Several Swayne Family Foundation board members recently had the opportunity to visit the PATH Clinic in Honolulu, Hawaii. A grant made by the foundation in 2009 helped to fund a part-time Family Advocate position.
The PATH Clinic was founded in April, 2007 and as described by Executive Director Renee Scheutter, “…this OB/GYN clinic is designed to meet the needs of pregnant women with addictions (over 80% name methamphetamines as their primary substance.) Women with addictions rarely obtain regular prenatal care due to fears of incarceration, concerns that they may loss custody of their babies, the perceived negative judgments of healthcare providers, difficulty navigating medical bureaucracies, and lack of transportation and/or childcare.”
During the visit board members learned that the pregnancy outcomes at the PATH Clinic are better than the State of Hawaii and the nation in terms of fewer preterm births and a lower percent of low-birth weight babies. Approximately 90% of the women who go through the Path Clinic program decreased their substance abuse and 80% became completely drug free.
Women who receive services at PATH have access to yoga classes, acupuncture, and focused smoking cessation classes and counseling. The clinic is located in a house in a residential setting. There is a playground for children, an organic garden, a healing garden and an outdoor meeting area for women. The facility is very well maintained with a welcoming atmosphere. Staff is well qualified and devoted to their mission.
The clinic is meeting a clear need in Honolulu and doing so with considerable success. However, as is the case in many instances the needs outweigh the capacity to address them. We would encourage other funders to learn more about PATH at www.pathclinic.org or contact the Swayne Family Foundation for more information www.swaynefoundation.org.