Newborn Foundation Co-Convenes Shanghai Symposium with Focus on Congenital Heart Disease in Newborns and Infants

Saint Paul, MN / Shanghai, China 10/20/14 — Expansion of Newborn Screening Program & Latest Data Announced

As a follow up to the 5th Shanghai Symposium on Pediatric Cardiovascular Disease and the 2nd China Summit on Newborn Screening and Early Detection of Congenital Heart Disease, the Newborn Foundation announced the expansion of its newborn pulse oximetry screening program in China.

The Newborn Foundation, an international nonprofit leveraging medical technologies to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for newborns, co-convened the symposium from September 19-21 in Shanghai, China. Jointly organized by Children’s Hospital of Fudan University and CHAMPS (CHinese AMerican Pediatric Scholars) Children at New York, and co-organized by the Newborn Foundation, the scientific meeting gathered more than 300 clinicians, researchers and public health officials from across China and seven other countries on the campus of the renowned Children’s Hospital of Fudan University.

Clinical investigators reported on progress of the BORN Project, a rural newborn pulse oximetry screening project being implemented by the Newborn Foundation and headquartered at Mianyang Central Hospital in Sichuan Province. More than 50,000 newborns will be screened as part of the expanded pilot project in village, county and municipal level hospitals in west China. Additionally, new data was shared with the group following the recent publication in the Lancet of the largest pulse oximetry study of newborns.

The symposium was among the first to convene international experts on the topic of cardiovascular disease in the youngest patients – newborns and infants. A substantial portion of the program was dedicated to early detection and diagnosis of congenital heart defects and other cardiac issues in neonates and infants. The Newborn Foundation brought together an esteemed international delegation of neonatologists, pediatricians, policy experts and pediatrics cardiologists from the U.S., the United Kingdom and China, to share the latest research and data on pulse oximetry, newborn screening and other tools to diagnose CHD and other serious health conditions in newborns.

"We know early detection of diseases and disorders is the best possible way to reduce newborn and infant mortality,” said Annamarie Saarinen, founder and CEO of the Newborn Foundation and mother of a young child with heart disease. “This was a historic opportunity to share new data and implementation updates on screening tools that are already reducing preventable deaths and helping improve health outcomes. It’s been a privilege to work with such prominent leaders in pediatric health in China – and to participate in this cross-cultural knowledge sharing.”

The Symposium provided a follow-up forum to the China Summit on Newborn Screening and Early Detection of CHD held in Beijing in 2013, and convened by the Newborn Foundation and the Chinese National Office for Maternal and Child Health Surveillance. The 2013 summit kicked off a phased pilot project to explore early detection and treatment capacity building for pediatric heart disease in China, with a focus on connecting care for remote and underserved areas. Ministry of Health representatives from 31 Chinese provinces participated in the event, which has been cited as the platform to implement newborn screening for hypoxemia as a population health initiative throughout the country.

About Children’s Hospital of Fudan University
Founded in 1952, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University is a major pediatric medical center in China and Asia, serving as an educational center on pediatric medicine with national influence, and a bridge of academic exchange abroad. The hospital is the Residency Training Base for pediatricians and pediatric surgery with more than 6800 pediatricians around the country trained in the hospital. With a strong scientific research capability, the hospital has undertaken 325 research projects over the past decade and won 19 national and provincial Awards of Science and Technology Progress.

About the Newborn Foundation
The Newborn Foundation is an international nonprofit working specifically to leverage health IT and medical technologies to improve access and outcomes while reducing disparities for newborns. Co-founded by the mother of a child diagnosed and treated for critical congenital heart defects as a newborn, the organization has been integral in the policy development, adoption and implementation of technologies for early detection, intervention and care of the youngest patients, including the landmark addition of universal newborn screening with pulse oximetry for heart defects and other serious health conditions. Internationally, the Newborn Foundation is conducting vital newborn health projects in the UK, Morocco, the Philippines and rural China, impacting the hardest to reach and most underserved babies.