First Lady Melania Trump traveled to Boston Wednesday, Nov. 6, to give visibility to an innovative line of programs that help both mothers struggling to give up their opiate addiction and their newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), according to the Boston Herald.

“As you may know, this is an issue I am very focused on,” said the first lady in a roundtable with the governor’s wife, Lauren Baker; U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar; Boston Medical Center (BMD) President Kate Walsh; and members of her administrative and medical staff.

First Lady Melania Trump, accompanied by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, on a roundtable on Nov. 6, 2019, at Boston Medical Center in Boston. (Official photo of the White House by Andrea Hanks)
First Lady Melania Trump, accompanied by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, at a roundtable on Nov. 6, 2019, at Boston Medical Center in Boston. (Andres Hanks/Official White House by Andrea Hanks)

“I hope today’s visit helps shine a light on programs like yours,” she added after hearing that some children who are exposed to opiates in utero automatically become addicted to the substance from the age of 6, and that overdoses are currently the leading cause of death during pregnancy.

After the briefing, they invited the first lady to tour the facilities where she could see, first hand, unique programs like Project RESPECT, which welcomes and assists about 200 pregnant women addicted to opioids each year—the goal is to create a more stable environment for both mothers and their newborns, CBN said.

Another major program is CALM, in which volunteers offer hugging, comfort, and “non-pharmacological care” to NAS babies when their parents are unavailable or need rest.

The first lady also met with children and families who enjoy the initiative called SOFAR Clinic, its mission is to create a medical home for recovering parents and their children and reduce the number of visits required for different treatments.

“Neonatal abstinence syndrome is one of the most heartbreaking parts of the opioid crisis,” said U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar, explaining that the Trump administration has put a special focus on the problem, driving advances in NAS research, USA Today reported.

She then thanked the center’s staff and patients for “welcoming” her, and she pledged to “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.”

“It is so important to acknowledge and show gratitude for what you are doing to help,” she added, impressed by the “care and compassion that the medical staff devotes to the patients and their families.”

“Today Secretary Azar and I met with the doctors, nurses, and leadership who are behind the innovative programs at BMC. Their dedication and compassion for helping families and babies with NAS is an inspiration to us all,” she later wrote on her Twitter account.

First lady Melania Trump, accompanied by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and hospital staff, greets patients during a tour of the pediatric wing on Nov. 6, 2019 at Boston Medical Center in Boston. (Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks)
First Lady Melania Trump, accompanied by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and hospital staff, greets patients during a tour of the pediatric wing on Nov. 6, 2019 at Boston Medical Center in Boston. (Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks)

“Be Best is dedicated to shining a light on programs similar to the ones I learned about today,” said the first lady about her campaign to bring social, emotional and physical health to children. “The programs implemented [by BCM] supply the necessary services and education to patients and families struggling with addiction,” she said.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.