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Perinatal clinic to help substance abusers receives grant

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton 554-2586, 692-0897
Communications Director
Posted: Feb 11, 2008

The March of Dimes Hawaiʻi Chapter has awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaiʻi (PATH) Clinic to support underserved women and their unborn children.

The PATH Clinic was created by an Act of the Hawai'i State Legislature last year. Since it opened in April 2007, the clinic has seen sixty women, providing comprehensive prenatal, delivery, and postpartum services to women with a history of substance abuse. The clinic offers services by Dr. Tricia Wright, a John A. Burns School of Medicine Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women‘s Health. Also offered are the services of a social worker trained in the areas of substance abuse and behavioral health. An addiction fellow from the department of Psychiatry also sees patients at the clinic and aids in treatment plans. Activities to teach parenting skills and enhance self-esteem are also sponsored by the clinic.

The PATH Clinic is "non-judgmental and confidential with any information you share", in the words of one patient. "Being open and honest knowing you are coming from a challenging background or presently being challenged and able to come to a place like this is very encouraging and reassuring on your conscience," she said. That young woman has told state lawmakers she was pondering ending her life until she read about the PATH Clinic in an advertisement on a city bus.

The grant from the Hawai'i March of Dimes will be used to provide motivational incentives in the form of small gifts to women who keep their doctor's appointments, regularly attend classes at the clinic, and achieve valued goals. Prenatal care can help prevent the pregnancy complications, such as premature birth, that can be a consequence of drug use.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For resources and information, visit

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