Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties recently received a NY State Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation Grant to re-establish the BABY & ME Tobacco Free Program in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. The grant provides funds to help the pregnant women quit smoking and stay quit after the baby is born.
Brooks Memorial Hospital, a member of Lake Erie Regional Health Systems of New York (LERHSNY), located in Dunkirk, will offer the program in northern Chautauqua County.
"We know the harm tobacco use causes to the mother and unborn child. This program is research-based and proven to help our pregnant women quit smoking and stay quit," Roselle Atzrott, Brooks Hospital's Maternity Nurse Manager, said.
Pictured from Left to Right: Katherine Gabel, Brooks Hospital OB Nurse; Theresa Schrantz, Brooks Hospital Employee Health Supervisor; Kathy Hutchinson, Brooks Hospital Social Worker; and Roselle Atzrott, Obstetrical/Maternity Nurse Manager.
Laurie Adams, BABY & ME Tobacco Free Program Director, has provided the technical support and training to Brooks Memorial Hospital staff members to enroll women into the program.
"Brooks Hospital's maternity department is a perfect fit for the program," she stated. "They provide services to a large amount of prenatal women and they support their patients' quit attempts. The program was implemented in Chautauqua County from 2006 to 2009, which enrolled hundreds of participants and helped them quit smoking. Women who enroll in the program, quit smoking and stay quit after the baby is born, receive free diapers for 12 months. The researched program is an effective cessation method and we are thrilled to be working with Brooks Memorial Hospital to offer the program to pregnant women in our community. The greatest gift a woman can give her baby is a tobacco-free pregnancy and a tobacco-free home. We look forward to offering the program."
The Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation (MECF) awarded 19 grants throughout New York state. Their goals are healthy babies, children ready to learn, and parents who provide a nurturing environment for their children.
"Grants are selected through a highly competitive process. We are pleased to provide the funds for the BABY & Me- Tobacco Free Program to Cornell Cooperative Extension to help expectant mothers in Chautauqua County quit smoking and stay quit," Joy Griffith, MECF Executive Director from Albany, said.
Adult smoking rates in New York state have reached an all-time low of 16 percent. A recent Chautauqua County adult tobacco survey shows a 23 percent adult smoking rate, establishing the need for more programs and cessation services to help county residents quit smoking. Smoking during pregnancy is known to cause birth defects, premature births, underweight babies and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), to name a few. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the health risks to the mother and baby.
The BABY & ME Tobacco Free Program will enroll at least 120 participants in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. For more information on referring women to the program or participating in the program contact Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk at 363-3080.