Newborn Screening Program Information:

The Newborn Screening Program celebrates Lab Professional's Week!

Alisha's storyAlisha, Laboratory Professional
When I first applied for this job, I knew very little about newborn screening as a public health program.  But during my interview I began to understand the depth and breadth of the program –  how the lab not only tests the blood spots of each baby, but a genetic counselor will also connect the baby’s care provider with a specialist if a result shows a baby is at risk for one of the disorders. I learned that dedicated staff members follow each baby with a positive result until he or she is diagnosed with a disorder or ruled as having a false positive result, to make sure all babies are connected with the care they need. And still more staff members are dedicated to designing and creating educational materials for parents and providers to guide them through each step of these processes. By the time I left my interview, I was thrilled about newborn screening!

I have now worked with Minnesota’s Newborn Screening Program for five years as an analyst in the lab. As a member of the newborn screening team, I am helping to improve the outcome of – or even save – a baby’s life every couple of days. This is truly a special program, and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it.

-Alisha, Laboratory Professional, Minnesota Newborn Screening Program

Dan's storyMDH Laboratory Professionals
"Even non-superheroes save lives. I am an average lab rat doing daily tasks such as punching blood spots, running tests, and recording results. It is not a daily event that I uncover a life-threatening condition that affects a newborn, yet each normal result impacts babies and their families as well. Finding “nothing” is just as rewarding for me as finding a positive result. Each act saves lives and helps families know how to best care for their child. I do not need to save babies in a dramatic fashion to feel good about the importance of the job I do daily."

-Dan, Laboratory Specialist, Minnesota Newborn Screening Program
(Dan and several of his laboratory colleagues are pictured above)

Why pulse oximetry screening?
With the recent addition of critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) to Minnesota's screening panel, learn more about why pulse oximetry screening is an important part of newborn care. This video was made in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital and the Newborn Foundation.

Newborn Heart Screening Video
(published February 25, 2014)

Conquering Rare Diseases Tweetchat: Tuesday, Feb. 1 at Noon
Join the Newborn Screening Program as we take part in a tweetchat with Dr. Richard Besser, Chief of the ABC News Medical/Health Unit on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 12 p.m. CST. The chat is cosponsored by the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD). To join the chat, use hashtag #abcDRBchat. To learn more, visit the Rare Disease Day USA website.

Rare Disease Day USA website
(published February 24, 2014)

Newborn Screening Lawsuit Settled
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has settled the lawsuit over its storage and use of newborn screening residual dried blood spots and test results. As a result of the case being settled, the district court order to preserve these blood spots and test results has been lifted and the department has begun destroying approximately 1.1 million archived blood spots and test results as required by a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling.

Lawsuit settlement allows newborn screening program to move forward - News Release
(published January 28, 2014)

Public Health Laboratory Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Report
The MDH Public Health Laboratory Division's annual report is now online. Check out Newborn Screening Program updates from the past year, including:

  • The implementation of screening for severe combined immune deficiency (SCID)
  • Preparations for universal pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD)
  • Updates on hearing screening for out-of-hospital births
  • Photos from newborn screening's 50th anniversary celebrations
  • The facts and figures of newborn screening in fiscal year 2013
  • A family's story about how newborn screening for congenital hypothyroidism changed their lives

2013 Annual Report – Public Health Laboratory (PDF: 2.39MB/15 pages)
(published December 16, 2013)

Online Ordering for Education Materials and Forms
Providers and parents can order free education materials and forms online through the Ordering Education Materials and Forms page. Just follow the link on the page, enter the relevant contact information and quantities needed, and click "Submit Request." Orders will be filled within 3-5 business days!

Education Materials and Forms
(published November 19, 2013)