Newborn Screenings: Protecting Children

By Yan Kennon, Public Affairs Senior Writer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Newborn screenings identify conditions that can affect children's long-term health or survival. Each year, millions of babies in the U.S. are routinely screened for certain genetic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders, and are also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects, prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center.

The screenings are a vital public health program that tests babies for congenital disorders that aren't outwardly visible.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville has been recognized, by the Florida Department of Health, for having zero unsatisfactory newborn screening specimens collected this year. Florida screens for 31 disorders recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and an additional 22 secondary disorders.

After discharge from the hospital, parents should bring their child in for a check-up in the first month of life; at 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 months of age; and at ages 2, 21/2, 3, 4, and 5 years. Check-ups track growth and development, prevent illness (with immunizations), and answer parents' question. Parents should talk with their child's primary care manager about checkups during the school-age years.

For appointments, call 904-542-4677 or go to the TRICARE Online Patient Portal at For 24/7 clinical advice, call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-TRICARE (800-874-2273). For secure email messaging with the care team (for non-urgent issues), sign up for free at To view the care team's PCMs, visit the command's website at, click on Medical Home Port, and click on each team (or download the command's app).

NH Jacksonville's priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation's heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy's third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more or download the command's mobile app, visit