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U.S. Surgeon General learns more about Fresh Start Recovery program success

US Surgeon General learns more about VOAOHIN Program

Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana was part of a vital roundtable discussion surrounding substance use disorder-- specifically opioids and their impact on maternal and child health. Indiana state and local leaders, who work to help reduce the burden of the opioid epidemic, met with U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams on September 27.

Dr. Adams wanted to hear more about the innovative progress that has been made in Indiana to combat the opioid crisis. One of the innovative programs discussed was Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana’s Fresh Start Recovery Center.

Fresh Start Recovery Center was discussed as an exemplary substance use disorder treatment program for pregnant women and moms with small children due to its unique and holistic two-generation (2GEN) family approach to addiction. Fresh Start Recovery Center’s approach improves the outcomes of babies born to mothers affected by opiate use disorder.

The Fresh Start Recovery Center program allows pregnant women and women with small children to receive residential substance use disorder treatment in a stable home-like environment without losing custody of their children. This program -- among the first of its kind nationwide -- helps turn the tide on the opioid crisis and helps mothers raise healthy babies.

Typically, drug treatment programs separate mothers from their children.

“This innovative model empowers and motivates mothers to nurture their children while enrolled in residential addictions treatment, therapy, parenting and life-skills classes led by on-site clinical staff. Fresh Start Recovery Centers success rates are nearly double that of traditional treatment programs.”

Shannon Schumacher
Executive Vice President of Strategy, Innovation, and Clinical Services
Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana



Also attending the round-table discussion with Schumacher was Katelyn along with her two-month-old daughter, both are residents of Fresh Start Recovery Center in Indianapolis.

Katelyn spoke to the panel and Dr. Adams about her positive experience with the treatment and support she is receiving in the program and the successful steps she is taking in her recovery journey. Katelyn also shared how fortunate she felt to have found a substance use disorder treatment program when she was pregnant. Fresh Start Recovery Center was instrumental in the healthy birth of her daughter.

According to the Surgeon General’s website, over the past 15 years, individuals, families, and communities across the country have been tragically affected by the opioid epidemic, with the number of overdose deaths from prescription and illicit opioids doubled.

Indiana currently has three Fresh Start programs operated by Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana; located in Indianapolis, Evansville, and Winchester. Plans for a Fresh Start center in Columbus, Indiana is scheduled in 2020.

Learn more about our Fresh Start Recovery Centers.