FASD & Trauma Center
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a condition caused by the prenatal exposure of a fetus to alcohol. Alcohol is transmitted from mother to fetus through the umbilical cord. FASD may result in a variety of physical, intellectual, and cognitive issues. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is on the extreme spectrum of the condition.
According to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, one out of every 100 children in the U.S. are born with FASD. However, in Pine Ridge, it is estimated that one out of every four children born in Pine Ridge are born with FASD. The high rate of FASD in Pine Ridge would seem consistent with the high rate of alcohol addiction on South Dakota tribal reservation.
The movement to close Whiteclay’s beer stores found a powerful ally in Nora Boesem, FASD clinician, advocate, and mom. Nora and her husband, Randy, live near Rapid City, South Dakota. Over the past 12 years, they have fostered over 160 + children, all from Pine Ridge, and all with moderate to severe forms of FASD.
Now that Whiteclay’s beer stores are closed, Nora and her colleague, Deb Evensen, an FASD clinician and behaviorial specialist, have aspirations of establishing a Trauma Center near Whiteclay. The Trauma Center would provide, among other things, FASD diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services to those in Pine Ridge.