$1M donated to help bring women’s rehab center to Owensboro

November 16, 2022 | 12:08 am

Updated November 15, 2022 | 10:46 pm

Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States. | File photo

WellCare of Kentucky donated just more than $1 million to Volunteers of America Mid-States (VOA) to support the expansion of Freedom House, a program that provides residential treatment for pregnant and parenting women overcoming substance use disorder. Officials have been working to bring the program to Owensboro, and this donation will aid that effort.

The donation will also help VOA double the capacity of the current Freedom House location in Manchester, plus expand the program to Stanford and northern Kentucky.

“WellCare has been a longtime supporter of the VOA, and this generous contribution will mean life-changing care for families across the Commonwealth. We are thrilled to bring Freedom House to more Kentucky mothers struggling with substance use disorder and help families start living new, healthy lives,” said Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States.

Hancock previously said that when the opioid crisis started coming to Kentucky, the program — nationally recognized for its focus on the mother and children — tripled in size.

“The program seeks to address maternal addiction by allowing mom to come into treatment to bring all of her kids with her, and give her a safe place to heal and to allow kids to heal from the trauma they’ve been exposed to,” Hancock said.

The program tries to keep the mom attached to Freedom House as a provider of services for her first 3 years. To do so, they offer housing and other resources while she completes the program.

Hancock said while the length of the program varies on numerous factors — the severity of substance use, history of treatment, pregnancy stage, etc. — they try their best to ensure the physical and mental health of the entire family.

Freedom House also works to reunite families and continue the family-centric treatment environment.

“We believe so strongly that it’s our role to deliver real health care outcomes, not just focusing on the number of people we serve, but the outcome of what their lives are like because of their involvement with Freedom House,” Hancock said.

Since its creation in 1993, Freedom House has delivered 301 babies born free of illicit substances. Using an evidence-based clinical services model of recovery and holistic, family-centered treatment, Freedom House addresses the cycle of addiction with children while simultaneously treating mothers.

“As more Kentuckians seek ways to address substance use disorders, safe housing and a supportive environment are essential elements on the road to recovery,” said Corey Ewing, plan president and CEO of WellCare of Kentucky. “We are proud to partner with VOA to help place expectant and new mothers gain access to the resources and support they need to live better, healthier lives.”

VOA is currently looking for property in Owensboro for the Freedom House program expansion and is continuing to work closely with the community’s local healthcare, governmental and human services leaders to build strong local partnerships throughout the areas. WellCare’s investment will help VOA purchase buildings to house the program and cover the start-up costs associated with hiring and onboarding staff.

November 16, 2022 | 12:08 am

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