2015 Community Benefit Report - Page 13

ADVOCATING FOR KIDS Children’s Hospital Colorado prioritizes legislation that will have the biggest impacts on the youngest Coloradans. EARLY WARNING NEW LAW HELPS DOCTORS CATCH HEART DEFECTS Speak Up For Kids Children’s Hospital Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado A new policy requiring the screening all newborns for critical congenital heart defects was one of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s most impactful bills of the 2015 legislative session. Children’s Campaign and the “We’ve found that if you measure the oxygen levels of babies about 24 hours after they’re born, it picks up kids who might have congenital heart disease,” says Children’s Colorado’s Christopher Rausch, M.D. “If they go home not knowing they have a heart problem, they can get very sick, very quickly.” Speak Up for Kids Day at Studies had shown the efficacy of pulse oximetry screening as early as 2007, but the thinner air of high elevation affects blood oxygen. Dr. Rausch’s team wondered if the test would work as well at Children’s Colorado, a mile above sea level. “We did a study at University of Colorado Hospital [which shares a campus with Children’s Colorado] and at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, which sits at about 6,500 feet, and proved
that, yes, it could work,” says Dr. Rausch. “Once we proved that, we partnered with the American Heart Association to pass legislation saying that every baby born in Colorado below 7,000 feet should get a pulse-ox test.” House Bill 15-1281 passed May of 2015 The new bill has already saved many lives, including Nonnie Hunziker’s daughter Sara. Sara seemed in excellent health until 24 hours old, when the newly standard pulse oximetry screening discovered she was born with an obstruction preventing her heart from pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of her body. As a result, Sara underwent a successful operation by James Jaggers, M.D., at Children’s Colorado, and she was able to go home with her family and embark upon the road to a happy recovery. Clayton Early Learning Center, co-hosted the fourth annual the Capitol in March 2015. This day-long training for aspiring advocates serves as an introduction to the legislative process for community members, health care providers, parents, and teachers from all over Colorado. In 2015, they trained more than 160 new advocates — a record in the program’s history. IN 2015, CHILDREN’S COLORADO ACTIVELY TRACKED 80 Colorado bills AND CLINICAL LEADERS TESTIFIED IN 16 COMMITTEE HEARINGS 2015 Community Benefit Report 13