SILVER SPRING, MD--(Marketwired - Oct 29, 2014) - The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) presented awards to leaders in the field of newborn screening during a ceremony held today at the 2014 Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium. We commend the exceptional and innovative work of all those who were nominated.

The following awards were given:

George Cunningham Visionary Award in Newborn Screening -- This year's recipient is Dr. Frederick W. Lorey, retired director of the California Department of Public Health's Genetic Disease Screening Program (GDSP). During his tenure with GDSP, Dr. Lorey provided oversight and guidance on many projects, including the implementation of tandem mass spectrometry newborn screening activities, directly improving the quality of life of newborns and their families. Dr. Lorey is currently a member of the US Health and Human Services Secretary's Discretionary Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. He is recognized by his colleagues for his expertise, dedication and visionary contributions to newborn screening services.

Harry Hannon Laboratory Improvement Award in Newborn Screening -- This year's recipient is Dr. Mei Baker, co-director, Newborn Screening Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin State Laboratory Hygiene. For over ten years, Dr. Mei Baker has demonstrated dedication to maintaining, improving and advancing newborn screening particularly through a commitment to improve molecular newborn screening. Dr. Baker was a leader in the implementation of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) newborn screening, and led her lab to be one of the first to develop and pilot SCID screening. Recently, Dr. Baker began a quality improvement effort to reduce false positives associated with Cystic Fibrosis screening using Next Generation Sequencing technology. Her work has profoundly impacted and improved the current practice of newborn screening locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Judi Tuerck Follow Up and Education Award -- This year's recipient is Julie Luedtke, program manager for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Newborn Screening Program and the Nebraska State Genetics coordinator. Ms. Luedtke co-authored several newborn screening Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines, including the specimen collection standard and the follow-up guidelines, among others. Additionally, Ms. Luedtke has been instrumental in developing, completing and facilitating the NewSTEPS Newborn Screening Follow-up Workshop. Her passion for newborn screening and genetics has been conveyed during multiple conferences, meetings, workshops and other forums where she has been able to clearly articulate complex subjects and the critical value of newborn screening.

Congratulations to all award winners.

This program was 100% funded with federal funds ($630,000), through Cooperative Agreement # U60HM000803 from CDC and/or Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC and/or Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to strengthen laboratory systems serving the public's health in the US and globally. APHL's member laboratories protect the public's health by monitoring and detecting infectious and foodborne diseases, environmental contaminants, terrorist agents, genetic disorders in newborns and other diverse health threats.

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Contact Information:

Michelle Forman