Since 2019, the MATCH Program’s Substance Use in Pregnancy Pathway has supported pregnant people who use drugs by providing dignified, wraparound care and referral pathways between midwifery, social work, obstetrics, paediatrics, anaesthesia, addictions, pharmacy and emergency medicine.
The Midwifery and Toronto Community Health (MATCH) Program is an integrated, team-based approach to providing perinatal care in the east end of Toronto. Funded in 2018 by the Ministry of Health, the team of four registered midwives and one social worker provides complete prenatal, labour, birth and postpartum care from the clinic at South Riverdale Community Health Centre.
The midwives attend births at Michael Garron Hospital and the Toronto Birth Centre. The team also provides pregnancy options counselling, medication abortion and access to birth control. People receiving care from the midwifery team can be connected to the rest of the primary care team at SRCHC for their non-pregnancy related needs. The MATCH team focuses on providing perinatal services for people who might be experiencing barriers to accessing care. Families living in shelter or with no fixed address, newcomers and refugees to Canada, people experiencing domestic violence, and people who use drugs are among those the Program seeks to prioritize.
Since 2019, the MATCH Program has been developing a Substance Use in Pregnancy Pathway (or MATCH-SUPP) specifically to support pregnant people who use drugs. In 2020, through partnerships with the Mental Health and Addictions team at Michael Garron, the MATCH Program added a nurse practitioner with special training in addictions medicine to the care team with the goal of providing dignified, wraparound care for pregnant people who use drugs.
The integrated, team-based approach of East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) has been vital to growing the Substance Use in Pregnancy Pathway. Community and hospital partnerships are key in offering care for populations with complex needs. The team has worked to build strong relationships and referral pathways between midwifery, social work, obstetrics, paediatrics, anaesthesia, addictions, pharmacy and emergency medicine.
MATCH-SUPP clients have access to known providers both in and out of the hospital. They have 24-hour on-call access to the midwifery team. At visits, clients can access mental health and parenting supports in addition to pregnancy care, as well as other resources like grocery cards, infant supplies, and TTC tokens. The guiding principles of MATCH-SUPP are:
To provide care in a flexible, non-judgmental way;
To support clients’ self-determination;
To offer a safe, accessible and welcoming space to receive care;
To connect the client with a networks of supports: health care, social, emotional, parenting and practical supports; and
To operate from a harm reduction philosophy in all aspects of care.
Clients or their support people can self-refer to MATCH-SUPP or the MATCH Program by calling our clinic at 416-461-2493 or providers can refer clients via the “provider referral form” at srchc.ca/match.