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Welcome to the May 2012 Edition of Healthy Brains for Children's new e-newsletter.  It has been a while since we have sent out a newsletter and there is much to relate in our efforts to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol...

Healthy Brains for Children, "Preventing Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol"
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A Message from the Executive Director


J. Crowe presents to crowd at Detroit LakesGreetings, <<First Name>>,

It has been a while since I have sent out a newsletter. Much has been happening, all exciting - great crowds in Detroit Lakes, presentations to excited students at NDSU and folks at numerous conferences, new faces on our board, and new digs, just to name a few!

One initiative in particular that has taken wing is our idea for pregnancy test dispensers.  Throughout our literature and during speaking engagements, I have been asking "Why can’t we put pregnancy test dispensers in the women’s restrooms in bars?"  Well, this question was brought front and center in February when I presented at the Detroit Lakes event to an overflowing crowd. One of our attendees, Kelly, asked: "So, where are you at with the pregnancy test dispenser idea?" Thanks to Kelly for providing me the perfect opportunity to announce our Think Before You Drink Pregnancy Test Dispenser Initiative.

Building on this momentum, I was invited by our Advisory Council member, Patty Corwin (Senior Lecturer for Sociology, North Dakota State University) to speak to students on the NDSU campus. Over 450 students and invited guests attended. In a meeting following the presentation, I met several faculty and students and explored future possibilities for collaboration with the university regarding our pregnancy testing initiatives, among other items. There are exciting possibilities for collaborative research into effective prevention strategies that I look forward to relating in future newsletters.

We have also been very active presenting and exhibiting (with new posters and banners!) at conferences and events, community groups, college classes and university classes; since August of 2011, we have spread the prevention message to over 7,500 people - not including fairs and community events which bring that total to well over 20,000 people.

We have also added several board members over the past year. I will highlight one or two each newsletter as we go forward. We have also added an Advisory Council made up of highly experienced individuals in many areas to provide me with advice on international issues, fundraising, academic issues, financial, legal, and nonprofit management. I am excited with folks' willingness to volunteer their time to help in this worthy cause.

Finally, we continue to look for resources to further our cause. We have requested over $130,000 in grants, currently pending, and continue to search for foundations that match our mission, and we welcome any suggestions for foundations that may be right for our grants. I am confident we will have a healthy financial future ahead of us.

I'm also excited about our new location in St. Paul and my own move from Mankato to the twin cities area in June - please don't hesitate to set up a visit with me! 

On the path to prevention,

Jody Allen Crowe

Spreading the Prevention Message

Chapter News

Our Chapter Initiative is gaining steam. We have chapters forming in Detroit Lakes, MN, Bemidji, MN, Rochester, MN, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Rapid City, SD, Savannah, GA, and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Rotary Clubs have been instrumental in initiating the effort in Detroit Lakes and Thunder Bay. They have used the model the Brainerd Lakes Sunrise and Brainerd Rotary used to form the chapter in Brainerd, MN. Interest has been expressed for chapters in other locations, including a university.

Our New Office

We're excited to announce that we have moved our headquarters to St. Paul, MN. We will be working out of an office located at One West Water St. St. Paul. If you would like to meet with our Executive Director, Jody, set up an appointment by calling 612-222-9911. He would welcome the opportunity to talk about our HBC prevention efforts.  

Pregnant Girls Night Out

Held three weeks ago, we had 67 gals show up for a great evening of fun and learning.  There were prizes, gifts, food, non-alcoholic drinks and, of course, a 20 minute message about having a healthy pregnancy that includes no drinking.  Our thanks to the restaurant/bar (Ivens on the Bay) who sponsored the event with the financial assistance of Crow Wing Power Community Trust. 

Among other activities, we had survey questions filled out - 47 surveys were turned in.  One question in particular stood out to me:  29 of the 47 survey respondents said that their physician either did not bring up the subject of no drinking or did so only once during the pregnancy.  I was almost shaken by that response, as it tells me there is a lot of work for us to do! ~ Peter J., HBC Program Coordinator.


Simple but Effective Messaging

When out in the community, our presentations and exhibits are well received. All the posters and banners are developed by Healthy Brains for Children chapters and our central office and use chapter members and community volunteers as models for the posters. The posters include doctors, nurses, a high school hockey coach, a weight training coach, babies and parents. Each chapter is encouraged to bring the message in their community with recognizable community members.

Sara Koehn, HBC Board Member

Meet Sara

Sarah Koehn is a new member of the Healthy Brains for Children Board of Directors. Sara is a 6th grade teacher at Centennial Middle School, Lino Lakes, MN, a district of 6800+ students and 800+ staff. She was the Centennial School District Teacher of the Year in 2006. She has taught at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School, Nay Ah Shing School, both BIA tribal contract schools. She brings energy and innovation to our board, as well as a wealth of experience in education and leadership. She is an alumnus of the Bush Educators Program.
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