Published on September 17, 2020

FLOTUS Visits Concord Hospital for Conversation About Hospital's Neonatal Abstinence Program

Mom and Baby listening to live therapeutic music

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Concord Hospital was pleased to host a visit from First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Director of National Drug Control Policy James W. Carroll on Thursday, September 17 for a conversation about the Hospital’s Neonatal Abstinence Program, which supports newborns withdrawing from opioids.

Mrs. Trump’s focus is on children. She has traveled around the country to highlight programs that reflect her “Be Best” initiative. The “Be Best” initiative focuses on three pillars: the well-being of youth; cyber-bullying; and, opioid use.

Mrs. Trump chose our program to visit in advance of the COVID-19 pandemic after being presented with five recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Drug Control Policy.

According to Mrs. Trump’s staff, her visit is considered official White House business and not at all associated with the campaign; the two are required to be kept separate. A typical hospital visit includes a tour of the unit floor, yet out of respect for patients, it was determined that this was not possible right now so used rooms and floors that did not disrupt patients or the normal operations of the Hospital.

During the two-hour visit, Mrs. Trump and Mr. Carroll joined Family Place staff in the Forrest D. McKerley Simulation and Education Center to observe how babies withdrawing from opioids are cared for. The First Lady and Mr. Carroll then joined President and CEO Robert P. Steigmeyer, Vice President of Nursing and Family Place Director Erin Collins, family medicine provider Dr. Angela Yerdon McLeod, and Marcia Moran, funder and Trust Board member for a conversation about the Hospital’s program.

It is the practice of Concord Hospital to not engage in activity that may be viewed as political. The Hospital has a long-standing policy of allowing visits from sitting elected officials to learn about specific programs and services of the organization. This is the first time in more than 40 years, if ever, that a member of the First Family has visited Concord Hospital. It was a wonderful opportunity to highlight our unique support of both infants struggling with opioid withdrawal, receive recognition for the Hospital’s efforts and also offer a model for other hospitals to consider.

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