Meridian and WLBC To Host Virtual Fundraiser For Maternal Treatment Program on Sept 3rd

Scott Smalstig is pictured giving a group tour of Meridian's Maternal Treatment Program. File PhotoScott Smalstig is pictured giving a tour of Meridian's Maternal Treatment Program. File Photo

By Scott Smalstig—

Muncie, IN—Join Meridian Health Services and 104.1 HD1 WLBC the evening of Thursday, September 3 for a unique, virtual Rialzo-style fundraiser, celebrating Meridian’s Maternal Treatment Program, which serves addicted mothers and their newborn babies.

The program provides specialized care and support for drug-addicted mothers and their babies born suffering from withdrawal. Meridian’s goal is to reduce substance use, abuse and addiction among mothers and pregnant women while keeping these mothers close to their babies as they are treated for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

104.1 HD1 WLBC will host the 7 p.m. Kentucky Derby-themed “Rialzo Re-Boot” event, the Thursday before the thoroughbreds race at Churchill downs in the rescheduled Kentucky Derby. The one hour on-air event will include special guests, testimonials about the Maternal Treatment Program, online auction items like Disney family passes, a 65” television, Dr. Anthony Fauci bobble heads, and exclusive trips. You also can listen via the WLBC app on your smartphone or go to

“Every day, our company motto is ‘We use our Voice to build your community,’ and to be able to step forward to help with this special effort, is an honor.  The work done at Meridian is essential to the well-being of so many people, and in the midst of especially challenging times, we are grateful that we can help keep the Rialzo-fun alive, and build even more excitement for the REAL Rialzo, in April, 2021!” —Steve Lindell, Director of Operations, Woof Boom Radio ECI, and General Manager of


Some of the items up for auction.

Just a few of the items up for auction. Visit to view all items up for auction.

“The needs of our community have become even more amplified in this post-COVID era,” said Hank Milius, Meridian President and CEO. “As we see moms struggling with addiction, the MTP program is a vital resource, breaking the addictions cycle.”

Since its inception in 2017, 45 babies have been born and none of them have experienced extended stays in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.In that same time period, 163 women have received services from the Maternal Treatment Program.

Rialzo, Meridian’s black-tie gala, was sold out last April with nearly 1,000 guests when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The next in-person Rialzo is scheduled for April 10, 2021.

The last three years, proceeds from Meridian’s signature fundraiser, have gone to the Meridian Treatment Program to pay for items like additional staff as well as supplies for newborns like clothes, diapers and swings. Rialzo has raised over $300,000 for the MTP program.

In Indiana, infants are 25 percent more likely to die within their first year of life than infants born nationally, according to an Indiana Youth Institute report. Those state numbers with statistics in Delaware County and East Central Indiana, in large part because of high drug use locally.

“We’re proud of the work of the Maternal Treatment Program which gives a fresh start to lives impacted by the disease of addiction,” Milius said. “These are difficult times for everyone but none more than women fighting addiction and fighting for a chance at a new beginning.”

Learn more about the Maternal Treatment Program by viewing the video below. 


Meridian Health Services is a regional, progressive healthcare organization specializing in “whole-person” health, integrating physical, mental and social well-being to help people achieve their optimum health. Meridian serves more than 40,000 patients throughout Indiana offering a wide spectrum of healthcare specialties including: primary medical care, pediatrics, inpatient/outpatient psychiatry, obstetrics/gynecology, addictions and recovery, dental, senior health, children and family programming, behavioral health and human services.