Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/22/1993 01:33 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  The  next order of business was HCR 7 (ALCOHOL-RELATED BIRTH                 
  DEFECTS   AWARENESS   WEEK),  sponsored   by  Representative                 
  Nicholia.  PAT JACKSON,  legislative staff to Representative                 
  Irene Nicholia, said many years  have been spent working  on                 
  the issues  of alcohol-related  birth defects.   Legislation                 
  has  been  passed  that  required  school districts  do  in-                 
  service.  The Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has made                 
  treatment  to  pregnant  women  a  priority.    There  is  a                 
  treatment program in Anchorage for  pregnant women and there                 
  are  Fetal  Alcohol Syndrome  (FAS)  awareness groups.   Ms.                 
  Jackson  indicated that  in  the committee  member's packets                 
  there is a  1989 study which shows the  economic impact of a                 
  FAS child.   She indicated the lifetime cost for a FAS child                 
  is  $1.4 million.   The study  didn't include  estimates for                 
  physical problems  such as facial problems, kidney problems,                 
  dental  work,  etc.   The  Center  for Disease  Control  has                 
  completed a study giving new estimates of the rate of FAS in                 
  Alaska at 2.1 to  6.6 children per every 1,000.  Ms. Jackson                 
  urged support for HCR 7.                                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN  indicated support  for the  resolution as  it                 
  draws more attention to FAS.                                                 
                                                                               
  SUZANNE  PERRY,  Division  of  Alcoholism  and  Drug  Abuse,                 
  Department of  Health and Social  Services, said she  is the                 
  former FAS coordinator  for the division.   She pointed  out                 
  that FAS was  officially identified by the  American Medical                 
  Society  in  1973.   She said  there  are still  doctors who                 
  encourage pregnant women to have a  drink or two as it  will                 
  relax them.  She said there must be three criteria to have a                 
  diagnosis  of  FAS  and if  any  one  of  those criteria  is                 
  missing, then the  diagnosis, if any,  may be Fetal  Alcohol                 
  Effect (FAE).   One  criteria is  retarded  growth prior  to                 
  birth and after birth.   She said there are  specific facial                 
  features and showed  the committee  some photos.   There  is                 
  always  central nervous  system  involvement, most  commonly                 
  mental  retardation.    Ms.  Perry  continued  to  show  the                 
  committee  pictures,  from  the  University  of  Washington,                 
  relating to FAS and discussed problems and physical features                 
  of  FAS  children.    Ms.  Perry  said once  a  woman  quits                 
  drinking, she can't  have a child  with FAS in a  subsequent                 
  pregnancy.  She  discussed treatment  centers for women  who                 
  drink such a Reflections which is  a twelve bed women's only                 
  treatment  facility  in  Anchorage.    Dena Acoy,  which  is                 
  jointly  funded  with  the  Indian  Health Service  and  the                 
  Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, is an 18 bed facility                 
  where women can  stay throughout their entire  pregnancy and                 
  up to six  weeks postpartum.   Ms. Perry  said she  believes                 
  that FAS is like  drunk driving.  Until society  shares some                 
  of  the  responsibility, we  will  continue to  have serious                 
  problems.                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked Ms.  Perry what she can  confirm about                 
  health professionals  advising  that  moderate  drinking  is                 
  alright during pregnancy.  MS. PERRY said she has not talked                 
  to a doctor  that says  that, but she  has heard  statements                 
  from women that have seen their  doctors within the last two                 
  years who  have been told that  a couple glasses of  wine or                 
  beer will  relax you.   The  Center of  Disease Control,  in                 
  cooperation   with  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                 
  Services, is running a five year  program in Anchorage to do                 
  surveillance to find  out what  the real rates  for FAS  are                 
  throughout  the state.    Part of  the project  is  to do  a                 
  knowledge, attitudes, and  behavior survey for pediatricians                 
  and obstetricians.                                                           
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger indicated  he had a proposed  amendment that                 
  the resolution be  sent to the  Board of Nursing, the  State                 
  Medical  Boards,  and  the Board  of  Certified Direct-Entry                 
  Midwives.   He moved Amendment  #1.  SENATOR  SALO suggested                 
  including the Board of Nurse Practitioners.  Chairman Rieger                 
  referred to the Alaska Statutes and said he  doesn't believe                 
  there  is  a Board  of  Nurse  Practitioners  but there  are                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  definitions  of   a  "nurse   practitioner."    Hearing   no                 
  objection, to Amendment #1, the motion carried.                              
                                                                               
  Number 577                                                                   
                                                                               
  Senator Salo  moved to  pass HCR  7 out  of the  Senate HESS                 
  Committee  with  a  `Do Pass'  recommendation.    Hearing no                 
  objection, it was so ordered.                                                

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