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Baby’s First Bear Attends APHL 50th Anniversary of Newborn Screening Program and Reception

  • On September 18th, Baby’s First Test staff attended the 50th Anniversary of Newborn Screening Program and Reception on Capitol Hill, which was hosted by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). The event was attended by a number of renowned leaders in the field such as Kevin Alexander, Dr. Coleen Boyle, and, “daughter” of newborn screening, Patricia Guthrie, as well as a few who are just starting to make their impact. In addition, the event honored the original supporters of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act for all of their dedication and support. The Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard accepted an award for her hard work and the original co-sponsors, The Honorable Mike Simpson, The Honorable Tom Reynolds, The Honorable Henry Waxman, The Honorable Chris Dodd, and The Honorable Hillary Clinton were recognized as well.

    There were many themes throughout the night, but none greater than celebrating the accomplishments of newborn screening over the last 50 years. Newborn screening started in the 1960s, thanks to Dr. Robert Guthrie, with the prick of a baby’s heel to test for one condition. Today, this public health program screens approximately 4 million newborns each year with the means of screening for over 60 conditions. An accomplishment that is truly outstanding!

    It was a night of celebration that allowed newborn screening advocates and leaders to come together to honor the past and motivate one another to continue to the future. As one of the night’s presenters stated, “This is a time to recharge our batteries.” The shared enthusiasm and passion of those involved make the continued improvement for newborn screening plausible. From the researchers and doctors to the parents and advocates, nobody is willing to let the momentum slow until every baby is ensured a healthy start. 

    Baby’s First Bear attended the event (wearing his GOLD pin) and had a great time hearing about the history of newborn screening, family stories, and the future hopes of those within the field. #BeBoldWearGOLD

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