Saint Joseph Hospital Awarded Grant to Improve Access to Mental Health Care Project Aims to Help Pregnant Women and New Mothers

Contact: Tiffany Anderson
303.812.6436 or Tiffany.Anderson@sclhs.net

Denver, Colorado (Sept. 11, 2017) – The Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation was recently awarded a three-year, $820,000 grant from The Zoma Foundation for its Denver-Area Continuum of Maternal Mental Health (Denver CMMH) project. The funding from The Zoma Foundation, a Denver-based foundation backed by philanthropists Ben and Lucy Ana Walton, will support the development and implementation of a comprehensive mental health screening and treatment program for women at Saint Joseph Hospital throughout pregnancy, delivery and one-year postpartum.

This evidenced-based approach will help in detecting and treating perinatal mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, which one in seven women are estimated to experience. When left untreated, these behavioral health issues can cause devastating consequences for women, babies and families.

The Denver CMMH project is based on groundbreaking work by Dr. Camille Hoffman, who is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine provider at Saint Joseph Hospital and Lutheran Medical Center. She also serves as Associate Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) and Psychiatry departments.

“Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the number one complication of pregnancy and the postpartum period. This grant will enable us to integrate mental health assessment and treatment into prenatal and postpartum care. This is a huge step forward towards improving pregnancy outcomes, a mother’s mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and overall maternal, child and family health and wellness”, said Hoffman.

“We are grateful for SCL Health and Saint Joseph Hospital’s commitment to being a Colorado leader in the integration of mental and physical health to support the best outcomes for mothers, parents, and their children,” said Lucy Ana Walton, Co-founder of the Zoma Foundation. “The Zoma Foundation is proud to contribute to building a new standard for the health and wellness of pregnant and postpartum women. The opportunity to screen consistently and connect women to a continuum of care is a great step forward. It is the Zoma Foundation’s hope that innovative work in this concentrated area will yield results that can be replicated statewide, nationally and even internationally.”

Dr. Rachel Gaffney, Medical Director of the Saint Joseph Hospital Graduate Medical Education program’s Seton Women’s Center and Dr. Marshall Gottesfeld, Program Director of the Saint Joseph Hospital Graduate Medical Education program’s OB/GYN residency, are key leaders of the Saint Joseph Hospital team that will launch the project this fall. This initiative will begin at Saint Joseph Hospital but will extend to SCL Health’s other three hospitals, Good Samaritan, Lutheran and Platte Valley Medical Centers by the conclusion of the project.

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About Saint Joseph Hospital

Founded in Denver in 1873 by the Sisters of Charity Leavenworth, Saint Joseph Hospital was the first private hospital in Colorado. Today it is recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation and largest private teaching hospital in Denver. Specializing in a variety of areas including advanced heart care, pregnancy and childbirth and cancer treatment, Saint Joseph Hospital continues to offer the high-quality, affordable health care that has served Denver for more than 140 years. By working closely with top physicians, Kaiser Permanente and National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation, Saint Joe’s is able to provide some of the best inpatient and outpatient care in Colorado. Saint Joseph Hospital’s parent organization, SCL Health, is a faith-based, non-profit healthcare system that operates 12 hospitals, more than 210 physician clinics, home health care, hospice, mental health care, and safety-net services in Colorado and Montana.

About Zoma Foundation

The Zoma Foundation, a Denver-based foundation created by Ben and Lucy Ana Walton, was founded in 2016. Early childhood development is a focus area of the Foundation which is committed to reducing social-emotional and cognitive disparities in children from pregnancy through age 5 in the greater Denver metro area. The Foundation addresses four areas of support for families toward this goal: Mental health for parents, infants and toddlers; Parent and family awareness of early childhood development; Child maltreatment prevention and care; and Catalytic tools and initiatives.

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