MDHHS celebrates 50 years of Michigan’s Newborn Screening

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LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services together with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program. MDHHS

Today, as part of an anniversary event at the Capitol, MDHHS and MHA recognized seven hospitals for outstanding performance in newborn screening, and three hospitals for quality and excellence in infant hearing screening.

“Michigan’s Newborn Screening and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs impact the lives of nearly every family who has an infant born in Michigan,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS.  “I want to thank the hospitals being recognized here today and all birthing hospitals in our state for their tireless work and commitment to keeping Michigan children healthy through newborn screening.”

Approximately 6.9 million Michigan newborns have been screened since the start of Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program leading to life altering diagnoses and treatment for over 7,200 newborns in the state. The newborn screening system now provides testing and follow-up for 55 conditions that, if not detected, would result in serious disability or death. Through three simple screening tests – blood, hearing and heart screening – newborns can be identified with these treatable conditions, helping to prevent complications and improving the health and well-being for these children.

“We are pleased to honor the Michigan Newborn Screening Program, the families and individuals it has impacted, and the hospitals that deliver and financially support the program every day,” said Dr. Gary Roth, medical director for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center. “Step into any hospital delivering babies in Michigan, and you will see the significance and value of newborn screening; it saves lives and provides families with the opportunity to pursue essential, ongoing treatment for children who need it.”

Ten hospitals recognized for excellence in newborn screening

MDHHS and MHA recognized seven hospitals for exemplary achievement in newborn screening performance. The hospitals were selected for meeting six standard criteria, including timely collection and delivery of blood spot specimens to the state laboratory, reduction in unsatisfactory specimens, appropriate completion of birth certificate and BioTrust consent forms and screening for critical congenital heart disease.  The seven hospitals to meet and exceed expectations are: Beaumont Hospital, Troy; Dickinson County Healthcare System; Holland Hospital; McLaren Port Huron; Mid-Michigan Medical Center, Midland; Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial; and Spectrum Health Zeeland Hospital.

Additionally, three hospitals received achievement awards in infant hearing screening: Mercy Hospital, Cadillac; St. Joseph Mercy, Ann Arbor; and St. Mary Hospital, Livonia. To reach exemplary status, all three hospitals achieved initial hearing screening rates of 99.76 percent or above.

The MDHHS Early Hearing Detection and Interventions Program’s goals are to provide better outcomes for Michigan newborns and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, through early hearing screening, appropriate audiological diagnosis, and intervention.

The MDHHS Newborn Screening Program assures that all Michigan infants receive a newborn screen, provide follow-up for infants with positive screening tests, ensure access to treatment and provide long-term follow-up and monitor health outcomes. For more information about newborn screening, visit

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