News Flash

Health & Human Services Department

Posted on: October 4, 2018

Cause and Consequence: Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy and the Vulnerable Child

Cause and Consequence event

Dr. Ira Chasnoff

Event Planning Committee Members

Pictured above, Ira Chasnoff, M.D, who will be the guest speaker for the Cause and Consequence event; and the event planning committee, which includes back row: Cathy Burgess, RNS4, Chautauqua County DHHS Matenal Child Health Program Manager; Annie Rosenthal, Public Relations Coordinator of Chautauqua Tapestry; Kia Briggs, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County; and front row: Melanie Witkowski, Executive Director for Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council;Andy O’Brien,  UPMC Chautauqua Director of Chemical Dependency and Outpatient Mental Health; Nicole Kimball, Chautauqua County DHHS Commissioner’s Office; and Wendy Douglas, Chautauqua County DHHS Director of Patient Services. Missing from the photo are:  Leanna Luka-Conley, DHHS Deputy Commissioner, and  Julie Franco, JCC Staff Development Training Coordinator for DHHS.

MAYVILLE, N.Y.: - On October 25, 2018, Chautauqua County will welcome Ira Chasnoff, M.D., a well-recognized author and national speaker for a Cause and Consequence: Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy and the Vulnerable Child event from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, 10 Dunham Ave. in Celoron, N.Y.  Community members and agencies working with children and/or pregnant women are urged to attend this no-cost, community-based learning and planning experience to understand the effects of drugs and alcohol on the exposed child and interventions that should be implemented.

Dr. Chasnoff will focus his session on pregnant and parenting women at risk for alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use and the children who are born affected by prenatal exposure.  He will emphasize how prenatal substance abuse prevention and enhanced learning and behavior management early in life can help a community avoid the human and financial costs of prenatal substance exposure and serious emotional and behavioral problems of early childhood.

Dr. Chasnoff, an award-winning author, researcher and lecturer, is president of NTI Upstream and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in Chicago. He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and the effects of maternal alcohol and drug use on the newborn.

Drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy is a serious concern in our area.  According to the last community health assessment, the rate of newborns that test positive for drugs in Chautauqua County is nearly two and a half times greater than New York State as a whole.

Leanna Luka-Conley, Deputy Commissioner of Adult, Children and Family Services, said this is a true community event being made possible by the contributions of Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), UPMC Chautauqua, Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council, Western Regional Addiction Resource Collaborative, The Resource Center, The Chautauqua Center, STEL, Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County, Chautauqua Tapestry and American Association of University Women. 

The event is free and open to the public.  To register, please visit or contact Nicole Kimball at (716) 753-4117.  Reservations are required by October 16, 2018.


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