Hello friends, family and supporters,

I am pleased to report that a bill I sponsored (HB2491) to expand Arizona’s newborn screening panel to include critical congenital heart defects was signed into law by Governor Brewer last week. By including this screening, we can potentially save thousands of babies’ lives each year. You can read an Arizona Republic article on HB2491 here.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are defects in the structure of the heart and great vessels that are present at birth. With nearly one in 100 babies born with a defect, CHD are a leading cause of birth defect-associated infant illness and death. Tragically, many children born with a CHD do not live to see their first birthday and thousands more won’t reach adulthood. We can do more to help these fragile lives.

HB2491 enables critical screening for CHD that allows doctors to make an early diagnosis of a CHD and determine how best to treat it. Thankfully, not all patients with a CHD require surgery to repair the defect, and this early diagnosis allows families and doctors to choose the treatment option that offers the best chance for success.

In addition to screening for CHD, the law also allows the state health director to determine whether to add screening for severe combined immunodeficiency and Krabbe disease.

As a parent myself, I felt compelled to sponsor HB2491 in order to give Arizona newborns the best chance for survival. Arizona families deserve nothing less.


Thank you.