March of Dimes honors State Health Officer for newborn screening - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

March of Dimes honors State Health Officer for newborn screening advocacy

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Source: March of Dimes Source: March of Dimes
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The March of Dimes has honored an advocate for the screening of newborn babies.

The non-profit organization honored State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson Wednesday morning.

"The March of Dimes applauds Dr. Williamson for his unwavering commitment to newborn screening," Camille A. Epps, March of Dimes state director, said in a press release. "Screening for treatable conditions immediately after birth can mean the difference between a healthy life or a severe disability or even death for a newborn."

Alabama infants are now screened for 30 diseases, many of which are treatable if caught early. In June, Alabama added a test for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD).

Since April 2012, when the CCHD screening began on a voluntary basis, 10 Alabama newborns have been identified as having congenital heart defects. Thanks to the early detection, officials say that these infants have received specialized care that could prevent death or disability.

"Our success in implementing newborn screening for CCHD has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of many stakeholders whose expertise is crucial to the process," Dr. Williamson said in a press release.

According the Alabama Department of Public Health, the state remains ahead of the national average in screening newborns.

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