The Vivian Act
The Minnesota legislature passed a law known as the Vivian Act in 2021. The law is named for Vivian Henrikson who was identified with congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) shortly after birth. Vivian's mother, Leah Henrikson, University of Minnesota physician Dr. Mark Schleiss, and other parents of Minnesota children affected with cCMV introduced the idea for the bill. Parents advocated for passage of the legislation to promote education, awareness, and early detection of cCMV.
The Vivian Act directs the Minnesota Commissioner of Health to:
- Make information about cCMV, including preventative measures, available to health care providers, women who may become pregnant, expectant parents, and parents of infants
- Establish an outreach program to educate women who may become pregnant, expectant parents, and parents of infants about CMV
- Raise awareness for CMV among health care providers
In addition, the Vivian Act required the Advisory Committee on Heritable and Congenital Disorders to review cCMV for possible inclusion on Minnesota's newborn screening panel. In January 2022, the Advisory Committee recommended adding cCMV to the newborn screening panel following its thorough review process. Less than a month later, Commissioner Malcom approved this recommendation paving the way for Minnesota to become the first state in the nation to screen every newborn for cCMV.
The Vivian Act in the News