SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital held a ribbon-cutting and open house today to celebrate the expansion of the WISH (Women and Infant Substance Help) Center, which provides comprehensive, high-risk maternity care for women who are dependent on opioid drugs. It is the only center of its kind in the region.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, First Lady Sheena Greitens and Randall Williams, MD, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, attended the event as part of the Governor’s weeklong focus on combating opioid abuse in Missouri.
“We appreciate you welcoming us to be here today to learn more (about the WISH Center) and go on the tour,” Governor Greitens said at the event.
"We are so inspired by the success you have had and we’re really excited about this new opening and all of the people -- all of the women and all of the children -- that you will be able to help through the tremendous work that you do. Congratulations to everyone.”
The WISH Center was created in 2014 in response to the growing opioid public health crisis. The Center started out as a half-day clinic that operated within the SLUCare department of maternal and fetal medicine, but quickly became back-logged. A dedicated, full-time practice opened in October 2016. Jaye Shyken, MD, a SLUCare Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, is the medical director.
“At SSM Health, we are committed to serving our communities and providing exceptional health care, especially for the most vulnerable. The WISH Center embodies that mission.,” said Travis Capers, president of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital.
The new, expanded WISH Center is 3,600 sq. ft. and includes an expanded waiting room, three exam rooms, two induction rooms for initiating treatment, ultrasound, fetal monitoring, laboratory, counseling and more. It is located at 1035 Bellevue Ave. on the campus of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital.
“Patient volume at the WISH Center has grown faster than anyone could have expected, which is a testament to the need in the community,” Capers said. “With the expansion complete, the team will now be able to help more women on their journey to recovery and motherhood.”
To date, SSM Health has invested $1.2 million into the WISH program, which also includes a satellite office in Carbondale, Illinois.
About SSM Health
SSM Health (www.ssmhc.com) is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation.
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – St. Louis is a 525-bed hospital specializing in high-risk obstetrics. A teaching hospital, St. Mary’s is home to an accredited internal medicine residency program and to Saint Louis University School of Medicine Obstetrics/Gynecology and Family Practice residency programs. For more information, visit us at www.ssmhealth.com/stmarys or find us on Facebook and Twitter.