The Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities was created by the Texas Legislature in 1989 to coordinate prevention activity among the state’s health and human services enterprise. The governor and legislature directed the agency to address substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and childhood head and spinal cord injury. The agency’s mission is to help minimize the human and economic losses caused by preventable developmental disabilities.
A nine member, executive committee consisting of experts in medicine, business, academia, and mental health governs the agency and establishes policy directed toward its priorities: preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and head and spinal cord injury.
- J.C. Montgomery, Jr., Chair (Dallas)
- Marian Sokol, Vice-Chair (San Antonio)
- Valerie Kiper (Amarillo)
- Joan Roberts-Scott (Austin)
- Mary S. Tijerina (San Marcos)
- Representative Jim Jackson (Carrollton)
- Richard Garnett (Ft. Worth)
- Representative Vicki Truitt (Keller)
- Carolyn A. Smith, Executive Director
The agency strives to coordinate activity among private and public organizations to address preventable developmental disabilities. The goals directing this work include:
- Educate the public about FASD and head and spinal cord injury.
- Train professionals to provide services to individuals affected by brain injury.
- Implement public health strategies that emphasize prevention using evidence-based interventions.
Two task forces actively advise the agency on 1) prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancy, the cause of FASD and 2) educating parents and young children about using helmets, safely riding bicycles, and avoiding common childhood injuries.
The focus of this year’s report is on policy improvements for individuals with FASD.