Staying Afloat: Keeping Moms Connected to Opioid and Substance Abuse Services

Thursday, August 16th
3:30pm – 5:00pm

Opioid use among women of childbearing age and the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome have risen dramatically in recent years. States are expanding substance use disorder services for pregnant and parenting women to ensure they receive a continuum of care that promotes their long-term recovery and the well-being of their children.


Ana Novais, Rhode Island Department of Health

Ana P. Novais, holds a master degree in Clinical Psychology, UCLN, Belgium. Ana has worked for the RI Department of Health since 1998, as an Education and Outreach Coordinator and as the Chief for the Office of Minority Health.

In March 2006 as the lead for the Division of Community, Family Health and Equity, Ana oversaw the areas related with Health Disparities, Access to Care, Maternal and Child Health, Chronic Disease Management, Health Promotion, Environmental Health; and developed and implemented the “Health Equity Zones” initiative.

In August 1, 2015 Ana become the Executive Director for the Department.


Allen Brenzel, Medical/Clinical Director, Dept for Behavioral Health, Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities

Dr. Brenzel currently serves as the Medical Director for the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities and is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Kentucky. He has developed broad health policy expertise in many areas and has served in state government for over 20 years. This has included working to modernize the State Medicaid Plan to include a full continuum of behavioral health and substance abuse services. In partnership with other state agencies, Dr. Brenzel has worked on reducing prescription drug abuse, addressing buprenorphine utilization and diversion, disseminating naloxone rescue kits, and developing guidelines for Kentucky’s Harm Reduction and Syringe Exchange Programs. He was the CO-PI for the Kentucky, SAMHSA MAT-PDOA grant which has implemented a coordinated care model to care for woman with an opioid use disorder who are pregnant or parenting.


Donna Hillman, CSAT O-STR Project Lead, SAMHSA

Donna is the CSAT Project Lead for the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis project. She is the former State Director for the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health and has over ten years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She was appointed by the Governor to the Agency for Substance Abuse Policy, a group of state agency and community coalition leaders working on coordination of services and supports for persons with MH/SUD. She was responsible for state-specific certification and oversight of state narcotics programs. Following her work at the state, she worked as the clinical program manager for a peer-run long term residential SUD recovery facility for women. She was awarded a B.S. in Psychology by Michigan State University and a M.S. in Community Counseling from the University of Akron (Ohio). Donna is also a person in long-term recovery.


This session is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)