatrics and Co-Director of SOFAR at Boston Medical Center
Nancy Gaden, Chief Nursing Officer