News: Insider Louisville, July 2, 2015

Humana Foundation provides grant to help care for mothers struggling with addiction

July 2, 2015 2:40 pm

by Melissa Chipman

Volunteers of America has received a $115,000 grant from the Humana Foundation to support an initiative called iChooseWell: Healthy Choices for Women and Families. This program will work with women served by VOA’s Freedom House, a facility that houses and supports alcohol and/or drug dependent pregnant women and women with young children. 

Since 2013, ChooseWell staff have been meeting with women at Freedom House and teaching them about healthy and affordable food choices, nutritious cooking, mindfulness practices, and exercise. ChooseWell is an independent agency that works with health care providers and communities to help design holistic health priorities and outcomes.

The Humana Foundation grant will significantly increase the availability of ChooseWell’s services to the Freedom House residents. ChooseWell will staff a registered nurse care manager and a community health worker to design and implement wellness plans for the residents.

Freedom House is the only facility in Louisville that allows mothers, babies and older children to live together in the residential recovery setting. This will be the first time this type of targeted care management model will be in place for the city’s pregnant and parenting women struggling with addiction.

Freedom House currently offers counseling, drug and alcohol education, parenting classes, life skills training, nutrition classes and child care.

ChooseWell is one of Mayor Greg Fischer’s designated “Compassionate Health Organizations” as per his “Compassionate City” initiative. Volunteers of America provides 37 diverse programs including addiction recovery, HIV prevention, homeless and housing services, developmental and intellectual disabilities services, and veterans’ services.

The iChooseWell program at Freedom House seeks to provide the resident women and their children with a comprehensive health plan and skills that they can take forward with them when they leave the program. Since the Freedom House program began, more than 90 babies have been born drug-free to women in the program.