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Saint Clare’s Health System Hosts Governor’s Visit

Governor Chris Christie signs first-in-the-nation legislation to protect health of newborns, tours Katena Center for Mother and Child at Saint Clare’s

June 3, 2011

Saint Clare’s Health System proudly hosted Governor Chris Christie on Thursday, June 2, 2011 as he publicly signed into law a groundbreaking bill for the State of New Jersey and the United States. The new law makes New Jersey the first state in the nation to mandate testing to screen newborns for congenital heart defects, the most common birth defect in newborns that affects about one out of every 100 babies.

The law requires all birthing facilities in the state to perform a pulse oximetry screening – which determines the amount of oxygen in the blood and whether a baby’s heart and lungs are healthy – before a newborn is discharged.

“As the father of four, I know the birth of a child should be a joyous occasion for parents and family,” said Governor Christie. “There are times when an infant does not readily exhibit symptoms of a potential defect and the condition may not be detected in a routine exam. This legislation will help identify infants who may have hidden, serious heart problems before they leave the hospital, making a significant difference in the lives of these babies, their families and their treating physicians.”

Governor Christie signs legislation to monitor newborns for congenital heart defects with Saint Clare's Health System President and Chief Executive Officer, Leslie D. Hirsch.

Following the signing of the bill at Saint Clare’s Hospital/Denville, Governor Christie toured the Katena Center for Mother and Child, where Saint Clare’s offers comprehensive maternity services, including 23 all-private suites and a completely renovated and expanded admission nursery.

Governor Christie visits with new parents Kristina and Chris Luciano at the Katena Center for Mother and Child at Saint Clare's Hospital/Denville. The couple welcomed their daughter Isabella the previous day.

At Saint Clare’s, we are honored to be a part of the signing of this historic legislation which will aid in the health and wellness of newborns throughout New Jersey.

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