close× Call Us (401) 274-1100

Release Date: 01/11/2018

In response to Governor Gina Raimondo’s Executive Order to establish a statewide task force to address the opioid epidemic, Women & Infants’ Emergency Department partnered with other Care New England facilities and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) to ensure the needs of this specialized patient population are met.

At the Governor’s Task Force Meeting this morning, RIDOH and the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH) presented Women & Infants with its Level 3 Certification as part of the Levels of Care for Rhode Island Emergency Departments and Hospitals for Treating Overdose and Opioid Use Disorder.

“Many have patients, friends, family, and even colleagues who have been personally affected by addiction and opioid use disorder. While accidental drug overdose has been a growing problem across the nation, Rhode Island has been one of the most severely impacted states in recent years,” said Roxanne Vrees, MD, medical director of emergency obstetrics and gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “With this designation, our team hopes to continue to do our part in ending the opioid epidemic and working to make a positive impact on the lives of so many who would otherwise be lost.”

Women & Infants’ plan has four fundamental areas focusing on treatment, overdose rescue, prevention, and recovery. The team developed organizational policies, clinical protocols, and institutional infrastructure to ensure that patients are managed appropriately.

Addressing the opioid epidemic

Women & Infants is Level 3 Certified in the Levels of Care for Rhode Island Emergency Departments and Hospitals for Treating Overdose and Opioid Use Disorder.

This designation formalizes the hospital’s commitment to this health care problem and requires that the hospital maintain standard protocols, capacity, and commitment to the following:

  • Follow the discharge planning standards as stated in current law.
  • Administer standardized substance use disorder screening for all patients.
  • Educate all patients who are prescribed opioids on safe storage and disposal.
  • Dispense naloxone for patients who are at risk, according to a clear protocol.
  • Offer peer recovery support services in the Emergency Department.
  • Provide active referral to appropriate community provider(s).
  • Comply with requirement to report overdoses within 48 hours to RIDOH.
  • Perform laboratory drug screening that includes fentanyl on patients who overdose.

Return to News

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
Women & Infants Hospital News
Photo caption: Pictured from left to right are Tracy Casala, RN, nurse manager of emergency room/triage at Women & Infants; Roxanne Vrees, MD, medical director of emergency obstetrics and gynecology at Women & Infants; and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, director, Rhode Island Department of Health.


Amy Blustein
Director of Marketing
800 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906
P: (401) 681-2822 
F: (401) 455-6676