All babies have a healthier start through newborn screening (NBS) in the US and globally. 


Driving global NBS systems to excellence by shaping policy, promoting data-driven improvements and pursuing innovations in public health laboratory practice.

Public Health Laboratories and Newborn Screening

Newborn screening—recognized as the largest and most successful disease prevention system in the US—is the practice of testing every newborn for certain harmful or potentially fatal conditions that are not otherwise apparent at birth. Newborn screening tests take place before the newborn leaves the hospital and identifies serious, life-threatening conditions before symptoms begin. Although such conditions are usually rare, they can affect a newborn’s normal physical and mental development. Early detection is crucial to prevent death or a lifetime of severe disabilities. Public health laboratories test nearly four million newborns born in the US each year. They play a vital role in ensuring that every newborn’s health is protected with timely, accurate screening.

Read more about public health laboratories’ role in newborn screening on the APHL blog.​


The Newborn Screening Technical assistance and Evaluation Program (NewSTEPs), funded through a cooperative agreement to APHL by the Genetic Services Branch of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provides quality improvement initiatives, an innovative data repository and technical resources for newborn screening programs.