2024 Catalyst Award

Merriam-Webster defines a catalyst as: “an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.”

Zachary Thomas Newborn Screening

The inaugural 2023 WORLDSymposium “Be The Catalyst” encouraged all attendees to be catalysts and spark change. In 2024, “Be The Catalyst” came back and even better!

In 2024, WORLDSymposium presented the first “Catalyst” award to Zachary Thomas, who was nominated in recognition of his efforts to instigate and expedite changes to newborn screening in Alabama.

Zachary Thomas is an Alabama teen and incredible rare disease policy advocate, born with MPS I, with a delayed diagnosis due to lack of newborn screening for MPS I in Alabama. As a result of Zachary’s efforts, The Zachary Thomas Newborn Screening Act was introduced to the Alabama state legislature in February 2024, with the goal of adding MPS I to the Alabama RUSP for Newborn Screening. 

Many attended WORLDSymposium at the 2024 Be The Catalyst at 6:00 PM PST on Sunday, February 4, 2024, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California, where Zachary was presented with the 2024 WORLDSymposium Catalyst Award.