The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $1.58 million grant to support the Boston Sustainable Models for unhealthy Alcohol use ReducTion (B SMART) program, a new collaboration by Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) to reduce fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Dr. Jacey Greece, clinical associate professor of community health sciences at BUSPH, is leading the program evaluation for B SMART.
“This is an incredibly exciting project to be a part of, because it combines the expertise of researchers in healthcare delivery and evaluation with the perspectives of medicine and public health, which will undoubtedly result in environmentally focused best practices in addressing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders,” Dr. Greece says.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders affect approximately 1 in 20 children in the United States. Alcohol use during pregnancy is considered the most common cause of preventable developmental and intellectual disabilities. Research suggests that 20 to 30 percent of women drink at some time during pregnancy, counter to the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Surgeon General.
B SMART is an integrated healthcare delivery system providing services at sites located throughout Boston and in nearby communities, and will focus on training healthcare providers in universal screening and counseling for unhealthy alcohol use—with ongoing coaching and technical assistance. The program will work with each participating clinic to tailor the implementation of these services to best meet their patients’ and providers’ needs.