Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) occur in up to 5% of school-aged children. Prevent FASD and care for those diagnosed with it by joining The SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative.

The SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative aims to reduce the incidence of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and improve outcomes in children with suspected or diagnosed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). This program, a partnership between Boston Medical Center and Minnesota-based Proof Alliance will use Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO®) virtual education to engage healthcare teams at community health centers (CHCs) in New England and the Upper Midwest in FASD education. Participation costs are completely covered by this program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CHCs will participate in Prenatal and/or Pediatric ECHO® cohorts to learn FASD specialty-specific core competencies. The Prenatal Cohort will learn how to screen for and counsel people who can become pregnant about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy. The Pediatric Cohort will learn how to identify and care for children and adolescents with a suspected or diagnosed FASD. Participation in both cohorts provides a streamlined approach for healthcare teams to address FASDs across the lifespan with their patient population.

By becoming a SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative participant, each CHC will receive:

  • Free Continuing Education and Maintenance of Certification Part 2 credits
  • Stipend of up to $6500 to support a Community Health Center Champion

Time Commitment

Participation will begin in June 2021. After an introductory webinar there will be ten 60-minute virtual ECHO® sessions delivered over the course of 12 months. Each session will provide a brief lecture by experts, case-based learning and collaborative problem-solving. Participants will have access to resources to help them integrate new tools and workflows into their practice, which includes using quality improvement strategies to overcome any implementation challenges. 

Clinic Staff

Participating practices are encouraged to invite all appropriate clinic staff who will be involved in implementation of FASD prevention and care. This may consist of family physicians, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, NPs, PAs, CNMs, other medical personnel, behavioral health staff, and paraprofessionals such as community health and outreach workers.

If you would like more information on how your community health center could be part of the SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative, email Jackie German at [email protected]

Learn More about Safest Choice with our FAQ

This Learning Collaborative is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $2.93 million with 100 percentage funded by HRSA/HHS and $0 amount and 0 percentage funded by nongovernment source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.


Safest Choice Learning Collaborative logo with Safest Choice Learning Collaborative in dark blue beside a branch with one blue and one green leaf, over fading blue rectanglesLight and Dark Blue Proof Alliance Logo with the oo's in Proof written with %

Daniel P Alford, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine
Director, Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit
Director, Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE of Pain) Program
Boston University School of Medicine

Special Interests

Chronic pain

BMC Internal Medicine 2013

Marilyn C Augustyn, MD

Director, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine

Special Interests

Autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, intellectual disability, learning disability, family supports

Kelley A Saia, MD

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA, Director Project RESPECT, Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Pregnancy at Boston Medical Center, Boston MA

Special Interests

High Risk Pregnancy, Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy, Buprenorphine Treatment, Addiction Medicine