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Governor Walker signs a bill for more Newborn screening

by Nikki Montgomery

Yesterday Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 523, requiring additional types of newborn screening for all babies born in the State.

Right now newborns are screened for 41 potentially life-threatening, but treatable medical conditions during their hospital stay after birth. If you're a parent you probably remember the lab coming in and poking your baby's foot and blotting the blood on a card that is sent to the state lab. 

The March of Dimes has advocated for and even funded new screening technology, including tests for Critical Congenital Heart Disease. Now this screening has been added to Wisconsin’s Newborn Screening panel.

“We thank Governor Scott Walker for passing this critically important legislation,” said Jodi Legge, State Director, March of Dimes Wisconsin Chapter. “This is a win for parents and babies throughout Wisconsin, as the new law allows the State’s non-partisan Newborn Screening Task Force -- an advisory group of medical researchers, providers, ethicists, geneticists, and advocates -- to make recommendations to add additional screening.

“March of Dimes is very proud to work on behalf of all infants born with birth defects and we do this through private sector research, community service, education and advocacy. In addition to our advocacy efforts, last year March of Dimes provided more than $1 million to Wisconsin universities, and almost $100 million nationally and internationally, to fund research to prevent premature birth and birth defects." said Jodi Legge, State Director, March of Dimes Wisconsin Chapter.

“Of the 68,000 babies born each year in Wisconsin, 7,400 are born prematurely, and more than 2,000 are born with a birth defect.” 

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