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Brigid's Path Sees Rise In Care For Newborns, Moms Facing Addiction

The front fence of the Brigid's Path building, with colorful cutouts of balloons and letters reading "Celebrating 100 Healthy Babies"
Brigid's Path
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In September of 2020, Brigid's Path hit a milestone of 100 families served.

In 2017, Brigid’s Path in Dayton became the first newborn recovery center for babies born to mothers facing addiction. In 2020, the organization says they experienced an 18 percent increase in the clients they serve.

Megan Zarnitz, assistant director at Brigid’s Path, says that big increase last year was a direct result of the COVID pandemic.

“A lot of our families who have been impacted by substance use disorders had a lot of their treatment disrupted a lot of their support, which is much more difficult during a really isolating time and period for everyone," she said.

Brigid’s Path provided care for 47 newborn babies and their mothers last year.

Zarnitz says without their organization most of those infants would have gone directly into foster care.

“If the mom and baby aren't able to go home together, that mom can come back in a really warm, safe and supportive space to visit with her little one while she's still kind of working on her journey. So we continue to stay engaged with those moms as long as they're interested in being engaged, ensure the relative or foster parent has support that they may need."

With their help, almost 70 percent of the babies they served were able to go home with a parent or family members, or to a so-called Safe Family while treatment continues.

The organization offers more information on their challenges and successes in their newly released 2020 Annual Report.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.