Pediatric Interim Care Center Programs
PICC's Infant Withdrawal Program provides specialized, 24-hour care in a homelike environment for infants prenatally exposed to drugs their mothers took during pregnancy. The program's goal is to protect these vulnerable newborns through the withdrawal period and give them a safe and healthy start in life. Nursing aides working under the supervision of registered nurses provide round-the-clock infant care, and two pediatricians are on-call and make rounds. The average stay is about one month.
To assure that the infants continue to thrive, PICC provides an After Care Program that follows each infant for a minimum of six months. A PICC Social Worker follows each baby with telephone calls and home visits. They provide support and check to see that the baby is gaining weight appropriately and reaching developmental milestones. PICC's After Care Program fills an important gap, providing an extra set of eyes on infants who are especially vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
PICC's Education and Outreach Program provides information on the recognition and care of drug-exposed infants to caregivers, medical professionals, social service providers, and others. Through classes, videos, written materials, and a 24-hour information hotline, this program allows PICC to share its unique knowledge to improve outcomes for drug-exposed infants throughout the country. PICC also provides an informational program with a powerful anti-drug message for local schools.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Baby Sarah was born on a kitchen floor without prenatal care or medical assistance. Her mother left her lying on the floor for hours, bleeding through the unclamped umbilical cord, before finally wrapping the tiny baby in dirty blanket and taking her to the hospital. Sarah's mother abused heroin and crystal meth, and Sarah began feeling the painful effects of withdrawal soon after birth. Sarah is one of more than 2,700 babies who have been given a safe and healthy start in life at PICC. At the same time, PICC has saved the State of Washington more than $80 million by providing a cost-effective alternative to hospital care for infants requiring narcotic-assisted withdrawal.
PICC's greatest need is financial support from the community to help fill the gap left by state budget cuts that reduced PICC's funding from the Washington State Legislature by $300,000. Although we have cut expenses as much as possible and are working hard to find other sources of revenue, we need your help so we can continue to provide the highest quality of care to every drug-affected and medically fragile newborn referred to us for care.