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Testimony of George Meldrum Delaware State Senate Health & Social Services Committee

In Support of Senate Bill 58

Thursday, May 7, 2015


April 29, 2015

Good Afternoon and thank you, Chairwoman Hall-Long and members of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee. My name is George Meldrum and I am speaking on behalf of Nemours /Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. I am here today to speak in support of Senate Bill 58 which codifies the Newborn Screening Program and establishes a Newborn Screening Advisory Committee to oversee issues related to the state’s Newborn Screening Program.

Newborn screening is an important and effective program for testing newborns for certain genetic, metabolic, hormonal and functional conditions that cannot otherwise be detected without the newborn screening test. Approximately 1 in every 300 newborns has a condition that can be detected through screening. According to data from the Department of Public Health, 60 babies in the state are identified with conditions that, once treated, will prevent disabilities, developmental delays, illness or death. A number of infants with these debilitating conditions are treated in the Nemours health care system.

The Newborn Screening Program currently sits in regulation. Passage of this bill is absolutely necessary to codify the Newborn Screening Program to sustain the success of newborn screening and protect Delaware’s infants from the most harmful health conditions. In addition, creation of a Newborn Screening Advisory Committee will assist DPH in determining which conditions to screen for and set up an established protocol that is up to date with the latest disorders to screen and provide guidance for the program structure and quality moving forward.

Thank you.

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.