TEC News

TEC News

From Plans to Action: Prevention and Support for Pregnant Blackfeet Women Using Opioids

Press Release, TEC News

The Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center (RMTEC) has received new funding from the Montana Healthcare Foundation to support their work with the Blackfeet tribe in combating opioid and other drug use among pregnant women on the Blackfeet Reservation.

From Plans to Action: Prevention and Support for Pregnant Blackfeet Women Using Opioids will follow up on a previous MHCF planning grant from 2016, which funded RMTEC and their Boston University-based partners to perform initial planning on opioid prevention among pregnant women on Blackfeet.

Last year’s funds supported a conference on Blackfeet; a detailed report and feedback; an inspirational Blackfeet visit to the Lummi tribe’s opioid maintenance program; and the formation of a brand new, multi-partner Opioid Prevention Task Force (OPT) on Blackfeet.

The new funding will continue this work, in partnership with the BU-based Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research (CHEER) by solidifying and coordinating the work of the OPT; conducting focus groups/key informant interviews with opioid-users and with clinicians on Blackfeet; conducting a “Gap analysis” to determine any treatment shortfalls for opioid-using pregnant women on Blackfeet; assessing the adequacy of prenatal screening; and establishing a referral system for care. The project will also consider and facilitate discussion of whether and how the program could address other substances such as alcohol and methamphetamine.

Montana Healthcare Foundation will also assist with creation of a business plan for Medication Assisted Treatment on the Reservation. The grant will foster the relationship between the Lummi and Blackfeet Tribes, as well as between the Blackfeet and other MHCF grantees working on opioid and substance use disorder prevention in Montana.