From the President

Welcome to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) website. 

Founded in 1997, the NBDPN is an organization of state-based birth defects surveillance programs and other volunteers with an interest in birth defects surveillance, prevention and serving the needs of children and families affected by birth defects. Find out more about our mission here.

Our members include public health officials, epidemiologists, health care providers, as well as parents and other passionate advocates. More on what our members do and the difference we make can be found here.  

The NBDPN has accomplished a great deal in its first 20 years. Our Guidelines for Conducting Birth Defects Surveillance is a vital resource for new registries or for those wanting to improve what they do. Our annual reports disseminate timely birth defects prevalence data from across the United States to researchers, public health agencies, and advocates. Our Birth Defects Prevention Month Packet provides materials and resources to assist state program staff and others interested in raising awareness. Our committees are wonderful venues for collaboration, mentorship, and problem-solving, and our 2018 annual meeting will feature a variety of plenary and breakout sessions to appeal to a diverse audience and re-invigorate our charge.

The arrival of Zika virus, a public health emergency of international concern, presented many challenges as birth defects registries dealt with the increased workload and the demand for more timely data. However, through close collaboration with the CDC and other partners, we have been successful in answering questions about timing, risk, and the spectrum of outcomes linked with Zika during pregnancy, and connecting families to local health and social services in their community. Moreover, the Zika virus response catapulted birth defects into the awareness of Americans, and has led to new roles, resources, and partnerships for the birth defects community.

Birth defects remain common, costly, and critical. Today, 1 in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect. Not all birth defects can be prevented, but there are actions we can take to increase the chances that our little ones will have the best health possible. I am confident that NBDPN and it partners will continue to rise to the challenge and find the best ways to make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by birth defects. If you want to be a part of that, please join us!

Jason L. Salemi, PhD, MPH
2018 NBDPN President