Newborn screening has touched the lives of nearly every person born in Massachusetts over the past five decades. That anniversary was celebrated at the State House on Dec. 9, when a proclamation from Gov. Deval L. Patrick declared Dec. 9-15 Newborn Screening Awareness Week in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
“If you think about the screenings we do and the disorders we identify, it can save lives,” Joyce A. Murphy, executive vice chancellor of UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, told the WorcesterTelegram & Gazette in a front page story about the 50th anniversary of the Massachusetts Newborn Screening Program.
A new report from UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division and the Department of Public Health highlights the ways Massachusetts residents with disabilities “fare worse” than those without disabilities when it comes to physical and mental health and quality medical care, according to a post on WBUR’s CommonHealth blog.
Individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts are more likely to experience poor physical and mental health, nicotine addiction and sexual violence, according to a report released this week co-authored by UMass Medical School and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
How one drop of her blood changed Madeleine M. Stout’s life was chronicled in an overview of the Massachusetts Newborn Screening Program published in the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Quarterly. UMass Medical School has operated the program on behalf of the state Department of Public Health since 1997.
Testing newborns for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) is inexpensive and lifesaving, Anne Marie Comeau, PhD, deputy director of UMass Medical School’s New England Newborn Screening Program and an expert in the field, explained to The Boston Globe.
Using population-based screening outcomes of approximately 3 million infants, a team of scientists across 14 states, including four researchers at UMass Medical School, have shown that newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) can be successfully implemented across public health newborn screening programs. Data from 11 newborn screening programs published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed the rate of SCID in newborns is higher than previously thought and believed to be 1 in 58,000.
The first population-based study of pregnant women with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States reveals that these mothers and their babies are at a greater risk of adverse outcomes that include preterm birth, low birth weight and low Apgar scores. The study was led by researchers at UMass Medical School, who were recently awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to further investigate those disparities.
Massachusetts is one of five states using Medicaid claims data to study how people with intellectual disabilities are using health care services. The study led by UMass Medical School aims to improve the health and well-being of this population and understand their health care patterns.
“Above and beyond the call of duty” doesn’t quite capture the heroic acts by New England Newborn Screening Program staff in the middle of a January blizzard, when they braved a snowbound state to collect blood samples from newborn babies that needed to be screened for early diagnosis for a range of rare disorders. The New England Newborn Screening Program is operated by UMass Medical School.