Don Battcher's daughter, Grace, was born with a congenital heart defect requiring multiple surgeries over her 18 years. Last summer, Don reached out to the American Heart Association eager to work on legislation to require newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease. Don quickly began contacting legislators to educate them on the issue, and even developed a very effective PowerPoint presentation, which he co-presented to the Interim Joint Committee of Health and Welfare.
Don's presentation led to the identification of a sponsor for the newborn screening bill, Senate Bill 125. Enthusiastically sharing his story whenever needed, he testified on the legislation when it was before Senate committee. Thanks in large part to Don's passion, dedication and persistence, Kentucky's newborn congenital heart defect screening bill passed in just one legislative session.
Following his help in passing the Kentucky bill, Don even assisted in connecting parents in another state to the appropriate American Heart Association staff when they wanted to take this issue to their legislature. In June, Don was presented with the Great Rivers Affiliate Distinguished Achievement Award for his efforts.Thanks so much, Don, for helping to ensure all Kentucky newborns will be screened for heart defects!