Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneers –
Patty Munter – Thank you!
It takes a spark to get the fire started.
Patti Munter was just the Spark needed
to start NOFAS
In South Dakota, Patti Munter launched a movement to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies and give hope to families who had been ignored. Her determination continues to drive NOFAS each and every day.
Patti Munter founded the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) in 1990 to promote the research and awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the leading known cause of intellectual disability. Her interest in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) was piqued through her work on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and while living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During that time she witnessed first-hand the tragedy of FAS in those communities.
Yes, NO-FAS begin in South Dakota.
When NOFAS founder, Patti Munter, moved the organization to Washington D.C. in 1991 the first thing she did was ask her college roommate and friend, Kara Kennedy, (1960-2011) for advice. Kennedy provided something more: she called on Washingtonians committed to public service to serve on the board, rallied policymakers to take up the fight against Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and, she raised money. Her work helped firmly establish NOFAS, still the only national organization addressing the nation’s leading preventable cause of intellectual disabilities.
— Source NOFAS Website (READ MORE)
Within the first eight months of founding NOFAS, Munter was asked to testify before the House Appropriations Committee on the issue of FAS. She was later appointed by Dr. Everett Rhoades, Director of Indian Health Service, to head the first national Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which resulted in a model FAS/FAE training program for Community Health Representatives, the primary health care providers on American Indian reservations.
Munter and her team:
- Coordinated national conferences in Albuquerque, NM and Minneapolis, MN, attracting over 1,000 attendees;
- Helped develop the first curriculum on FAS for medical students, now at the University of New Mexico, Georgetown University, and Northwestern University;
- Produced six statewide public awareness campaigns featuring Queen Latifah and Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Smits and Rodney Grant;
- First in a series of interactive books to teach the dangers of alcohol to kindergarten children.
- Munter was profiled on the Today Show, Larry King Live, and Working Woman.
From 1990-1996, while Munter served as President, NOFAS grew dramatically and now serves as the only national organization committed to preventing and raising public awareness about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAS/FAE).
Watch 1990’s NOFAS on CNN with Patti Munter – it is incredible that this battle is still being fought – thank you Patti for fighting the good fight and for beginning this organization and creating the public awareness.
TOMORROW MEET A MOM WILLING TO BE TRANSPARENT TO CHANGE THE STIGMA FOR BIRTH MOTHERS – KATHY MITCHELL