Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors, investigates, and assists with the control and treatment of diseases in the United States and worldwide. This federal agency, in cooperation with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), promotes the accurate reporting of birth defects and has provided funding to a number of states to assist them in developing better systems for birth defects monitoring. The ultimate goal is to prevent birth defects by recognizing their incidence and prevalence and identifying and eliminating their causes.
In 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (now the Department of Health Services) was chosen to receive grant funds from the CDC to assist in improving the Wisconsin Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance Program. The $360,000 grant provided support for three years and included funding to assist in the implementation of Wisconsin Statute 253.12. The grant should have ended in 2003 but a carryover year was applied for and approved by CDC because passage of the legislation and rules took longer than originally expected.
The funding was used for startup costs to establish the Wisconsin Council on Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance and, with the Council's direction and active participation, to develop the Wisconsin Birth Defects Registry (WBDR) as a secure, web-based birth defects reporting system. The funding was also used to support pilot projects at four reporting entities across the state. During the pilot project in 2003 and 2004, the four sites worked with staff from the DHS, Division of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Program, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Unit to provide input, testing, and practical advice on birth defects reporting. One key outcome of the pilot project was the development of an upload process in which sites can report birth defects directly to the WBDR website from their electronic patient records system.
CDC periodically offers competitive grants to support state birth defects programs. The Wisconsin Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance System will apply for future funding to improve reporting, support prevention activities in the state, and promote referral to appropriate services for affected children and their families.