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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives



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About LBDMN

Louisiana Birth Defects Monitoring Network (LBDMN) is one of three programs in the Children's Special Health Services Section.  In the Center for Preventive and Community Health under the Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Public Health, LBDMN staff conduct active Public Health surveillance of children born with congenital medical conditions.   By monitoring the health status of newborns, LBDMN provides population-based data that helps focus policies, educate the public, support our community partners' efforts to link families to services, and prevent new occurrences.  We evaluate concerns about unexpected groups of birth defects as well as the effectiveness of preventive interventions.  These activities ultimately protect the public's health beginning early in life.

Who do we serve?

The Louisiana Birth Defects Monitoring Network assesses the outcomes of more than 62,000 Louisiana births annually.   This helps to ensure that there are no unknown environmental conditions, pharmaceutical side effects, or behavioral risk factors threatening Louisiana's newborns.  The risk of having a child born with a congenital disability effects all men and women of reproductive age, not just those families that are directly effected.  Monitoring birth defects also serves corporate citizens concerned about the environmental impact on the citizens of Louisiana.  Finally, LBDMN supports scientific research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other states and universities.

What are our functions?

The Louisiana Birth Defects Monitoring Network is primarily concerned with the active surveillance of children born in Louisiana.  We collect data to answer questions about the roughly 1,500 children born with congenital medical conditions annually--  Which diagnoses do they have?  Where are they located?  Born to which mothers?  We report our data to our sister agencies in DHH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network.  LBDMN also collaborates with community partners to educate the public on ways to prevent birth defects and to reach out to those families who already have a child born with a congenital disability.  Our overall mission is--

  • Surveillance--  To collect and analyze our birth defects data on all children under the age of three years old for the frequency and distribution of birth defects in the state.
  • Referrals--  To provide information to affected families on locally available medical, social and educational services.
  • Prevention--  To use the results of data analysis to plan and target birth defects education and prevention efforts.
  • Collaboration--  To be active partners in birth defects education and prevention efforts throughout the state.

By evaluating patient discharge information from 60 birthing hospitals in Louisiana, we generate private and confidential lists of children whose medical records are each reviewed by Data Collection Specialists across the state.  The medical record data is statistically analyzed for patterns and trends over time.  Annual reports are prepared for the Louisiana legislature, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network.

 Learn more about birth defects. Visit www.cdc.gov/birthdefects.

Contact Information

Louisiana Birth Defects Monitoring Network
Central Office Phone: (504) 568-5629
Fax: (504) 568-7529
Dionka Pierce, MPH, Interim Program Manager
dionka.pierce@la.gov