In 2014, Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance and a team of community partners was awarded a grant to explore how community stakeholders in the NRV gain information on behavioral health and then use that information to enhance and/or develop programs and policies. Building on this initial work, this same team was then awarded an Innovation Community grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to develop and implement an early warning system for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (problems that occur in a newborn when exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs while in the mothers womb), with the hope of reducing cases of NAS. The NRV represents 10% of the reported cases of NAS statewide in 2014 and has the highest rates of NAS in the Southwestern Region. To learn more: Mary Elizabeth Dunkenberger,

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