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Kansas Newborn Screening Program recognizes CHCS

Kansas Newborn Screening Program

When babies are born, parents and families want to make sure they are healthy. Crucial screenings done at the right moment are designed to identify problems that could lead to development disabilities or severe illness.

The Kansas Newborn Screening Program, a collaboration between public health, hospitals, providers, and the parents of newborns, has provided essential screenings at no cost to families since 1965. Community HealthCare System, or CHCS, is among the Kansas hospitals being recognized for meeting or exceeding screening goals.

Required screenings include those for critical congenital heart defects, hearing loss, and metabolic and genetic conditions. Facilities strive to meet benchmarks for conducting tests and collecting necessary lab specimens. According to materials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, meeting the goals requires dedication to higher screening standards and continual improvement, and birthing facilities or those who care for newborns must use consistent training, efficient protocols, and effective internal communication.

“When a baby is born, time is of the essence to ensure that the baby is healthy and thriving,” said Mindy Olberding, CHCS chief nursing officer.

“Our Birth Center team and our providers support families by providing timely screening of newborns so we catch any problems early and put their minds at ease,” Olberding said.

Community HealthCare System's Onaga Community Hospital was recognized for screening 100% of newborns for critical congenital heart defects and for collecting metabolic screening samples before babies reach 30 hours of age.

Katie Kufahl, RN and Birth Center manager, said CHCS lab staff and providers work well with the Birth Center team to ensure that all tests take place in a timely fashion while avoiding disruptions in the family’s bonding experience with their new baby.

“We understand the importance of the new family’s first few hours together, and we are able to conduct crucial tests quickly to make sure babies don’t need additional treatments or medical attention,” Kufahl said.

“We appreciate the efficiency and flexibility of our lab and other associates who are involved in testing, and we know new parents are thankful for their support,” she said.  


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