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VUMC’s Patrick speaks to members of congress about neonatal abstinence syndrome

Jun. 29, 2015, 3:51 PM

(photo by Erika Nizborski)

Stephen Patrick, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy in the Division of Neonatology with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, recently testified before congress about the rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Patrick said that the condition — which now accounts for an estimated $1.5 billion in annual health care expenditures — is tied to the growing number of prescription opioids being used in the United States.

Patrick’s testimony centered on the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015, which embodies a multidisciplinary, public health approach aimed at understanding the problem and filling knowledge and service gaps to improve the health of both women and their infants.

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