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Spotlight on Opioid Treatment During Pregnancy

Governor recognizes Dr. Marjorie Meyer in State of the State address

Governor Phil Scott recognized the work of Marjorie Meyer, MD, in the treatment of women with opioid dependence during pregnancy in his State of the State address on Jan. 9 in Montpelier.

The governor described Dr. Meyer, division chief of maternal-fetal medicine at UVM Medical Center, as a “world-class innovator.” She began prescribing buprenorphine in 2006 with a focus on treating pregnant women with opioid dependence. It didn’t take long for her to recognize that her patients not only needed her empathy but a lot of additional support within an environment of recovery, rather than judgement.

Working with state agencies and community organizations, she collaborated with clinical colleagues to create a program to improve access and quality of care for mothers and their newborns. Jerilyn Metayer, RN, and Anne Johnston, MD, were key partners and John Brooklyn, MD, a pioneer in medication assisted treatment (MAT) in Vermont, guided her in getting started. The program has succeeded in making MAT available in smaller communities, developing protocols for office-based therapy with buprenorphine and training provider groups. 

Dr. Meyer continues to be inspired by the positive outcomes she sees for babies whose mothers are in treatment. And the approximate 100 pregnant women around the state who access treatment each year now do so within their own communities, thanks in large part to Dr. Meyer’s efforts. 

The Governor said: “The state of the state, our values and identity, are guided by—but have never been defined by—what happens in this building. It’s the people of Vermont, doing all they can to lift each other up, who will shape our future. They define who we are and all we can be.”