Building Resilience With Pregnant and Postpartum Women Through MEGAN’s Place: A Unique Program Located in Harford County, Maryland




Shelby Graves, Ronya Nassar, Russell Moy, Marcy Austin, and Mallory Canami

Brief Type




Background: MEGAN’s Place (Meaningful Environment to Gather and Nurture), is a safe non-judgmental place for at-risk pregnant and postpartum women and their families to access recovery and wraparound services. Special emphasis is placed on women currently living with substance use disorders (SUD). Located in Harford County, Maryland where the rate of Substance Exposed Newborns (SENs) is 35 per 1,000 live births, MEGAN’s Place was founded upon existing evidence-based programs, such as Healthy Families America home visiting program and Helping Families Recover peer recovery support program. This study explores the effectiveness of MEGAN’s Place in building family resilience, increasing access to essential health services, and improving maternal and child health outcomes overall. Methods: Family resilience is measured using the Devereux Adult Resilience Survey (DARS) that is administered upon entry of the program and assessed 3 and 6 months after involvement. Focus groups will also be conducted to explore attitudes and beliefs towards receiving services. Results: 65 women are currently in the program. Baseline data and focus groups will be collected by March 2019 and follow-up surveys will be completed by June 2019.

Discussion: In order for at-risk mothers and their families to achieve, maintain health, and build resiliency, they must be given a safe place to access essential health services. MEGAN’s Place has continued potential of identifying and reaching out to vulnerable women and their families, building parenting skills and strengthening family resilience through education and support groups, and connecting families to clinical care and public health wraparound services.

Data Collection Methods

  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Graves, S., Nassar, R., Moy, R., Austin, M., & Canami, M. (2019, November 5). Building resilience with pregnant and postpartum women through MEGAN’s Place: A unique program located in Harford County, Maryland. Perinatal & Women's Health Poster Session #2 [Poster session] American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo, Philadelphia, PA, United States. https://apha.confex.com/apha/2019/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/440170


  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches