The State of Florida, Department of Health (FDOH) is hereby requesting funds in the amount of $325,000 to enhance, expand, and evaluate public health initiatives related to statewide population-based birth defects surveillance, prevention, and education activities. Special emphasis will be placed on working collaboratively with state and local programs serving children with special health needs to improve access to health services and early intervention programs. The department will dedicate the full resources of the Florida Birth Defects Registry (FBDR) to the activities described in this proposal.
The department is proposing several initiatives designed to enhance surveillance and guide the development of prevention and referral programs targeted at women of childbearing age, children with special health needs and their families, and those with a family history of birth defects. Special emphasis will be placed on 1) enhancing the quality of Florida’s existing birth defects surveillance data by expanding statewide active case-finding and defect confirmation to all NBDPN recommended defects; 2) improving knowledge of birth defects epidemiology through collaborations with CDC and state agencies in the analysis of birth defects surveillance data, and; 3) conducting primary and secondary prevention activities, such as identifying at-risk populations and developing and implementing targeted health promotion campaigns and educational programs designed to prevent birth defects and improve health outcomes of affected populations. Moreover, we will increase the FBDR’s ability to rapidly respond to emerging threats to mothers and babies by continuing to increase access to medical records remotely and improving electronic health records interoperability readiness in the state.
The FBDR was established to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on the occurrence of birth defects in Florida. The anticipated public health benefits include a strengthened surveillance of birth defects, improved quality of birth defects surveillance data, increased scientific understanding of birth defects epidemiology; and increased knowledge of the prevention of birth defects.