20th ANNUAL EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION MEETING
February 28 - March 2, 2021 • Cincinnati, OH

THE ANTONIA BRANCIA MAXON AWARD FOR EHDI EXCELLENCE

The 2021 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be presented at the 2021 National EHDI Meeting in Cincinnati, OH. This award honors the life and work of Dr. Antonia Brancia Maxon to promote effective Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs for all newborns, infants, and young children. Dr. Maxon was a pioneer in EHDI programs, beginning with her leadership in the Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Project in the late 1980's. She was one of the first to recognize the feasibility and value of universal newborn hearing screening and was a tireless advocate for connecting screening programs with timely and appropriate diagnosis and early intervention.

Her extensive contributions to creating excellent EHDI programs were abruptly ended by a tragic automobile accident in May of 2007. In memory of her contributions, an Award for EHDI Excellence is presented each year at the National EHDI Meeting to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to achieving excellence in EHDI programs nationally or in a particular state or region.

Presentation of the 2021 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be made on Monday March 1, 2021 at the National EHDI Meeting in Cincinnati, OH. More about the National EHDI Meeting, including past nominees and recipients can be found below.

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Alyson Ward

We are writing today to submit the nomination of Alyson Ward for the 2020 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. It is our great honor and privilege to do so.

Alyson Ward has been dedicated to the widespread growth of effective EHDI systems in many capacities. Ms. Ward holds an M.S. in Health Education and is an Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) certified Improvement Advisor, and Certified Health Education Specialist. She has worked in public health for over 13 years and been involved in improving public health programs, health promotion, education, research, policy, evaluation, grant development, and grant review from the community to national levels. Currently, she is the Director of Quality Improvement (QI) at the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, which provides targeted QI assistance to state EHDI programs in an effort to reduce loss to follow-up. She manages multiple improvement advisors and is an advisor herself for many states and U.S. territories. She has also been heavily involved in raising awareness of congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) and served on the board of the National CMV Foundation. Alyson has been a champion of the involvement of parents in the EHDI system in all of the work she has done including the Quality Improvement Initiatives she has facilitated in her role with NCHAM. As the NCHAM liaison for many years for the NTRC's Family Advisory Committee (FAC), she supported this parent-driven group with much finesse through an attitude and mind-set of understanding her role in a support capacity for the FAC as a professional – by following the lead of the parents in this advisory.

Linda A. Hazard Ed.D., CCC-A, Program Director Vermont Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program has this to say about Alyson:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from Alyson and now working in collaboration with her on quality improvement initiatives for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Programs. Alyson is one of the most passionate, honest, dependable, and incredibly hard-working individuals I have encountered. She is inspired by challenges, and never intimidated by them. Alyson's knowledge of public health population-based programs, collaboration with EHDI federal partners and knowledge of quality improvement initiatives place her in an incredible position to make a long-term difference in health management, policy or behavioral science programs. She is already a leader in developing and understanding public health policy."

We know of no one more deserving of this high EHDI award.