Newborn Screening Awareness Month – September 2019
Newborn screening is one of the country’s most successful public health programs. And who do we have to thank? State newborn screening program staff. The lab managers, scientists, geneticists and others who dedicate their careers to giving babies a healthy start.
In honor of Newborn Screening Awareness Month, we are sharing a few of the faces behind the state newborn screening programs across the country.
“Knowing that you’re making a difference in the lives of Missourians is really great.”
“We are actually changing quality of life. If we didn’t have this testing in newborn screening, [families] would be searching for diseases and have no idea what it is… That’s years and years of having a disease and not having treatment.”
Meet Heather & Joel, Senior Scientists in the Missouri Newborn Screening Lab,
in this video from the MO DHSS.
The Pennsylvania newborn screening program’s goal is to eliminate or reduce mortality, morbidity and disabilities by screening and treatment of the disorders on the PA screening panel to help affected babies live as long and normal of a life as possible. Staff are motivated by the knowledge that every day they are helping to ensure the health of newborns in PA by guiding families to the services they need to get a timely diagnosis and treatment.
Nebraska screens for 32 of the 33 conditions included in the RUSP. We’ve had a long tradition of very active QA monitoring, annual reporting, and some the best timeliness, lowest unsatisfactory specimen rates, and least lost to follow-up numbers. We stay focused on our mission of saving babies lives. Through contributions on national committees and sharing our experience and knowledge, members have been recognized by APHL. Most recently Krystal Baumert received the first “Everyday Life Saver Award” from APHL in 2019 for her many contributions to ensuring the highest quality follow-up and helping others establish and develop their follow-up programs.
The Kansas newborn screening program is a collaborative effort between public health, hospitals, providers and the parents of the infants screened. Screening is a public health service. Since 1965, it has been available to all infants in Kansas and it is done shortly after birth. Kansas newborns are currently screened for 31 conditions recommended by the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services.
In New Hampshire, we are currently in the process of adding Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to our NBS panel, and hope to begin screening in early October. We are also celebrating that >95% of all blood spot specimens from NH birth hospitals were obtained within the recommended time period of 24-48 hours of life. New Hampshire continues to be motivated by working as a team to ensure the health and well-being of all children born in NH!
Don’t see your state? We want to add you! NBS program managers can email Paul Roesch for more information.
Help spread the word!