September 2017: Newborn Screening Awareness Month

WHEREAS, in 1965, the collaboration of Dr. K. Stanley Read and Dr. Richard Allen established state laboratory testing methods and protocols for referral, diagnosis and medical management of Phenylketonuria (PKU) in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, today the Michigan Newborn Screening Program has expanded bloodspot screening from one to over 50 conditions for which early diagnosis and intervention can result in the difference between health and disability or even life and death. The most commonly identified conditions include congenital hypothyroidism, sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis; and,

WHEREAS, tremendous advancements in tandem with mass spectrometry and the characterization of many rare genetic diseases has propelled inclusion of many metabolic conditions in routine screening by the state laboratory that would not have been possible even 20 years ago; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has screened more than 7.1 million infants and identified over 6,000 children with a condition on the newborn screening bloodspot panel who were referred for early treatment; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan primary care providers, hospital staff, couriers, and public health professionals collaborate to support a system of care that educates Michigan parents about newborn screening and ensures over 99 percent of newborns benefit from timely screening; and,

WHEREAS, follow-up coordinating centers connect families with pediatric sub-specialists to provide rapid diagnosis and tailored medical care to improve the lives of the state’s newest residents; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan BioTrust for Health, with collaboration from scientific experts and a Community Values Advisory Board, promotes health research using stored residual newborn screening blood spots while improving individual decision-making and public transparency to further increase the public health benefit from newborn screening; and, 

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services joins with families, advocacy organizations and the healthcare community across the state to recognize more than 50 years of newborn screening accomplishments and promote greater awareness so that every baby born in Michigan has the opportunity to benefit from improved health outcomes through newborn screening;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 2017 as Newborn Screening Awareness Month in Michigan.