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Helping parents of newborns exposed to drugs before birth

| Everyday Moments

A gloved hand of a doctor holds a stethoscope on the chest of a newborn.

Dr. Heidi Radlinski set up a special clinic to give parents skills to build healthier futures for their babies.

In years past, newborns exposed to drugs before birth were taken to a special hospital unit for watchful treatment — oftentimes far from their mothers or other family members. 

Research now shows little ones can do as well or better when their parents are involved early in their care. 

Heidi Radlinski, MD, a PeaceHealth family practice physician, eagerly embraced this new approach. In 2018, she set up the Bloom Clinic in collaboration with Lifeline Connections Women’s Recovery Center in Vancouver, Washington. 

Heidi Radlinski, MD

The Bloom Clinic focuses on meeting pregnant patients where they are with their treatment and recovery. Care is nonjudgmental and focuses on the whole person — body, mind and spirit. The intent is to reduce harm. Patients receive support before delivery and after, for up to two years. 

Dr. Radlinski provides dedicated care to people who are vulnerable. 

“She’s changing lives every single day,” said one colleague. “I believe her patience and deeply empathetic approach is some of the most important work being done in our community.” 

In addition to her work in the Bloom Clinic, Dr. Radlinski provides compassionate care to other patients at Family Medicine Southwest who face equally challenging situations. This includes older adults with complex medical diagnoses as well as those who might feel uncomfortable seeking care.