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10/09/2023  |   10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   |  Flynn

A Path to Congenital CMV Policy Change

Abstract Summary

Presently in the United States, testing for and education about congenital CMV are not standard practices. Pursuing legislative action can be an effective method to implementing cCMV testing and education, at a state level. April 2022, Kentucky became the fifth state to pass legislation requiring both the education of expectant parents and targeted cCMV testing for newborns. This presentation will outline steps taken by the family of Bella Dawn that led to the passing of Kentucky legislation, known as Bella’s Law. Grassroots efforts are an effective way to both raise cCMV awareness and to pursue legislative action. This presentation will focus on the successful grassroots efforts taken by one Kentucky cCMV family and their team of advocates. Participants will learn about methods used to organize and utilize stakeholders and ways they can apply such methods in their own state. This presentation will give participants a sequence of steps toward policy change in their community.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to define 3 beginning steps to pursuing cCMV policy change.
  • Participants will be able to identify 3 key stakeholders to state cCMV policy changes.
  • Participants will be able to describe 3 ways to utilize stakeholders toward a legislative process.




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Sarah Streeval | Primary Presenter

Mom to a cCMV Angel. After losing her 3-year-old daughter, Bella Dawn, to congenital CMV, Sarah Streeval set out to change things for future CMV families in Kentucky. Sarah became a Community Chairperson for National CMV Foundation. She helped to spearhead a focus group in her state that worked for two years toward implementing CMV policy. In April of this year, Kentucky became the 5th state to pass legislation providing CMV education to expectant parents and targeted CMV testing for Kentucky newborns.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.