PENNSYLVANIA FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD) TASK FORCE
The Pennsylvania FASD Task Force is a multidisciplinary, diverse group of individuals whose goal is to develop a system of care for (a) the prevention of FASD and (b) the diagnosis and treatment of individuals who are born with an FASD and support for their families. The Task Force consists of state employees, physicians with an interest in FASD, family members of individuals with an FASD, community providers’ staff with skills to serve individuals with FASD, and advocacy organizations.
Initially, the Task Force was appointed to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services with a focus on prevention. In 2017, the work was expanded to include the diagnosis and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults who were born with the disorder and providing a key intervention of family education and support. This required moving the Task Force to the Department of Human Services which oversaw many of the services that are needed by people with FASD, including the Office of Developmental Programs, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning which includes an Early Learning and Early Intervention, and the Office of Medical Assistance Programs.
In 2020, the Task Force hopes to achieve the following five steps in developing a system of care:
- establishing screening and assessment tools to use to identify individuals at risk for having an FASD,
- beginning to develop the capacity for a full evaluation by physicians who are trained to diagnose FASD and
- recommend/manage the patients’ care,
- establishing a menu of evidence-based services which could be used with individuals who are diagnosed with an FASD beginning to develop the capacity of service providers who are competent to provide the evidence-based services on the menu,
- establishing diagnostic and treatment code eligibility for Medical Assistance for those individuals who otherwise qualify financially.
Once these systems of care aspects have been reached as needed, the Task Force will launch pilots testing them. Outcomes will be evaluated and the process will be improved. This quality improvement process will continue with the hope of eventually expanding to additional sites and finally statewide.
An additional aspect of developing a system of care is:
- developing a multi-faceted system of prevention to keep pregnant women from drinking alcohol.
The Task Force welcomes new members at any time, especially parents/family members and other caregivers of individuals who have an FASD diagnosis.
Email for Task Force is RA-PWFASDTASKFORCE@pa.gov.
- Brandon Basom - Co-Chair, DHS Children's Bureau, OMHSAS Representative
- Lyn Becker - Co-Chair, Parent Advocate
- Gordon Hodas, MD - Children's Bureau, Office of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), Medical Committee
- Dan Dubovsky - FASD Consultant and Trainer, At-large
- Grace Kindt - PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Representative (DDAP), Public Education and Marketing Committee
- Giselle Hallden, Department of Health, Family and Children's Division, Department of Health, Maternal-Child
- Dianna Brocious - Parent Advocate and Pa Care Partnership, At-large
- Marlinda Smith, Office Developmental Programs, ODP
- Robin VanEerden, Merakey, Family Advocate, Training Committee
- TJ Thomas - Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP), Policy Office
- Barry Decker, Office of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services, (OMHSAS), Policy Office
Gordon Hodas, MD, Chairman, Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Renee Turchi, MD Pediatrician, Special Needs, Medical Home
Greg Cherpes, MD, Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Dan DubovskyFASD Consultant & Trainer, Parent Advocate
Beth Valentine, MD, Retired Phys/Parent Advocate
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND MARKETING COMMITTEE
Grace Kindt, Co-Chairman
Lisa Verbos Administrative support person
Robin VanEerden, Co-chair
Marlinda Smith, Co-chair
Robin Administrative support person
STRATEGIC INITIATIVES COMMITTEE
Dianna Brocius, Co-chair
Lyn Becker, Co-chair