AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Hope House is partnering with Augusta University to provide on-site medical treatments to the women seeking sanctuary there.
Augusta University fellows in the Addiction Medicine Fellowship get clinical experience providing medical treatment to residents at Hope House. This allows the patient to feel secure by not having to leave the grounds.
“I came in. I was by myself. I was pregnant.”
Jackie Mann has been a resident at Hope House for 9 months. She said the facility has been a safe haven while she has been receiving treatment for addiction.
“Being an addict. Being pregnant. I didn’t really have anywhere to go,” said Mann.
Hope House is one of the only places for women that allow them to bring their children. Mann’s children lost their father while she was at Hope House and because of that policy, they were able to stay with her.
“I’m basically learning, I mean, I have the support while I’m here and I’m learning how to be a mother again. And it would be really hard if I was out there by myself.”
Mann explains that having access to a doctor on the grounds, especially being pregnant, put her mind at ease.
“I just know that they’re here if there’s anything that I need, since they’re on campus, you know what I mean? Like any medical problems I’ve had, I went to them. It just means a lot that women can get the help here,” she said.
Dr. Ritesh Mehta is a fellow with the Addiction Medicine Fellowship.
“We help the residents here with treatment. That could be a mental health treatment, if they have any mood disorders. We help them with starting the treatment and also having the maintenance of the treatment. If they’ve been on something in the past, we also get them to get on a treatment as well,” he explained.
He said he is grateful for the chance to provide this specialized level of treatment.
“Then we bring in pregnant women with addiction. That is a completely different ballgame that not a lot of addiction medicine fellows will get to develop and learn. We were blessed enough that we have this mutual relationship,” Dr. Mehta said.
The Addiction Medicine Fellowship is open to four doctors and lasts for a year.
Dr. Mehta is the first fellow in the program and will be graduating in August. Four new fellows will begin their rotations in August as well.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins