FREDERICTON (GNB) - The provincial fetal alcohol spectrum disorder centre of excellence will be operated by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) - eastern region. The provincial government selected the non-governmental organization after a request for proposals process.

"We are pleased to partner with the Victorian Order of Nurses to coordinate provincial-services related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder," said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. "This organization is a solid partner that has been providing excellent health and social services for more than 100 years in our province and will ensure efficient and cost-effective service delivery to patients."

The Department of Health has been managing the services in partnership with the Vitalité Health Network to minimize impact on clients and to ensure minimal disruption in services after the centre's previous operator went into bankruptcy in 2013.
"VON is honoured to have been selected to manage this important program in conjunction with the province and other partners," said Rob Zwicker, district executive director for the eastern region of the VON.  "This work touches the lives of children and their families across the province and is a perfect fit with the VON."

The centre of excellence will provide prevention, diagnosis and intervention services. The central office will remain in Moncton with regional program facilitators located throughout the province.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is an umbrella term used to describe the spectrum of disabilities associated with prenatal exposure to alcohol.