In 1963, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to mandate statewide newborn screening to promote early detection and treatment of rare disorders that can threaten the health and development of newborns.
At a State House ceremony yesterday, I was delighted to join Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, UMass Medical School Executive Vice Chancellor Joyce Murphy, and leaders from across the commonwealth’s public health, scientific and medical communities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Massachusetts Newborn Screening Program – a true public health success story which has quietly protected millions of our youngest residents.
Over the past 20 years, Massachusetts has screened more than 2.6 million newborns, with more than 2,800 babies testing positive for conditions that could harm their health.
The program is the result of a remarkable partnership between the Department of Public Health who created the Newborn Screening Program, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School who administers the program on behalf of DPH.
The program is also a testament to the unswerving commitment of a wide variety of scientists, doctors, ethicists and public health professionals who have provided expert guidance to the program since its inception.
Today’s event was also a wonderful opportunity to hear a personal story from a young woman named Madeleine Stout whose life may have been very different had her condition not been detected and successfully treated because of a newborn screening test in Massachusetts.
To recognize both Massachusetts’ leadership and the importance of newborn screening to the families of the commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed the week of December 9-13 as Newborn Screening Awareness Month.
Happy 50th anniversary to newborn screening in Massachusetts – and here’s to the next 50 years!
Tags: 50th Anniversary of Newborn Screening Program, Commonwealth Medicine, Department of Public Health, DPH, genetic screening, healthy kids, Newborn Screening Program, Prevention, UMass Medical School
My Journey Back to Watermelon posted on Jul 25
The other night, my parents took me and my fiancé* out to eat. My mom likes to keep the conversation light, and as usual, asked questions like “what was your favorite memory as a kid?” and “what would you rather have, a beach house or …Continue Reading My Journey Back to Watermelon
Kids with Asthma Can Be Active in Summer! posted on Jul 24
Summer in New England is a brief but glorious time when many families experience a change in pace as schools let out and activities slow. Weeks that were once packed with classes, homework and practice are suddenly open for new activities. Whether these include summer …Continue Reading Kids with Asthma Can Be Active in Summer!
Blueberries for All! posted on Jul 22
July is National Blueberry Month! Since the entire month is dedicated to blueberries, this is a great time to remind ourselves how healthy blueberries are, as well as learn about the different ways we can enjoy them. These delicious berries are low in calories and …Continue Reading Blueberries for All!