April 16, 2013
Washington, DC / Beijing, China (RPRN) 04/16/13 — The Newborn Foundation, an international non-profit working specifically to leverage health IT and medical technologies to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for newborns and families, is in Beijing, China this week, hosting the inaugural International Summit on Newborn Screening and Early Detection of Congenital Heart Disease. The summit will take place Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19 at the Prime Hotel Beijing Wangfujing meeting centre in Beijing.
Held in conjunction with the China National Office for Maternal and Child Health Surveillance, the summit is designed to provide a public health framework for successful population health screening and infrastructure, particularly for the most prevalent of birth defects, congenital heart disease. The meeting will include multi-national discussions and presentations of best practices from esteemed international and Chinese delegations of public health, policy, health IT, healthcare providers and clinical experts. Top Chinese CHD clinicians and academic leaders from all provinces were invited. The summit (newbornsummit.org) is part of a phased pilot project to explore early detection and treatment capacity-building for pediatric heart disease in China.
"This is an historic opportunity to work on a serious newborn health issue in a nation with 16 million births each year. We believe early detection of diseases and disorders is one of the surest ways to reduce infant mortality and improve overall health in any country – and the technology infrastructure surrounding that is paramount. We are honored to learn from the public health leaders and clinicians in China and also share the experiences of an esteemed group of international experts in care delivery and public health," said Jim Bialick, Executive Director of the Newborn Foundation.
The Newborn Foundation was co-founded by Annamarie Saarinen, the mother of an infant diagnosed at two days old with critical congenital heart disease. The organization has been integral in the policy development and adoption of universal, required newborn heart screening as a public health initiative. Since the Secretary of Health and Human Services recommended all newborns in the U.S. be screened for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) in September 2011, the Newborn Foundation has worked on the policies, technologies, telehealth and information systems needed to implement the screening throughout the U.S. and in four additional countries.
The international delegation will also tour hospitals and public health offices in Beijing, Chengdu, and rural Sichuan Province with the goal of implementing a phased pilot program for newborn heart screening in both urban and rural China.
About the Newborn Foundation
The Newborn Foundation (www.newborn-foundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) organization that leverages health IT, medtech and biotechnology innovation to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for the newest, most vulnerable citizens through vital research, education and pilot projects domestically and internationally. The Newborn Foundation operates in collaboration with the Newborn Coalition (www.newborncoalition.org), a 501(c)(4) organization that shapes policies and advances an agenda focused on newborn and infant health IT and medical technologies.
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