Newborn Screening Advisory Committee

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MT DPHHS) Newborn Screening (NBS) Program screens all newborns born in Montana soon after birth to determine their risk for developing rare, hidden genetic and metabolic disorders. Early identification of these conditions in an affected newborn is imperative, since several of these disorders can lead to illness, developmental disabilities, and even death. Early intervention, sometimes as simple as dietary changes, can prevent long-term effects, and the baby can go on to lead a normal, healthy life.

The conditions that are part of Montana’s current screening panel are based on national guidelines recommended by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. The national recommended uniform screening panel (RUSP) is kept up to date to reflect conditions approved by the committee. Unless parents refuse, Montana screens all newborns born in the state for hearing loss and congenital heart defects and uses blood spot filter paper to screen for 31 different genetic and metabolic disorders that can negatively affect a newborn’s physical and mental development, digestion, metabolism, and immune system.

To formalize the process for adding new disorders to Montana’s screening panel, the Montana Legislature passed House Bill 423 (HB 423) in 2021. This bill requires MT DPHHS to set up a Newborn Screening Advisory Committee consisting of 12 members whose recommendations play a crucial role in improving the long-term health of Montana babies and their families. This committee will impartially hear testimony and approve or deny, by a majority vote, congenital conditions that are nominated to become part of the MT newborn screening panel.

The list of members and their roles can be found here.

The first meeting of the newly formed MT NBS Advisory Committee took place on April 19, 2022. All previous meeting agendas, presentations, and minutes can be found on the Previous NBS Documents webpage.

Meetings are online and open to the public; links to the meetings will be posted on this webpage prior to the meeting. The most recent advisory committee meeting was held on October 25, 2023. Meeting minutes and presentation will be posted soon.

If you would like to nominate a condition to be added to the Montana newborn screening panel, please download and submit the condition nomination form, found here. You can also find instructions for completing the form here. Nominators must also complete a Conflict of Interest form. Completed forms can be submitted to the Montana DPHHS Advisory Committee via email:

You can check the status of nominated conditions here. Continue to check this webpage for more information as the Committee develops materials and protocols.

To learn more about screening newborns for hearing loss or congenital heart defect, visit the  Children's Special Health Services website.

To learn more about dried blood spot screening for genetic and metabolic conditions, visit the Montana Public Health Laboratory's  Newborn Screening page.