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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
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 began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.