SD receives funding for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome consortium

SD receives funding for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome consortium The state of South Dakota, along with three other Midwest states, will receive $8 million for three years to coordinate a prevention effort focusing on health hazards created when pregnant women use alcohol.

The governor's office and the South Dakota University Affiliated Program (SDUAP) at The University of South Dakota will collaborate to implement this plan.

The SDUAP is the recipient of the funds with distribution through a sub-contract with the other three consortium member states, which include North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Over the next three years, the states involved in the four-state consortium on FAS/FAE will work together to identify high-risk populations, test interventions and collect data that will assist in understanding the issues surrounding FAS/FAE.

"We're looking forward to working with the other states in an effort to explore challenges that our cultures and communities face in terms of alcohol use and pregnancy," said Judy Struck, project director and SDUAP executive director.

"We are pleased to be able to work with the South Dakota UAP in our on-going effort to prevent a totally preventable disability � Fetal Alcohol Syndrome," said Gov. Bill Janklow. "Our goal is to not have one child born in South Dakota with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effect. It will take a tremendous effort, but it is a battle well worth fighting."

The purpose of the consortium is to build capacity through the establishment of an interagency coordinating council with the four-state area in order to establish integrated care systems. Activities over the next three years will relate to the following two objectives:

1) Develop an information base to systematize data collection on incidence and prevalence of FAS/FAE to determine high-risk areas and populations.

2) Implement and test prevention interventions in high-risk areas and populations in an effort to reduce the rate of FAS/FAE.

Through the efforts of Sen. Tom Daschle, funds from a congressional earmark were obtained in the fall of 1999 for the four-state consortium on FAS/FAE. The funds are being administered by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

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