CRAEA staff member helps advocate for newborn screening awareness


 CRAEA staff member, Kelsey Baker, along with her family, with Gov. Kim Reynolds.

CRAEA staff member, Kelsey Baker, along with her family, with Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Central Rivers AEA staff member, Kelsey Baker, along with her family, were invited by Gov. Reynolds to be present during the official signing of a proclamation to make September Newborn Screening Awareness month in Iowa.  Newborn screening is the test that is done in the hospital at birth via a tiny stick to the heel. In Iowa, over 50 life-threatening, but treatable, conditions are screened during the procedure. Iowa was the first state in the nation to have the state newborn screening lab open 24/7, and it tests for the most conditions through this public health program making the state a leader nationwide.

Newborn screening is extra special for Kelsey and her family as two of her three children have a genetic condition that was found by newborn screening. Without this knowledge, they would have died painfully within weeks of being born. Instead, they are thankful for the knowledge they now have to keep them healthy and thriving.During the visit, Kelsey shared with Gov. Reynolds a children’s book she wrote called, “Our Special Family” penned in 2015 about newborn screening and family diversity. Through grants, Kelsey has donated the book to public libraries, school libraries, national and state organizations, and individual families. It is also available for checkout from the CRAEA Media department. Gov. Reynolds enthusiastically read the book to Baker’s children while they visited her in office.

Congratulations to Kelsey for her impactful advocacy!