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Newborn Screening Key for Detecting Cystic Fibrosis Early in Life

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2015 

LANSING, Mich. – Since October 1, 2007, Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program has offered babies with cystic fibrosis (CF) a promising start through early identification.  Joining with the National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Campaign, this May the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is recognizing the dedication of medical experts and families in their efforts to improve health outcomes for children with CF.

“Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program works closely with our partners in the healthcare community to make sure every newborn in our state identified with CF benefits from appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with MDHHS.  “The collaboration between public health and clinical partners helps to ensure timely screening and medical follow-up.  Since screening began, we have aided more than 200 newborns identified with CF and connected their families with the resources they need to improve outcomes.”

About 30,000 children and adults in the United States are living with CF, a genetic disease that primarily affects breathing and how food is digested.  While there is currently no cure for CF, strides are being made to add healthy years to a person’s life through better treatments and earlier identification. 

Michigan is fortunate to have medical experts who specialize in treating CF available at Care Centers accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.

“Prior to including CF in the newborn screening panel, patients would be diagnosed later in childhood after developing symptoms. The best way to treat patients with this disease is before symptoms start,” said Dr. Samya Nasr, Medical Director of the Michigan CF Newborn Screening Follow-up Coordinating Center, and Director of the University of Michigan CF Care Center. “Since the start of CF newborn screening, patients have been a lot healthier than before implementing the screen.”

Michigan is celebrating 50 years of improved health outcomes for more than 5,600 newborns with disorders identified through newborn screening.  CF is just one of more than 50 disorders on the newborn screening panel but a poignant example of how this vital screen can make all the difference in a child’s life. 

For more information about CF, visit and for information about Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program, visit

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