Representatives from CDC’s FAS Prevention Team participate in AAP Champion Training

FASThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) hosted the inaugural meeting of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) Regional Education and Awareness Liaisons (REAL) at AAP Headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Illinois from June 16-17, 2016. The 10 REAL champions represent each of the AAP districts from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. These pediatricians serve in a volunteer capacity to increase awareness and provide support to pediatric clinicians as well as health systems decision makers to facilitate improved identification and care of children with FASDs. Some of the activities they will undertake include: 

  • Utilize regional and local communication channels to raise awareness of educational and capacity building resources that enhance the adoption of evidence based interventions.
  • Serve as advocates for change at the health systems and practice levels to overcome stigma and bias as a barrier to screening for prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Provide training and technical assistance nationally and within the region to reinforce the role of the medical home in the early identification and care for children who have or may have one of the FASDs.

Kathy Mitchell, Vice President and National Spokesperson of NOFAS, participated in the meeting. She shared her own story, described the Stamp Out Stigma campaign and provided these FASDs REAL champions with information about all the resources at NOFAS available to them. The FASDs champions are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Natasha Singh and Jacquelyn Bertrand of CDC attended the meeting. Also present were staff from the two CDC funded FASDs Pediatric Practice Implementation Centers: Dr. Ken Jones and Diana Simmes from the University of California, San Diego, and Dr. David Wargowski, Georgiana Wilton, and Angelica Salinas from the University of Wisconsin. Additional information about the FASDs program at the AAP is available online at or by contacting Josh Benke at 847/434-7081 or

(Photo Left to Right: Douglas Waite, The Keith Haring Clinic at Children’s Village, NY; David Wargowski, University of Wisconsin – Madison; John Stirling, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center; Susan Buttross, University of Mississippi Medical Center;  Josh Benke, AAP; Georgiana Wilton, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Angelica Salinas, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Amelia Burgess, Park Nicollet Health Partners, Minneapolis; Jessica Foster, Akron Children’s Hospital; Yasmin Senturias, Carolinas Healthcare System; Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell, National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome;  Phil Mattheis, Alaska Neurodevelopmental Consultation; Diana Simmes, MPH University of California, San Diego; Natasha Singh, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Kenneth Lyons Jones, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine; Maribel Campos, University Pediatric Hospital, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Renee Turchi, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia; Vincent C Smith, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center)

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