If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.
We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.
Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.
We are excited to announce this year’s keynote speakers. The conference will bring together experts, key stakeholders, and consumers. Over three days there will be a pre-conference, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions on the latest research, promising strategies, and innovative programs.
Dr. Omar Rahman | Diagnosing FASD: Man vs. Machine
It has been over 40 years since the first diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was made in the U.S. We have come a long way in our understanding and research related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). As the research develops and technology advances we are entering a new frontier of access to advanced technological developments. Is the future of FASD diagnosis to be found in technologically aided recognition of the disorder? Are computers and smart phones the next frontier? These are some of the questions that researcher Dr. Omar Rahman is exploring through new technology designed to use facial recognition technology to identify FASD and other genetic conditions. This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of the diagnostic criteria and explore the current state of technological applications for diagnosis and research studies.
Dr. Omar Rahman is the current Director of Genetic Medicine and Friedland Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Munroe-Meyer Institute. He formerly served as Division Director for Medical Genetics and Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). He also was the founding director of UMMC’s Center of Genetic Medicine.
Dr. Rahman’s practice is focused primarily on adult and pediatric patients in a general genetics clinic, as well as inpatient, consults for pediatrics, prenatal, and adult genetics. He also has participated in the teaching of genetics to the first-year medical school class with a focus on genetic principles, common genetic conditions, and pharmacogenetics.
Dr. Rahman’s background and research interests lie in developing new approaches to systematically capture phenotypic information relevant to clinical genetics, as well as applying that information in the context of molecular genetics and genomics so as to reach a mechanistic and diagnostic understanding of health and human disease. He has a particular focus on FASD.
Susan Burton | Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading The Fight for Incarcerated Woman
Susan Burton is the founder and executive director of a New Way of Life Re-entry Project and the critically acclaimed author of Becoming Ms. Burton. Winner of the prestigious NAACP Image Award, she will share a uniquely American story of trauma, incarceration, and the breathtaking resilience of the human spirit. She will talk about her life and work as part of this keynote event and will recount her real life struggles, trauma, incarceration, and her challenges in overcoming alcohol and substance use disorders. She will share her journey of rebuilding her life and turning her attention to help others in the Watts, Los Angeles neighborhood that she grew up in.
What People are Saying about Susan Burton:
“Susan Burton is a national treasure…her life story is testimony to the human capacity for resilience and recovery…a stunning memoir [from] a modern-day Harriet Tubman.” —Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times
“Susan Burton’s life and work are a testament to the power of second chances and the impact one person can have on the lives of others. Her book is a stirring and moving tour-de-force- a beautiful inspiration for all of us to continue to fight for justice.” —John Legend, actor, singer, and songwriter
“Susan’s life story is one our nation desperately needs to hear and understand. This is a story about personal transformation and collective power. It is about one woman’s journey to freedom, but it will help free us all.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Dr. Jeff Wozniak | Brain Imaging and the Development of Smart Interventions
Dr. Wozniak will present recent insights from MRI brain imaging studies in FASD, including findings related to brain structure and function. These findings will be discussed within the context of new interventions that are being developed based on basic science and imaging studies. Dr. Wozniak’s talk will draw on years of experience conducting studies at the University of Minnesota as well as his connections to the international FASD research community. Everyone who attends gets a car (just kidding).
Dr. Wozniak runs the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota where he sees patients with a variety of neurodevelopmental, neurological, and psychiatric conditions. He also trains graduate students and clinical psychology interns in the practice of clinical neuropsychology. His clinical interests include neuropsychological evaluation of children with neurological and psychiatric disorders, consultation with schools regarding academic programming and modifications, and clinical training.
Dr. Wozniak’s primary research interest is in FASD. He co-directs the University’s FASD Program. Dr. Wozniak conducts advanced neuroimaging studies in FASD in conjunction with the University’s Laboratory for Neuropsychiatric Imaging, where he directs the neurocognitive section. Dr. Wozniak’s research group is part of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD) and is involved in CIFASD’s ongoing multi-site imaging, neurobehavioral, genetic, and facial dysmorphology projects. In addition, Dr. Wozniak is currently conducting the first randomized controlled trial of choline supplementation in children with FASD – the goal of which is to develop a treatment for the neurodevelopmental aspects of the disorder.
Dr. Bertice Berry | Special Keynote Address
Twenty-five years ago Dr. Berry’s life was going just as she had planned it. She had defied the odds and earned her Ph.D. several years earlier at 26 in from Kent State University and became a professor at the institution. Her life’s dreams were just being realized as she had just gotten her own nationally syndicated television show where she was both host and executive producer. One phone call changed everything when her mother reached out, urging her to take in her sister’s children that had been born with brain injuries related to prenatal alcohol exposure and were in danger of going into foster care. Join us for Dr. Berry’s amazing story of defying the odds and finding your purpose in the midst of life’s challenges.
Dr. Berry is an award-winning and best-selling author. She has been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” ABC’s “20/20” and National Public Radio.