Shriver Center Autism Advocate Named Act Early Ambassador in National Pilot Program
June 22, 2011
Elaine Gabovitch, MPA and faculty member at the UMMS Shriver Center, was recently appointed one of 11 national Act Early Ambassadors by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to assist in promoting the national autism awareness campaign called, "Learn the Signs. Act Early." The Ambassadorship expands Ms. Gabovitch's role on the Massachusetts Act Early State Autism Team where she serves as the state team leader.
Past and current personal and professional experiences prepared Ms. Gabovitch well to become the Massachusetts Act Early Ambassador. As the parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder she became keenly aware of the need for better public awareness and professional training concerning early diagnosis and treatment. Until 2004, she served as a founding member and vice president of the nonprofit organization First Signs. In 2006, she graduated from the Shriver Center LEND program and joined the Shriver Center as family faculty and an instructor in the LEND program. Her current advocacy efforts at the state level include participation on the Governor's Autism Commission, Mayor Menino's Autism Task Force, and the MA Autism Consortium. Ms. Gabovitch leverages her well-established local networks as a disability advocate and as the community liaison for the Shriver Center to benefit and propel the activities of the MA state Act Early team.
The Ambassadors travel to the CDC in Atlanta, GA this week to participate in trainings and discussions which will prepare them for advancing the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." campaign to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities; promote the "Autism Case Training: A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum" to teach pediatric residents and others about diagnosis and treatment of autism; serve as a liaison with other Act Early teams; and work with state agencies to improve policy and programs for early identification.
Learn the Signs. Act Early. homepage