The following standing workgroups help advance Network objectives:


Advocacy Group

The Advocacy Group works to educate policymakers about federal and state policies and funding that ensure birth defects surveillance, research and prevention programs continue and grow.  The March of Dimes chairs the workgroup which reports to the President and the Executive Committee.  Advocacy group participation is open to members of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network and the general public. 

Lead: Melissa Putnam, March of Dimes  Executive Committee Representative: Melanie Lockhart, March of Dimes
Contact:   /  

Finance Group

The Finance Group works to build and maintain the infrastructure needed to support the Network's mission.  Their work includes developing an annual operating budget and preparing the Annual Business Report.  The core of the workgroup is composed of the Immediate Past President, Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary-Treasurer Elect.  The Membership and Elections Committee and the Annual Meeting Committee are represented.  Other interested Network members are welcome to join.

CoLeads: Glenn Copeland / Deb Fox  
Contact: /


Parent Advisory Group

As parents of children with birth defects, the Parent Advisory Group is committed to helping our children and all those with birth defects live happy and healthy lives.  We look for continued and increased research and surveillance that will lead to improved care and access to services and improve their quality and quantity of life.  We call for a national commitment for increased surveillance, research, education and care.  We advocate for change and for increased funding to support these goals so that someday, babies can be born without birth defects and those currently living with birth defects can have access to the care resources needed to support full and productive lives. 

Lead:  Marcia Feldkamp


Partnership Group

The Partnership Group works to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing collaborations with national organizations to increase the effectiveness of the NBDPN.  This is done by identifying and recruiting organizations that have similar missions and advocacy interests; and developing and supporting options for collaborative projects that are mutually beneficial to the Network and partners.  Additionally, the Partnership Group plans and convenes a meeting of our partners that is held during the Network's Annual Meeting.  Many joint initiatives have resulted from these meetings, including those related to Birth Defects Prevention Month, advocacy, family perspectives, and trainings. 

Lead: Samara Viner-Brown