Posted by Louise Hancock
Rotary Clubs in Western Australia have partnered with District 5010 Alaska International and the Rotary Club of Thimpu (Bhutan) to be awarded a Rotary Foundation grant to pay for the infrastructure costs of our “Make FASD History” project in Leonora.
The Rotary International grant will provide the logistical support to the staff of PATCHES Paediatrics. We have undertaken the community consultation to evaluate if the project is viable and sustainable and meets the community requirements. The Leonora  community are excited about the project and looking  forward to April 2019, when  it  starts.
With the grant funds we will pay for the lease of office space in Lenora for the Aboriginal Health workers.  We have purchased a car to be used by the PATCHES Staff to travel between the local towns and to visit the clients.  We will purchase the equipment for the child development testing and provide the staff training for the project.
This program will provide the diagnostic and therapy support as well as the ongoing health education and coordination support required.  We will provide communication equipment that will allow for teleconference /video conferences facilities, thereby offering greater access to support, to the local community and the aboriginal health workers, from staff who are located in Perth, approximately 850 kilometres from Leonora. 
The project goals are to facilitate increased awareness that focuses community and service provider attention on preventing FASD. Secondly to offer clinics that will provide precise diagnosis that generates community and service provider “wrap-around” and “whole-of-community” initiatives, and to provide individualised early intervention treatment and management strategies to minimise the impact of FASD on children with this diagnosis, plus their parents/carers, siblings and the community.  
The West Australian Rotary clubs who have made financial contributions to the grant are the   Rotary Club of Kalamunda, the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour, the Rotary Club of Boulder and the Rotary Club of Osborne Park.  District 9455 has also made a contribution.  The project   management committee comprises representatives from these clubs plus a representative from the Rotary Club of Pinjarra.  This committee has responsibility to raise the funds, manage the funding and evaluate the progress.
An Alaskan Vocational Team Visits
The Rotary District 5010 Alaska International have a significant interest in FASD Services for their rural and remote communities and they will be sending a Vocational team of FASD specialists to Perth, in April, to provide training for our health, community protection and Police staff.  The team will be here for 3 weeks and will have meetings with range of stakeholders including PATCHES Paediatrics, Telethon Kids Institute, Teachers and Police services in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Leonora.  The team will provide intensive training for the Therapy assistants and school teachers in Leonora.       
The Alaskan team are wanting to learn procedures and structure to gain acceptance, bring awareness and engage diagnostic teams in rural areas of Alaska/Yukon.  They want to learn a different approach to rural communities that will allow full diagnostic teams to gain entrance into homes and areas, in need, in order to both diagnose and treat FASD related individuals and integrate them into the economic community of the areas.
They will share with the Australian team the ideas and approaches that have been successfully used in Alaska/Yukon for both diagnostic areas and judicial system sentences and outcomes which have been adapted to assist and manage individuals affected by FASD.
The team will comprise the following participants;
Mr Michael Jeffery            
Retired Superior Court Judge.  
Team Leader (Rotarian)
Ms Marilyn Pierce Bulger
Family Nurse-Practitioner/Certified Midwife
Coordinator/Medical Manager for the Anchorage FASD Diagnostic Team
Tami Eller
Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Psychology
Clinical Supervisor-Treatment Foster Care Program
Monica Mae Charles           
Bachelor Education (Elementary Education)
Guardian ad Litem, Office of the Public Advocacy
President (2015- present) Association of Village Council Presidents (Bethel Alaska)
Dr Pam Hill
Fellow American College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Fellow American College of Surgeons
Retired -Volunteer specialist
Project Plan
Following the receipt of the funds from the Rotary Foundation the committee has now purchased a vehicle for the team to use while on site and for the Therapy assistants to use to implement their work.  We have been fortunate to receive support from Midway Ford to supply us with a 2013 FORD Ranger, 4wd vehicle, which is very suitable for the outback roads that the team will be travelling on.  MIDWAY Ford have generously offered to sponsor the 2-year warranty on the vehicle free of charge.  They are very impressed with community development our project will be undertaking.
PATCHES Staff will be purchasing the video conferencing equipment and medical equipment including psychological testing kits for the project.
The Shire of Leonora is assisting us by providing a discounted cost for the office rental for the therapy assistants in Leonora.
The Alaskan Vocational Team and members of the project management committee will be visiting Kalgoorlie and Leonora in early April to meet the Rotarians who have supported the project in Kalgoorlie and to provide training to staff and teachers and police personnel in Leonora.  The PATCHES Team will provide the first formal diagnostic clinic in early April. 
We are very grateful for the support from the ROTARY FOUNDATION OF ROTARY INTERNATIONAL. We have now commenced our project.  We are still fund raising for the money required for the second year of operation; so, if you can help, we would be very happy to talk to you about the project.   You can contact us at Email .
Tax deductible contributions can be made through Rotary Australia World Community Service