Perinatal Addiction Treatment Resources · Identifying Substance Use and Co-Occuring Mental Health Conditions in Your Patients

If you are a provider for expectant or new moms, the Empaths program can help you evaluate your patients for potential substance use and co-occuring mental health concerns that may impact the health and wellness of both mother and baby. Empaths is a pilot program being implemented and evaluated by the Billings Clinic MOMS Demonstration Project and the University of Montana’s Rural Institute in partnership with Rimrock Foundation, Montana’s largest behavioral health treatment provider.

What Is Empaths?

Empaths is a healthcare system-level treatment model in which universal screening for substance use in pregnancy is implemented in the OB/GYN and primary care settings. Patients that screen positive for substance use concerns are referred to a centralized care manager at Billings Clinic who conducts Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) sessions via live and telehealth appointments. All patients referred to the Empaths Care Manager receive referrals to peer and community support programming; patients needing more intensive treatment services are referred to Rimrock Foundation and other community behavioral health programs. Telehealth services are available for patients living in remote areas and/or those with transportation issues so moms can receive care in their home communities as they begin their recovery journeys. Partnering behavioral health programs have committed to working in tandem with obstetric provider teams to ensure coordinated care for patients and to build networks of perinatal behavioral health support across Montana.

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How Can I Identify Patients Who May Need Help?

The first step is to enroll in the MOMS Empaths program to take advantage of screening tools and referral resources to help your patients. Once you have enrolled, the Empaths Care Manager will follow up with you to provide information and support.


MOMS has developed a 5Ps Screening Tool to evaluate your patients’ potential need for intervention and assistance in addressing substance use and co-occuring mental health concerns. This short questionnaire can easily be completed with the patient during any visit. Any “Yes” answers your patient gives provides the opening for a conversation regarding the unique issues they are facing.

Download Our 5Ps Screening Tool

How Can I Refer a Patient?

To refer a patient to Empaths, please provide:

  • Patient Name
  • Patient Date of Birth
  • Patient Phone Number
  • Brief Reason for Referral

Refer via email:

Refer via Cerner:
Refer to “MOMs Program”

Cerner Message Center: Joseph Salyer

Refer via Phone:


For more information, please contact:

Valerie Lofgren, BS, ACLC
MOMS Regional Engagement Coordinator

Joe Salyer, CBHPSS
MOMS Empaths Care Manager