CMV Awareness

Intermountain-Healthcare-infant
CMV is the short name for cytomegalovirus, the most common cause of congenital birth defects in developed countries.

Last year, Utah was the first state in the country to pass a CMV law. The law requires the Utah Department of Health to provide information to physicians, and the doctors are to, in turn, distribute that information to their patients. Unfortunately, that chain of messaging is not always complete, and concerned parties continue to work to ensure correct information is making its way into the hands of the people who need it.

The most prominent of those concerned parties is the Utah CMV Council. Annie Culley and Sara Doutre founded this non-profit organization with the specific goal of helping the Utah Department of Health with their CMV public awareness campaign. They're focused on getting information about CMV to the general public, with a particular target of women.

Culley and Doutre have been attending health fairs in Utah communities, as well as giving out information to doctors' offices and pretty much anyone they know. To further this public awareness goal, they will have a booth at the Channel 2 News health expo on July 11th & 12th, and they're planning to host a special benefit dinner in Salt Lake in the fall. Their website launched just yesterday, and you can also find them on Facebook. "We are also going to serve in family/pregnancy support, so if you know families in need or newly diagnosed, please let them know about us!" said Culley in a recent email to me.

If you'd like to learn more about CMV and be a part of reducing cases of this disease in babies, you should make plans to attend the first ever Utah CMV Public Health & Policy Conference. Culley will serve on the parent committee as well as the abstract review committee for the conference, which will offer continuing education credits (CEU) and has a low registration cost. The conference runs September 26-27, 2014, in Salt Lake City.