CMV Public Health & Policy Conference Roundup - Part One

CMV Public Health & Policy Conference Roundup - Part One

This week saw the conclusion of the 2nd CMV Public Health & Policy Conference in Austin, Texas. This conference’s goals were focused around presenting the latest in CMV prevention, diagnostic, and treatment research, while providing information to attendees about early intervention options and other family and professional support resources. As always, organizers sought to engage professionals and parents in the effort to reduce the number of babies born with congenital CMV through public awareness and advocacy efforts nationwide. We asked a few speakers and attendees how their experience was during the conference and what they learned from this year’s presentations.

At the heart of this conference series is the public health approach to CMV education and intervention and several states had representation from their Departments of Health, specifically officials from Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs around the country. 

“The National CMV Public Health & Policy Conference was fantastic. So amazing to have so many CMV experts together sharing their research, data and ideas. Momentum is certainly increasing for CMV education and testing across the US!”
Dr. Stephanie Browning McVicar
Audiologist - Director
Utah Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) 

“Overall, I feel the conference had a diverse group of stakeholders all coming together to not only share their experience, research, stories but also to actively engage in ‘next steps.’  It was clearly evident that there is a strong national CMV initiative and everyone seems ready to move forward in one capacity or another. I also think it was very clear to everyone that all stakeholders need to work together and be at the table and the time to start coming together is now.”
Dr. Kirsten R. Coverstone
Audiologist - Coordinator, Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
Minnesota Department of Health

As we’ve seen in recent years, the table is set for these stakeholders by the passionate activity by involved parents who want to see improved CMV education in their home state. 

"I loved getting to meet more new CMV moms and families at the 2016 CMV conference in Austin! The breakout sessions on legislation really perked my interests, and I plan to take what I learned from each and every session and follow suit sooner than later.”
Nichristin Guesman
Columbus, Indiana

"I think this year's conference, for me, was helpful in many ways. My biggest role as a CMV mom is advocating for my child and spreading the word about CMV, and I feel there was a ton of great information passed along to help me succeed in doing this."
Stephanie Petersen
St. Clair, Minnesota

Thanks to the engagement of parents like these, CMV expert researchers and clinicians around the country--and world--are taking notice and action. 

"If medical practitioners sit in their professional silos and refuse to take an initiative towards selective screening until another professional group makes the first move, then parents will see the bigger picture and force change by exerting their constitutional rights to have their concerns addressed."
Dr. Paul D. Griffiths
Centre for Virology
University College London Medical School

“It is essential to take knowledge from all sources, and the meeting demonstrated how much knowledge about the policy and influence on change exists in parents of children with congenital CMV. It is the passion shown by speakers about taking their personal stories to policy makers, no matter the country, that showed me a way forward for change.”
Dr. William Rawlinson 
Senior Medical Virologist 
SEALS Microbiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Australia

National CMV looks forward to working with stakeholders across all specialties and disciplines to improve CMV awareness and education and we are grateful to all of the many organizers, sponsors, and exhibitors of the 2016 CMV Public Health & Policy Conference. See you in 2018!