FASD Rock Star

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneer – Dr. Pi Nian Chang – Thank you!

PinianChange1On November 29, 2010–They just wanted to see him.
Say hello. Shake his hand.
Say Thank you to a dear friend retiring.

Hundreds, if not thousands of families in Minnesota arrived at the University of Minnesota’s FASD Diagnostic Clinic, greeted by a humble and kind, Dr. Pi-Nian Chang.

To these families, he remains the “rock star of FASD”. They trust him. They value his opinion. And they know that even though he was a very busy man, he always took time to listen, look them in the eyes and show that he personally cared and respected each one of his patients and families that he has helped get a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis.

Since 1978, when Dr. Chang co-founded the University of Minnesota’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Clinic, Dr. Pi-Nian Chang has been the voice for the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder field.

The University of Minnesota’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Clinic has served as a focal point for clinical, research and education activities related to FASD. The professional impact Dr. Chang made in this field throughout Minnesota as well as on a national and international level is second to none. The list of all of Dr. Chang’s professional publications, awards, appointments, and positions are unending.

“It was his personal impact on each family. You knew you mattered. You knew someone understood and a professional cared. I as a parent, knew that Dr. Chang did his best. Most importantly, my daughter respected and trusted him. That is significant,” shared Jodee Kulp

Dr. Chang opened parents and professional eyes to see the gifts of people living with FASD. Dr. Chang opened our hearts to embrace the challenges and enjoy the joys of living with FASD.

At his retirement in 2010, Dr. Chang passed the baton  to two very capable, creative and strong leaders in their own right, Dr. Jeff Wozniak and Dr. Chris Boys. Dr. Wozniak and Dr. Boys will take over as CoDirectors of the University of Minnesota FASD Diagnostic Clinic to continue the strong leadership from the University of Minnesota. They are the new Ying-Yang of the FASD community and complement each other very well.

Jeff and Chris have filled one big shoe, each well. Both were trained under Dr. Chang. Instead of being intimidated or overwhelmed, they remain humbled, excited and energized to begin a new direction, taking all that they have learned from the FASD master and seeing what their own legacy might be in 30 years.

The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital physicians work together with the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to help children prenatally exposed to alcohol. 

“Our goal is to build research into everything we do clinically,” says Jeff. “That way, we can measure the impact of what we are doing. Ideally, that will mean moving more toward intervention, whereas our focus to date has been on assessment.”

They are quick to point out, “We can do some of these things because the FASD community is organized in Minnesota thanks to organizations like the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and because the resources at the U of M are unique”.

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