In 1996 the University of Colorado developed the statewide Colorado FASD/ATOD Substances prevention outreach project, now known as COFAS. COFAS is a statewide fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and prenatal substance abuse prevention outreach program housed within the Colorado Area Health Education Center System of the University of Colorado Denver. The COFAS program was funded due to the increasing rates of women drinking during childbearing age in Colorado, combined with the lack of providers’ skills around identification and screening of risk drinking behaviors, lack of skills in addressing women’s substance use behaviors and lack of information on how and where to refer women for treatment or intervention services.
Project director Dr. Pam Gillen is currently a member of the Colorado Affiliate of the National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) Colorado, a statewide coalition of parents, community members and providers who work with various aspects of FASD/ATOD prevention, intervention and treatment. She is co-chair-elect for the FASD Center for Excellence Expert Panel, an elected prevention board member for the Colorado Providers Association, and a member of the Research Society on Alcoholism.