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House Appropriations Committee Hears Testimony about State Support for Newborn Baby Health Screenings, Adolph Says
TUNKHANNOCK – House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware), at the request of Rep. Karen Boback (R- Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming), hosted a House Appropriations Committee hearing at the Tunkhannock Public Library to gather information about the importance of state support for newborn health screening for over 140,000 babies born in Pennsylvania each year.

“This year, newborn health screening received a lot of attention from the Legislature in both the enacted budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year and by legislation recently signed into law sponsored by Representative Boback, Act 94 of 2014, the Newborn Child Pulse Oximetry Screening Act,” said Adolph.

The FY2014-15 state budget included a 3.6 percent increase for the state-supported newborn screening program. The new funds were included in the budget to expand newborn screening and follow-up referral capabilities to Northcentral Pennsylvania. The new funds will allow families in Northcentral Pennsylvania to seek follow-up care in this region instead of having to travel to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia for a higher level of care.

In addition to new funding, Act 94 of 2014, the Newborn Child Pulse Oximetry Screening Act, was recently signed into law. The act requires Pennsylvania birthing centers to conduct a Pulse Oximetry Screening on newborn babies to rule out congenital heart defects and structural abnormalities. Early detection of these health problems allow for early intervention which often saves the lives of babies who are afflicted with these terrible health problems.

“Over the past year I have led the effort to improve newborn health in Pennsylvania. As a result of my legislation being signed into law and increased state funding for newborn screening, children in Pennsylvania will be safer and their families will have more information that will help them make informed decisions about their health care,” said Boback.

“The Newborn Child Pulse Oximetry Screening Act will save lives and give families peace of mind. Over 1,400 newborn babies are diagnosed with congenital heart defects and structural abnormalities each year. These families will now be able to take action to get their newborns the life-saving care they need,” said Jen Ebersol, the Pennsylvania Government Relations Director for The American Heart Association.

Representative William Adolph
165th Legislative District
Representative Karen Boback
117th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Michael Stoll
717.787.1711 /
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