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Celebrating National Public Health Week: Newborn Screening as a Vital Example

  • This week the United States celebrates public health by highlighting the work of public health officials and discussing how we can improve our health as individuals and communities. Since 1995, communities across the country have shared tip for health and committed to improving their lifestyles during the first week in April, known as National Public health Week. This year’s theme is A Healthier America Begins Today: Join The Movement! 

    You may wonder what does this have to do with newborn screening. For nearly 50 years, newborn screening has been one of the most well-established public health programs in the United States. In 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized newborn screening as one of the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements” due to the improvements in technology and the increased number of conditions screened for by states during the late 1990s and early 2000s. But the advances did not stop there. Today, many states are working hard to include screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)  and critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) . With over 4 million babies screened each year, newborn screening is one of the farthest reaching and impactful public heath services in practice. The primary goal of public health is to catch and prevent illness before they severely impact people and newborn screening is a prime example of that.

    Newborn screening is a first step to a healthy start for babies. Let’s celebrate all the people and programs that keep us healthy this and every week.

    For more information on National Public Health week and how to get involved in your community got to: http://www.nphw.org/ and follow the conversation on twitter at #NPHW.

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