Thunderbirds Charities Supports Hushabye Nursery and the Tiniest Victims of the Opioid Crisis with a $100,000 Gift

Hushabye Nursery is excited to announce a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities help us care for the tiniest victims of the opioid crisis – babies born withdrawing from opioids they were exposed to in the womb (NAS) – and their parents who are struggling with opioid use disorder.

“With the on-going support of Thunderbird Charities, we can provide a light at the end of the tunnel for substance exposed babies and families that need our help,” says Tara Sundem, Hushabye Nursery Co-Founder, Executive Director and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, “and for that we are extremely grateful.”

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), more than 2,400 newborns were diagnosed between 2017-2020 with NAS, the excruciatingly painful withdrawal from opioids they were exposed to in the womb. Even with that number, AZDHS affirms NAS is underreported.

“It is horrific to watch. Once you see one baby withdrawing, you will never, ever forget it,” says Tara.
In the nursery, Hushabye uses the “Eat/Sleep/Console” (ESC) assessment tool and care model. This proven soothing technique requires 24/7, one-on-one attention to each baby with NAS. This includes immediate reaction to her ear-piercing cry of physical agony; continually holding her as she trembles uncontrollably; and putting the pacifier back into her mouth the moment it falls out because it is consoling her and without it the pain immediately returns. The innovative Hushabye model is working. An average 8% of babies received their first dose of Morphine dose at Hushabye compared to the national average 98% in the hospital NICU.

“Before coming to Hushabye, I was pregnant and scared that my baby would be taken from me. It pained me to think about the fact I might not be able to keep my daughter. Luckily my nurse pointed me in the direction of Hushabye Nursery. They were able to show me the way to change my life around and helped give me that push I needed to change. I never knew this kind of help was out there and it means everything to me. I was able to keep my daughter, got a job, a car and a place of my own. I couldn’t have done it without Hushabye!” explains a Hushabye mom.

Hushabye Nursery

This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.