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Tara Sundem

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St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center Non-profit Spotlight
How Hushabye Nursery creates hope for families

PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 1, 2020) – The opioid epidemic in America has drawn attention to the many complex medical and social issues surrounding substance use disorders (SUDs). For many, this crisis is complicated with the increasing rate of co-occurring pregnancy.

Women who become pregnant while using opioids, whether medically monitored or illegally, are typically prescribed opiates throughout their pregnancies to mitigate the risk of prenatal withdrawal and miscarriage. As a result of this preventative measure, their babies are born into an opiate dependent state, otherwise known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Babies born with NAS require a complicated and painful detoxification process in the days immediately following their birth. Similarly, to many other opioid related complications, it is difficult for families to find the resources for proper care and recovery outside of the confines of the NICU, which is an environment often too chaotic to provide the level of care and compassion that NAS babies and their families need. Unfortunately, many NAS babies experience additional medical complications and are separated from their families because of this lack of resources.

Hushabye Nursery was founded in 2017 by neonatal nurse practitioner, Tara Sundem, to offer a resource to bridge the gap for these families. Hushabye Nursery’s mission is to provide compassionate, evidence-based care to infants as well as families and caregivers to ensure the best possible outcome for families affected by this trauma. Since January of 2019, Hushabye Nursery has treated 107 babies and their families, with an incredible 87% of these babies going home with their families. Hushabye Nursery not only provides babies with the medical care they need to recover from NAS, but a holistic approach to treatment that also provides families and caregivers with the tools they need to successfully care for their baby and their entire family as a whole.


Hushabye Nursery’s unique ability to provide a calm, safe, and supportive healing environment makes an incredible impact on the lives of families affected by NAS. Without Hushabye Nursery, many of these families would not have had the positive outcome that came out of their stay. Jessica Hamblen is one of many. At only 17 years old, Jessica was in a tragic car accident that resulted in breaking both of her legs and losing her son. After becoming dependent of the pain pills, she was prescribed to recover from her debilitating injuries and consequent surgeries, she began taking heroin after her doctor stopped the supply. Sadly, this is a story like so many others struggling with opioid use. Spiraling with the pain of losing her child coupled with her opioid dependency, Jessica became homeless and hopeless. It was only when she discovered that she had become pregnant and reached out to Hushabye Nursery that Jessica finally found hope. In her testimony, Jessica recalls, “I first came to Hushabye during my recovery, I had started on methadone, then I realized I was pregnant and started going to pre-natal group meetings with Tara. I instantly loved her because she gave me hope.” Throughout Jessica’s journey with Hushabye Nursery, this hope translated into calm, supportive care not only for her daughter, Kloe, but resources and support for Jessica to ultimately keep custody of Kloe and feel the love and support she needed to recover. Hushabye Nursery serves many families like Jessica’s to provide the nonjudgmental, compassionate, and evidence-based care necessary to change the course of their entire lives.

Since opening their facility in Phoenix in November of 2020, Hushabye Nursery has been tirelessly working to expand not only their medical capabilities, but counseling and social support for families. At this stage in their organization’s development, Hushabye Nursery is working to raise awareness of NAS within the community and establish a better understanding of the issue, and how we can help.

If you are interested in following Hushabye Nursery’s work, you can find them on all major social media networks @HushabyeNursery. To learn how you can help in their mission, we encourage you to visit

Hushabye Nursery is an 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. ID 82-2737849. Donations are dollar for dollar tax deductible under tax credit #22019.

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