H.R. NO.








REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH to ESTABLISH A coordinated STATEWIDE effort to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.



WHEREAS, alcohol is the most powerful legal teratogen that is frequently used in our society that causes lifelong damage to an unborn child who is exposed in utero to alcohol; and

WHEREAS, many women with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and frequently do not follow through with treatment plans for themselves and their children, even when properly diagnosed; and

WHEREAS, women with FASD frequently fail in traditional treatment systems and are commonly identified as being noncompliant, uncooperative, and unmotivated in all systems of services and care; and

WHEREAS, FASD is the most under-diagnosed developmental disability, both in Hawaii and across the United States; and

WHEREAS, FASD is totally preventable, and the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure last a lifetime; and

WHEREAS, there are few FASD-specific services in Hawaii, and only 85 cases of FASD have been documented and reported to Hawaii's birth defects registry since 1986; and

WHEREAS, Department of Health (DOH) data from 2001 on pregnant women indicates that almost 42 percent of pregnant women surveyed consumed alcohol prior to becoming pregnant, and almost five percent indicated that they consumed alcohol during pregnancy; and

WHEREAS, information from a DOH behavioral risk prevalence survey shows that almost 82 percent of the women surveyed consumed alcohol one month prior to the survey, and almost four percent indicated that they engage in binge drinking; and

WHEREAS, because FASD can occur in any community where women drink alcohol during pregnancy, it is a statewide public health concern; and

WHEREAS, the effects of the known risk factors may be ameliorated with early intervention through effective systems of care and services; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, that DOH is requested to establish a coordinated statewide effort to address FASD; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the coordinated statewide effort should include but not be limited to the following topics:

(1) Public awareness aimed at the general public, including awareness targeted at high-risk populations, as well as public education on how to prevent FASD;

(2) Professional education to teach professionals about FASD so they can recognize and identify FASD for referrals to diagnose, treat, and intervene, and teaching professionals to diagnose and screen and intervene using effective techniques;

(3) Screening high-risk populations, including both women of childbearing age and children already affected;

(4) Diagnosing high-risk populations, including children already affected and women at risk;

(5) Surveillance and data, including collecting and analyzing prevalence and incidence statistics to help define and describe the problem; and

(6) Intervening with high-risk populations, including treating women of childbearing age to reduce and eliminate the risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy and preventing secondary conditions in children already affected by FASD;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DOH is requested to submit a report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2005, describing its progress in establishing a coordinated statewide system addressing the above areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the State Auditor and Director of Health.






Report Title:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder