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Penn State Health St. Joseph Raises Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness

September 2015 marks the first ever Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder awareness month dedication, also known as FASD, and Penn State Health St. Joseph and the Council on Chemical Abuse (CoCA) are teaming up to increase awareness about the risks of both prenatal alcohol exposure and awareness of the children and adults that are living with this disorder.

FASD is caused when a mother drinks during her pregnancy. Babies with FASD may have an abnormal appearance, lower intelligence, behavior problems, and/or and problems seeing or hearing. FASD is preventable by avoiding alcohol altogether throughout the entire pregnancy.


Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz of CoCA (who also is a member of Reading City Council) is working with our hospital system to provide education and awareness of FASD to all prenatal patients at the Downtown Campus. She recently attended a Centering Pregnancy class to talk to the 12 mothers-to-be about FASD, the causes of it, how to prevent it, and the importance of sharing information about the disorder.



Kim Hunter, Penn State Health St. Joseph’s OB Nurse Navigator, also designed bracelets with two different Twitter hashtags associated with FASD Awareness month: #HealthyBabyHealthyLife and #FASDay.

About 200 of the bracelets will be distributed to patients and staff at Downtown Campus’s prenatal clinic, Centering Pregnancy, and Bern Campus’s Breidegam Family Birthing Center as part of the month-long awareness campaign.


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