The Michigan Biotrust for Health was established by MDHHS to promote the research use of residual newborn screening dried blood spots while more optimally preserving the specimens, improving parental decision-making opportunities and increasing awareness in the general public. The Michigan Neonatal Biobank ("Biobank") is a storage and management facility for the archive of dried blood spot cards. The Biobank's roots are planted in the State's Newborn Screening Program which began in 1965 in the Department of Community Health. Newborn screening is a public health program required by Michigan law to find babies with rare but serious disorders that require early treatment. A few drops of blood taken from the baby's heel are sent to the State Public Health Laboratory and are tested for over 50 disorders. Each year more than 200 Michigan babies are found to have a disorder detected by Newborn Screening.
Once screening in the State laboratory is complete, residual dried blood spot samples that are no longer needed for testing are each assigned a unique code which assures privacy and confidentiality for the sample and its donor. The samples are then sent for storage in the Michigan Neonatal Biobank. A 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, the Biobank is contracted to serve as the repository for storage and management of the samples in a temperature controlled facility at Wayne State University's Biobanking Center of Excellence in Tech Town.