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Newborn Screening Program



Newborn screening refers to medical tests, the majority of which are genetic, performed to identify babies with certain disorders, which without intervention, may permanently impact newborns and their families. Early recognition and treatment of most of these disorders leads to a better outcome for the newborn. The Newborn Screening Program’s goal is to help affected babies live as long and normal of a life as possible.

The Newborn Screening Program effectively identifies babies with certain disorders and is required for all newborns born in New York State unless the parents confirm, in writing, that they have a religious objection.

Quick Facts about Newborn Screening:

  • A small blood sample is collected by pricking your newborn’s heel usually 24-36 hours after birth.
  • The blood is used to screen for 50 different disorders.
  • There is no charge to you for this service.
  • Most newborns will not have one of these disorders.
  • Newborns with one of these disorders may look healthy at birth, which is why the testing must be performed to find those with a disorder. The earlier treatment is started, the better the outcome is for your newborn.
  • Screening is designed to identify all newborns with the potential for one of these disorders. Further testing is then required to verify whether or not your newborn has the disorder.

We work closely with health care providers to ensure newborns with abnormal test results receive appropriate confirmatory diagnoses and treatment.

No test is perfect. If your newborn’s healthcare provider suspects there is a problem or your newborn does not seem right despite a normal newborn screening result, your newborn may need further testing.

CLIA # 33D2005937 | PFI # 8523

Program Updates

Newborn Screening

Changes to the New York State Newborn Screening Program’s HIV Algorithm

Newborn screening specimens are now tested for exposure to HIV using a new first-tier HIV screening immunoassay and a new second-tier HIV-1 / HIV-2 supplemental immunoassay.

This new assay has several benefits including the ability to identify newborns exposed to HIV-2.


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Co-recipients of the 2018 Legacy of Hope Award

Dr. Joe Orsini Receives Legacy of Hope Award

In commemoration of the organization’s twentieth anniversary, the Hunter’s Hope Foundation presented Wadsworth Center’s Dr. Orsini and Duke University School of Medicine’s Dr. Kurtzberg with the Legacy of Hope Award. Co-recipients in the area of science and medicine were recognized for their...

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Newborn Screening

Newborn Screening Program Adds Three More Disorders Beginning October 1, 2018

This brings the number of disorders, for which every child in New York State may be screened, to more than 50.

Fact Sheets for the three new disorders:

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CF Algorithm Change Notification

Changes to the New York Newborn Screening Program's Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Screening Protocol

A new algorithm for cystic fibrosis screening is in place for specimens received and tested as of December 1, 2017. 

These changes will reduce the number of CF referrals...

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Joseph Orsini, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Newborn Screening Program

Wadsworth Center Senior Staff Gets National Recognition for Newborn Screening

For the second year in a row, a Wadsworth Center director has received the Harry Hannon Laboratory Improvement Award in Newborn Screening from the Assocation of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). Joseph Orsini, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the...

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