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Collaborative Partners

The UT Center On Deafness Newborn Hearing Screening program consultants work statewide with a variety of collaborative partners in an effort to serve families of children who are going through the hearing screening and follow-up process and to promote successful outcomes from birth for all children identified with hearing loss.

Your Baby’s Hearing Screen

Hospitals

Families first come in contact with the state’s Newborn Hearing Screening program when their baby is born. There are currently 75 birthing facilities in the state ,and 100 percent are compliant in screening. In 2008, Claire’s Law mandated that all birthing facilities screen newborns for hearing loss before discharge or no later than one month of age.
Below is a list of PDFs and a video that are resources for families who have a child diagnosed with hearing loss.

Medical Home Providers

Pediatricians and family practice physicians are often the first provider to come in contact with a family after their baby has referred on the newborn hearing screen. Medical home providers assist families in securing appointments for hearing re-screens and/or audiologic diagnostic assessments. Medical home providers also monitor children who are at risk for late-onset hearing loss and make appropriate recommendations for additional hearing assessments when warranted. Once a child is identified with a hearing loss, an immediate referral is made to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat physician) who will perform a specialized medical evaluation of the child’s ears, provide appropriate medical management if needed, and provide clearance for amplification if warranted.

In Tennessee, physician Mark Gaylord has been the chapter champion for Newborn Hearing Screening for more than ten years. Gaylord is a neonatologist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Learn more about Mark Gaylord.

UT’s Center on Deafness Newborn Hearing program has provided equipment and training to midwives across the state so this group can offer otoacoustic emissions (OAE) hearing screens to the families they serve. The Newborn Hearing Screening Program is currently seeking additional midwives that might be interested in acquiring equipment for their own practice and becoming a part of the Tennessee Newborn Hearing Screening Midwife Collaborative. Please call 865-765-3586 for more information.

Below is a list of resources and information concerning medical home providers:

Audiologists

In Tennessee, pediatric audiologists play an important role in the EHDI process. Across the state, audiologists assist the Newborn Hearing Screening program by conducting initial screens on babies who missed their newborn screen, providing rescreens and diagnostic evaluations on babies who are suspected to have hearing loss as well as managing the amplification of babies and children who have been identified with hearing loss.

In 2012, 84 Tennessee babies were identified as having a permanent hearing loss in either one or both ears. Audiologists that provide pediatric services are listed in a statewide directory, which can be found in the resources to follow.

Also in 2012, UT’s Center on Deafness Newborn Hearing program provided diagnostic auditory brainstem response (ABR) equipment to four audiology programs statewide as part of an equipment loan program. This project is an effort to give more families access to diagnostic ABR test centers.

Below is a list of PDFs containing resources concerning audiologists:

Tennessee Disability Coalition

The Tennessee Disability Coalition Newborn Hearing Project provides parent-to-parent consultation to families affected by hearing loss and related concerns.  Parents may self-refer to the Disability Coalition Newborn Hearing Project by e-mailing Jenny Williams at jenny_w@tndisability.org or calling 731-679-4683.

Tennessee Hands & Voices

Tennessee Hands and Voices is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them. Tennessee’s chapter was launched in early 2011. Annual socials will allow parents the opportunity to network with parents and learn from one another. Tennessee Hands and Voices is a parent-driven, parent/professional collaborative group that is unbiased towards communication modes and methods. Monthly conference calls allow parents and professionals statewide to set goals and objectives for chapter growth and outreach to new families. More information about Hands and Voices program (state and national) can be found below.

Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS)

TEIS is a voluntary educational program in Tennessee for families with children ages birth through two years of age with disabilities or developmental delays. Any Tennessee resident who is two years old or younger and has been identified with any degree of hearing loss in one or both ears can be eligible for these services at no cost. Early intervention services are provided with the intent of supporting families in promoting their child’s optimal development and to facilitate the child’s participation in family and community activities.

In 2012, TEIS implemented otoacoustic (OAE) screening as part of the battery of assessments used during the eligibility determination process for babies and young children in all nine districts of the state.

TEIS also provides child-find support to the Newborn Hearing Screening program by making follow-up calls to all families of children who have referred on their hospital newborn hearing screen. In 2012, there were approximately 3,600 babies who referred on their newborn hearing screen. Phone follow-up is essential to ensure that families have followed through with the recommendations to have their baby re-screened in a timely manner. Find more information about TEIS below.

Early Head Start Programs

Tennessee EHDI/NHS Program recently partnered with the Office of Head Start to launch the Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) initiative statewide. An initiative developed by the National Centers for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM)- one of the primary goals of the ECHO program is to extend the EHDI identification effort past the newborn hearing screen to include objective methods of screening for hearing loss in programs that serve babies and very young children in the community. In 2009, contact was lost with approximately 30 percent of Tennessee babies who needed additional hearing tests after hospital discharge. In addition, more than 3,000 babies each year are identified at birth to have a risk factor for late-onset hearing loss. Many of these children ultimately enroll in community childcare and educational programs such as Early Head Start.

In 2012, all Tennessee Early Headstart Programs adopted the ECHO protocol and are utilizing otoacoustic emission (OAE) screenings as part of their sensory screening battery. Find out more at the website below.

National Centers for Hearing Assessment and Management, Early Childhood Hearing Outreach Screenings

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