Public Health Agency of Canada investing $3.6 M into 5 projects to address FASD

Following on the heels of the recent Ontario 2017 Budget Provides $26 Million for FASD, The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, for Canada, announced $3.6 million in federal funding for five projects aimed at preventing and screening for alcohol use in pregnancy.

According to a News Release issued on May 5,  project leads will work with medical and allied health professionals, social service providers and researchers to equip frontline care providers with the tools, information and best practices they need to help screen, counsel and treat women at risk of using alcohol during pregnancy.

“The use of alcohol during pregnancy during pregnancy can have devastating consequences.  The funding announced today is an important step toward fostering a national conversation about FASD, and action in a wide range of settings, by a variety of health care providers.” – The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.,  Minister of Health

The funding will also improve surveillance of FASD in Canada to better identify individuals and population groups most in need of support, help direct future prevention and diagnostic services, and improve care for those living with FASD.

There is no single solution to prevent FASD and that is why the Government of Canada is investing in education, prevention and screening, as well as partnering with internationally recognized experts, to help reduce the incidence of FASD.

“Alcohol is not harmless. It is a mind-altering drug and there are health risks associated with drinking, especially during pregnancy.” – Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is funding five projects that help address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Canada. The projects will focus on prevention, screening and surveillance by:

  • improving the capacity of medical and allied health professionals to screen, counsel and treat women at risk of using alcohol during pregnancy;
  • increasing the understanding and uptake of the Canadian FASD diagnostic guidelines;
  • supporting health and social service providers in their discussions on alcohol use with girls, women and their partners in a range of settings; and
  • enhancing data collection and analysis to inform science, programs and policy on FASD in Canada.

Project details:

Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC):  $799,976
Using Screening, Training and Data to Address Women’s Alcohol Use During Pregnancy
Goal: This project will help health care providers better identify and assist women              at risk for alcohol use in pregnancy.

Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD):  $799,995
Using Diagnosis and Data to Improve Outcomes in FASD  
Goal: This project will train clinicians on recently updated Canadian FASD                           diagnostic guidelines and will help screen women for alcohol use in a greater               number of settings, such as mental health and addiction centres and homeless                 shelters. Funding will also support CanFASD to continue work on FASD data                       collection.

BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH):  $366,322
Dialogue to Action on Discussing Alcohol with Women
Goal: This project will identify current approaches and share best practices related to screening and discussing alcohol use. It will help health and social care providers incorporate screening for alcohol use, interventions and referral to treatment into routine practice.

Nota Bene Consulting:   $684,239
Multi-Site Evaluation on FASD Prevention, with Holistic Programs Reaching Pregnant Women Who Could Be at Risk
Goal: This project will evaluate ten FASD prevention programs designed to reach women at high risk of having a child with FASD. It will identify the program elements that are making a positive difference for these women and their children and families. Findings will be shared with federal and provincial governments and organizations who provide health and social services to pregnant women and new mothers.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health CAMH: $999,673
Developing a multi-source surveillance system for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and prenatal alcohol exposure in Canada
Goal: CAMH is collaborating with the CanFASD Research Network and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse to develop a multi-source surveillance system for FASD and prenatal alcohol exposure across three provinces (Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario) and two territories (the Northwest Territories and Yukon). CAMH will also expand data collection within existing national birth defects surveillance systems in the selected provinces and territories.

The above projects are funded by these Public Health Agency of Canada programs:

The FASD Initiative’s National Strategic Projects Fund (NSPF) provides time-limited funding for national projects that aim to: improve outcomes for those affected by FASD; increase awareness and understanding of FASD, its risk factors and effects; coordinate better access to tools, resources and expertise across Canada; and address gaps in the areas of prevention and support.

The Enhanced Surveillance for Chronic Disease Program (ESCDP) explores new tools and approaches to collect, analyze, and disseminate timely surveillance information and builds new, non-traditional partnerships focused on risk and protective factors in order to prevent chronic diseases and injuries.

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