The newborn screening community is one of great innovation. In light of this tradition, Baby’s First Test seeks to engage and inspire the community through the Challenge Awards. Genetic Alliance will distribute several Awards up to $20,000 each for organizations to integrate Baby’s First Test into new or existing outreach, engagement, or educational efforts. Each year, Genetic Alliance funds proposals that detail innovative solutions to challenges in the newborn screening system. Genetic Alliance considers proposals submitted from nonprofit organizations, public health groups, research institutions, and private-sector companies.
The 2013 projects selected reflect the diversity of the newborn screening community and aim to target a broader cross-section of the population than traditional website engagement. The cornerstones of the selected projects included the scalability of the project sand the novel exploration of the stated problem. This years awardees are as follows:
Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center (Bronx, NY)- Evaluate an educational intervention utilizing video versus the standard brochure for new parents from lower socio-economic levels
Children’s Health Improvement Partnership of the New River Valley (Radford, VA)- Evaluate the impact of incorporating newborn screening information into an existing home visiting program targeting underserves populations
Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, DC)- Translate the Heart Smart video series and Toolkit into five additional languages to inform parents about the importance of pulse-oximetry as a part of newborn screening.
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Memphis, TN)- Target NICU nurses with educational interventions about newborn screening
Michigan Department of Community Health (Lansing, MI)- Increase understanding of barriers experienced by midwives and create targeted educational materials to help alleviate these barriers.
Table for Two (Atlanta, GA)- This group will work with a leading African American professional health society to develop targeted messages about newborn screening for the African American community, resulting in a PSA and infographic.
Pat Blake, from the University of Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory, shared her experience from last year: “As a 2012 recipient of the Baby’s First Test Challenge Award, we expected to complete and promote a video to update hospital staff about blood-spot collections and the role of public health laboratories in newborn screening, which we did. What we did not expect, however, were the long-term benefits from the association with Baby’s First Test and this award.
While the original video was still in production, the project mushroomed. We added addition features, attracted local, state and national media, including television coverage, blog posts and newspaper articles. This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of newborn screening in America. Thanks to our association with Baby’s First Test and the Challenge Award, we are well prepared to share the stories of newborn screening and how the Iowa program exemplifies our motto of “Putting Babies First.””