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MNAAP Newsletter

MNAAP Advocating Against Destruction of Newborn Screening Test Results

By Anne Edwards, MD, FAAP, chair of MNAAP’s Policy Committee…

With just a few drops of blood from a newborn’s heel, Minnesota’s newborn screening program has been credited with detecting more than 50 types of treatable disorders in hundreds of babies across the state. Early detection has meant the difference between life and death for many babies and their future siblings. In fact, the CDC recognizes newborn screening as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements in the 21st century and many experts have cited Minnesota as the “gold standard” for the rest of the country.

But a new law is threatening the future of this life-saving program in Minnesota — and MNAAP members are taking action.

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Leading and Supporting Child Health Issues

By Robert M. Jacobson, president of MNAAP…

I hope you take the time to read the front-page article about the destructive changes that have occurred to Minnesota’s newborn screening program. It’s the leading issue for our chapter this year in terms of advocacy. It rose to the top for three reasons: a clock-ticking sense of urgency, the large number of children who will be impacted, and the lack of other organizations willing to take the lead.

Occasionally our colleagues ask why we aren’t focusing more attention to injury prevention, gun control, child sex trafficking, responsible sex education, or other hot-button issues. My response is that we are careful to prioritize which efforts we best lead and which efforts we join coalitions our fellow pediatric advocates’ best lead. We only have so many resources. We have limited lobbying time, consultant support, and volunteer person-power. Last legislative season we pursued legislation related to anti-bullying, early brain development, newborn screening, and access to care. We have work groups and committees that drive each of those efforts.

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Learning Disorders: Identification and Eligibility of Services

By Amanda Hyatt Fields, PhD, LP, pediatric neuropsychologist at Park Nicollet…

Identifying learning disabilities and determining eligibility for special services can be both confusing and frustrating. The reason, in part, may be attributed to differences between school and medical definitions of what constitutes a learning disorder.  To identify a student as learning disordered in the schools, the child must meet specific criteria for a specific disability as outlined by the federal government in IDEIA 2004, whereas the medical model focuses on statistical differences using a variety of different measures.

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Child Life Specialists: What Role Can They Play in Pediatric Clinics?

By Charles Archer, MNAAP writer…

Affirmed as “an essential component of quality pediatric care” by AAP, child life specialists have become standard in most pediatric hospitals, providing non-medical preparation and support for children undergoing tests, surgeries and other medical procedures.

But they are also finding a role in some pediatric clinics. Using play and psychological preparation as primary tools, they can offer extra support both to the family and the physician team.

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Providing Care for LGBTQ Youth

By Tom Scott, MD, FAAP, Interim Director, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Residency Program, U of M…

Suddenly in Minnesota marriage can be in the future for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) young people! Just over a year ago MNAAP was strongly opposing a constitutional amendment that would have precluded this possibility. And now, LGBTQ youth can see role models of committed people in same-sex relationships who love each other and are marrying. They will know that they can find a life partner and that their relationships will be supported by society just as the opposite-sex relationships of their peers are.

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