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New Faces in Friendly Places

  • Hi, my name is Jaclyn Seisman, and I am happy to introduce myself as the new Program Manager for Baby’s First Test! I recently moved from North Carolina, where I finished my Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a maternal and child health advocate, I am excited to raise awareness about newborn screening and to help develop innovative resources that guide and empower new and expectant parents throughout the screening process.

    Last week, I joined Natasha Bonhomme, Director of Baby's First Test, and Briosha Sanders, Program Assistant of Baby’s First Test, in Salt Lake City for the 2015 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting. Sponsored by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), the conference showcased the latest advances and approaches to genetics research and their applications for healthcare providers, genetic counselors, public health professionals, patients, and of course, parents and families.

    By attending sessions and talking to community partners, I saw two major themes emerge: 1) newborn screening is rapidly changing and evolving, and 2) newborn screening is more than just a simple test. Sessions highlighted the changing landscape of clinical care and the need for education around expanded newborn screening tests as well as policies concerning informed consent. Discussions also centered on access to genetic services and the need for long-term care and follow up throughout the life span. This is pertinent, as many conditions detected by newborn screening can affect a child’s long-term health and wellbeing. By ensuring early detection and timely intervention, every child has a chance for a healthy start.

    Baby’s First Test helped contribute to these conversations by exhibiting our tools and resources to conference attendees and engaging with community partners, genetic counselors, and healthcare professionals from around the world. Many of these interactions led to both new and renewed interest in providing our resources to their patients, families, and consumers. Our team even had the opportunity to speak to a few expecting parents, who were thrilled to find newborn screening information and resources for their state on the Baby’s First Test website. These experiences and interactions are critical to informing and expanding our work, and above all else: providing families with the right information at the right time. 

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