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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 25, 2004

Birth Defects Topic Of Sept. 8 Program

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, Paul Romitti, Ph.D., director of the Iowa Birth Defects Registry (IBDR) and University of Iowa assistant professor of epidemiology, will present an educational program for the general public titled, "Understanding Birth Defects: 20 Years of Insight from the Iowa Birth Defects Registry."

Each day an average of four children in Iowa are born with a birth defect. To study the causes of birth defects and find preventive measures, the IBDR gathers information about birth defects that occur throughout the state.

The free program will take place at Southeastern Community College, room 121, Building 100, located at 1500 West Agency Road in West Burlington, Iowa. A reception and registration will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 6 to 7:30 p.m. program and discussion. The program is co-sponsored by the UI College of Public Health, UI Alumni Association and Southeastern Community College.

In his presentation, Romitti will look back on 20 years of work by the IBDR and describe how it monitors the frequency of birth defects in Iowa, investigates potential risk factors and provides affected families with referrals to appropriate care. Romitti will also discuss the registry's new expanded mission and upcoming name change to the Iowa Registry for Congenital and Inherited Disorders.

Individuals interested in attending the program are asked to register in advance by calling Brooke Norris at 319-384-5485. Walk-ins are welcome.

The statewide College of Public Health Educational Outreach Series is funded, in part, by a grant from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. More information about the educational outreach programs can be found at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACT(S): Media: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647, Program: Brooke Norris, 319-384-5485