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News Items – October 4, 2017



Nora Boesem is a member:
With Whiteclay stores closed, attention turns to alcoholism and fetal alcohol syndrome
The Chadron Record (NE)
“A child is not a pair of shoes.” Those stark words put into perspective the scourge of alcoholism on the Pine Ridge Reservation and impact it has on the children born there. They came from Nora Boesem, president of Roots to Wings FASD and the parent to 12 children with fetal alcohol syndrome. “Our FASD population has truly been a throw-away population,” she said Saturday at the Legislature’s Whiteclay Task Force Summit. She learned the hard way. When she and her husband applied to be foster parents, they indicated that they would not take children with fetal alcohol syndrome. Their first three placements all had FASD. When she began seeking assistance for them, she was told they were lucky – they hadn’t adopted them yet and could send them back.

Rebekah Gewirtz is executive director to NASW-MA:
Mass. lawmakers hear testimony about assisted suicide bills
Worcester Telegram
The role of physicians in treating a person with a terminal illness was at the center of a Statehouse debate Tuesday over proposed legislation to allow clinicians to provide drugs to hasten a patient’s death. Those who oppose the bills say that allowing legally assisted suicide would undermine physicians’ roles as care providers. Advocates say that doctors should support their patients’ decisions to end their suffering and pass peacefully. Rebekah Gewirtz, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts chapter, said physician assisted suicide is not a matter of life and death: it’s a matter of choice. “Society’s role isn’t to watch (terminally ill patients) suffer,” Gewirtz said. “It’s to support their decisions at the end of their life.”

Micki Grimland is a member:
Mental health experts warn parents to limit exposure of ‘Las Vegas Massacre’ (Houston, TX)
“The main thing is that when you go to talk to your kids about it. Check your own emotions. Make sure you’re in a moderate place. That you’re calm when you talk with your kids about it. Make sure they know that the world for the most part is a safe place,” said Micki Grimland. Grimland is a licensed clinical social worker at Southwest Psychotherapy Associates. Grimland said parents should focus on the positive and talk about how strangers helped each in a time of need. Experts say parents should focus on how many good people exist in the world rather than who might want to harm others.

Tara Hughes is a member:
Red Cross volunteer counselor from WNY deployed to Las Vegas
The Buffalo News
The American Red Cross is deploying crisis counselors to Las Vegas in the wake of Sunday’s shooting. Buffalo-area counselor Tara Hughes, a licensed clinical social worker, was readying to board a flight to Las Vegas from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Monday. Hughes – who was sent by the Red Cross to assist victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012 – said a multidisciplinary team was being dispatched in the aftermath of the Las Vegas incident.

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