Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sen. Johnson, USD officals look at Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in SD

From Sen. Tim Johnson's website:

Sioux Falls, SD—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) held a roundtable discussion today with officials from the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities. Johnson and others discussed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) prevention and what needs to be done in the future to improve services for individuals living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and their families.

“The folks at the Center for Disabilities are working hard to better understand FASD and to provide services to those affected,” Johnson said. “I will continue to use my seniority and my seat on the Appropriations Committee to fund programs that will help combat this entirely preventable disorder.”

It is estimated that 8,000 individuals in South Dakota have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The USD Center for Disabilities is the state’s National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affiliate. The facility offers a diagnostic clinic to help identify people who may have a FASD as well as on-site consultations, training and technical assistance to families, schools and human service agencies that are working with people who have been diagnosed.

In 2007, Johnson introduced The Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act. The bill would require the National Institutes of Health to develop a research agenda for FASD, improve the screening and development statewide FASD community partnerships.

Johnson was joined at the event by Judy Struck, Executive Director; Kristin Blaschke, Director of Development; Shelly Grinde, Director of Services and Support; Marcia Maltaverne, Director of FASD Education Strategy and Austin Windberg, Project Director.

Today’s roundtable is one in a series of events Johnson held across South Dakota during the Congressional District Work Period.

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