Each year, ACOG districts and sections submit projects to be considered for the Council of District Chairs (CDC) Service Recognition Award. The award is given in recognition of outstanding activities contributed to the field of ob-gyn. The Nevada Section was nominated for the award this year for its project to help reduce the incidence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in its state.
The project began with Ira Chasnoff, MD, pediatrician and founder of Children’s Research Triangle in Chicago. Dr. Chasnoff developed a screening tool for alcohol and substance use and obtained federal funding for projects in several states, including Nevada in 2008.
Under his initial guidance, a leadership team with community members and representatives from the Nevada State Health Division, Renown Hospital Pregnancy Center, and Health Access Washoe County Clinic was formed. The team created the following mission statement: “To develop and conduct community-wide strategic efforts to assess, treat, and educate women so all babies in Nevada can be born drug-free.”
Members of the team developed a plan to ultimately screen all pregnant women in Nevada. Since May 2008, more than 15,000 women have been screened at a growing number of sites throughout the state. The screening tool developed by Dr. Chasnoff takes about one minute to administer and can be used by any provider or medical assistant. The tool screens for domestic abuse in addition to alcohol and substance use.
The screening process in Nevada has not only identified pregnant women whose alcohol and substance use is at a high enough level to impair daily function, but has provided an opportunity for early intervention for the much larger group of women whose pregnancies are at risk from relatively small amounts of alcohol and substance use.
ACOG recognizes the hard work and determination of all the districts and sections nominated for the CDC Service Recognition Award:
- District I: Massachusetts Section, Perinatal Quality Collaborative
- District II: Rochester Gynecology Clinic for Women with Special Needs
- District III: The OBesity Project (CDC Service Recognition Award winner)
- District IV: Reviewing and Reporting on District Perinatal Mortality Data Project (CDC Service Recognition Award winner)
- District V: Kentucky Section, Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait
- District VI: Mentorship Program
- District IX: Speakers Bureau Project
- Armed Forces District: Air Force Section, Obstetric Quality Initiative
More information on all these submissions is available on the District and Section Activities website. If your section has a project you'd like to submit for the award, contact Stephanie Williams at 202-863-2588 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The deadline for submissions this year is November 30.