The Superior Babies program is a collaborative between public health and the Arrowhead Center, Inc. to support pregnant women who are at risk to deliver babies affected by their chemical use. 


The counselors of both agencies meet with women and children in their homes before and after pregnancy.   Superior Babies began in 1998 with the hope of identifying and serving women who are pregnant and were suspected of or known to use alcohol and other drugs.  The program is aimed at increasing the number of positive birth outcomes and normal growth and development for babies, while working in conjunction with women to establish goals that promote and support recovery.


 The goal of Superior Babies is to promote sobriety for women struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol.  The program aims to decrease the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to drugs and the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  Any woman who is pregnant, wants to have a healthy baby, and has questions or concerns about her chemical use is eligible to join the program, and can continue to participate until the child is two years of age; at which time the mother and child will graduate from the program. Visit frequency is established between each client and counselor, and can be increased during times of crisis.  Additionally, counselors provide information about maternal and child health, drug and alcohol use, and parenting issues concerning child health.


Superior Babies takes a team approach to providing support for mothers both emotionally and physically, while incorporating strategies for remaining sober and relapse prevention.  The Superior Babies team consists of the following:


Public Health Nurse

Lisa Johnson RN, BSN, PHN 


Lisa attended St. Scholastica College and graduated in 2007.  She has been with the Superior Babies Program since 2013.  Lisa provides:  


  • Regular home visit are provided  from pregnancy  through the child’s 2nd birthday

  • Pregnancy, post-partum, and parenting education are provided during the mother’s individual sessions with Lisa

  • Toxicology testing


Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)

Dani Spolarich LADC, MS


 Dani recently graduated from Cappella University with her Master’s Degree in Counseling.  Dani has been the Superior Babies LADC since 2013.  Dani’s goal is to:


  • Assist mothers with remaining drug and alcohol free

  • Help each client reach her individual sobriety goals

  • Provide ongoing support with chemical and mental health concerns.


Additionally, your Superior Babies Team will help women address issues in a number of areas, including:


  • Antepartum and postpartum health

  • Chemical use

  • Mental health

  • Relationship health

  • Child growth and development

  • Parenting

  • Living skills

  • Employment

  • Legal issues

  • Community resource connections

  • Assist in building a sober support network through Superior Babies social events


It is estimated that in the United States each year, 1 in 750 infants is born with a pattern of physical, developmental, and functional problems referred to as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).  Additionally, there are another 40,000 babies born with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE).  The most recent evaluation of the Superior Babies program was completed in 2010 by the University of Minnesota, and reports that of the 31 babies who were born to mothers in the program, 96% tested negative on toxicology test, achieved normal APGAR scores, and had a normal birth weights.  58% of mothers had completed parenting training, 21% were able to complete all involvement with Child Protection Services (CPS), 42% were participating in a 12 step program, and 42% were taking advantage of mental health services.  


Superior Babies is a voluntary program that is offered to women free of charge, and is sponsored by St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services and the Arrowhead Center, Inc.