March of Dimes Recognizes Newborn Screening
(Des Moines)- Today, the March of Dimes presented the State of Iowa with the “Newborn Screening Award,” recognizing the state’s excellence in screening children for congenital and inherited disorders. The honor distinguishes Iowa as one of 13 states that screened for 29 treatable conditions endorsed by the March of Dimes in 2007.
“As a former nurse, I have seen firsthand the value of screening newborns for treatable illnesses,” said Lt. Governor Patty Judge, who accepted the award on behalf of the State of Iowa. “This award is recognition for the years of hard work and commitment that we as a state have shown toward protecting the lives of the youngest Iowans.” Lt. Governor Judge added that she is pleased that Iowa goes beyond the call of duty by actually screening for as many as 40 congenital and inherited disorders. Last year, Iowa celebrated the one millionth baby born in Iowa to be screened through the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Neonatal Metabolic Screening Program.
Diagnosing congenital and inherited disorders allows parents and doctors to begin immediate treatment that can avoid or greatly mitigate serious and severe complications, including chronic infections and pain, mental retardation, physical disabilities and death. In the last 15 years alone, Iowa’s Neonatal Metabolic Screening Program has identified nearly 600 babies born in Iowa with a congenital or inherited disorder.
Molly Guard, March of Dimes Director of Program Services said, “On behalf of the 3 million active volunteers and 1400 staff of the March of Dimes working in Iowa, every state and Puerto Rico, and especially on behalf of more than 38,000 babies born here every year, I thank the state, Lt. Governor Judge and Iowa Department of Public Health Director Tom Newton for making Iowa a national leader in newborn screening.”
“Like many things we do in public health, efforts like these can only be successful when the public recognizes the importance of the things we do to promote and protect the health of Iowans,” said IDPH Director Tom Newton. “We appreciate the work of the parents, hospital staff, and policymakers who have been such strong advocates of this important function of public health, and made our program what it is today.”