18th ANNUAL EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION MEETING
March 3-5, 2019 • Chicago, IL

THE ANTONIA BRANCIA MAXON AWARD FOR EHDI EXCELLENCE

Nominations are invited for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence to be presented at the 2019 National EHDI Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. 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.

Nominations for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence should be emailed to Karl White at karl.white@usu.edu, or mailed to:

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management
Utah State University
2615 Old Main Hill
Logan, Utah 84322-2615
Attention: Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence

Nominations must be received by Friday, December 21, 2018 and MUST BE LIMITED to 500 words. The nomination should describe:
  • The outstanding accomplishment(s) that contributed to improvement of EHDI programs.
  • How the accomplishment(s) demonstrate(s) significant creativity or initiative.
  • The specific ways in which the nominee has contributed to EHDI excellence.

Presentation of the 2019 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be made on Monday March 4, 2019 at the National EHDI Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. More about the National EHDI Meeting, including past nominees and recipients can be found below.

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Anna Wagner

I am writing to nominate Anna Wagner, for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. Anna was born in 2000 and is currently 17 years old. She was the first baby diagnosed with significant hearing loss at our small rural hospital. I am convinced that if Newborn Hearing Screening had not been in place, Anna would have had the opportunity to receive early intervention services. Thus, changing her entire direction of how her life has unfolded.

Anna attended her first EHDI conference with me in 2005 in Atlanta. This is where she met Heather Whitestone McCallum. Anna was enamored with the idea of meeting someone "like her" who had become Miss America. I believe this was a turning point for her even though she was only five years old. Anna quickly realized that there are many people working tirelessly for kids who have hearing loss and decided she wanted to do something too.

While receiving services through the local school district, our family was approached to use Anna as a mentor and helper to other children. She would talk to them about their hearing and reassure them that it was okay to be different and how to talk to other kids about their hearing aids or cochlear implants. Anna also spoke to her teachers and explained how to use her iComm and FM system.

Fast forward to 2010, Anna was now 10. I mentioned to her that the national EHDI Meeting was relatively nearby in Chicago and I thought she might enjoy going again. Not only did she want to go, she wanted to present "her story." I helped her write abstract and she was selected to present! I told her we may not have many people in the session, but to our surprise the room was packed! Parents and professionals alike wanted to know what Anna had to say about being a younger child growing up with hearing loss. She answered questions and thanked everyone for their hard work helping children like her.

Five years later, Anna asked where the conference would take place and it was in Louisville. She asked if people would want to know what it was like to be a teenager with hearing loss -- she had another presentation up her sleeve. An abstract was submitted, and she was selected again. This time, it was all her.

Anna is now a Senior in high school. She's a cheerleader, on the yearbook staff, runs track, plays clarinet, and is enrolled in a college class for Allied Health. Anna is preparing for college and making some big decisions about her career. She is considering the field of pediatric audiology, or working with women who have disabilities.

Without EHDI and people like Antonia Brancia Maxon, Anna's path would have turned out very differently.