WHITEHORSE - Health and Social Services Minister Brad Cathers will host his first meeting Saturday, May 24, as chair of the Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Partnership (CNFASDP).
Yukon has been a member of the alliance of the three northern territories and four western provinces since 1999. It hosted a CNFASDP conference in 2002 and a symposium in 2005 but this is the first time a Yukon minister has chaired the partnership.
"I am pleased that Yukon is able to take on this role for the coming year," Cathers said. "FASD is a priority for Yukon; one of the advantages of the partnership is that we can speak with a strong, united voice that will help us make significant gains in addressing this disorder."
Saturday's meeting will see partnership ministers meet to hear reports from the CNFASDP Research Network and three network action teams.
"The research network has created amazing collaborative initiatives among the jurisdictions and Yukon has certainly benefited from their involvement," Cathers said.
Staff responsible for prevention initiatives regularly participate in internet-based discussions through the network action teams, giving them direct access to researchers and emerging research about FASD.
"This is knowledge transfer at its finest - we are applying research and seeing research applied," Cathers added.
At this meeting, the Ministers will also have the opportunity to hear from Vicki Russell, who lives and works in the North and Northwest regions of Tasmania, Australia.
Russell will speak about the experiences of Australia's National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders in bringing the issue of FASD to the attention of the Australian people, and securing its place on the policy agenda of governments around the world.
|Pat Living, Communications|
Health and Social Services