March 3-5, 2019 • Chicago, IL


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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South Dakota EHDI Collaborative

It is with great pleasure that I nominate the South Dakota EHDI Collaborative for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. The EHDI Collaborative composed of Haifa Samra, Jessica Messersmith, Lucy Fossen, Kim Wadsworth, Laura Davis Keppen, Megan Wegher, and Shelby Jeppersen and others was established in 2015. The Collaborative has been instrumental in advancing the mission of EHDI. They have formed a quality improvement vision and engaged a statewide team in work across multiple systems spanning academia and clinical practice.

In just two years, the Collaborative has demonstrated a measurable improvement in the care of infants moving through the EHDI program in South Dakota. Loss to follow-up/documentation rates have been reduced and the number of infants passing successfully through the EHDI program have increased. The goal of the EHDI Collaborative is to improve the EHDI program and engage all stakeholders.

When working with health care providers, the Collaborative has worked to identify EHDI Champions in each health care facility. The Collaborative has also developed three evidenced-based training toolkits for EHDI stakeholders, which are currently being used in a statewide training initiative to improve evidence-based practice at birthing facilities, medical homes, and audiology clinics. Over fifty healthcare providers have already received training on these toolkits. Others have benefited from the education efforts of the EHDI Collaborative, with informational sessions held at eight different state professional organizations' annual conferences.

Most important has been the EHDI Collaborative's commitment to family engagement as they have worked to ensure that family needs and desires are reflected in the quality improvement efforts in the state. For example, parent focus groups demonstrated a need for consistency in how health care providers communicate results from hearing screenings and a need for greater access to diagnostic pediatric audiology services. The Collaborative used these family-identified needs to develop evidence-based, family-vetted, scripted messages for sharing screening results. In addition, the EHDI Collaborative is leading efforts to create a state tele-audiology program to improve access to diagnostic tele-audiology in rural areas.

The results of the parent focus groups conducted by the EHDI Collaborative were presented as a student poster at EHDI 2017. This poster received the award for best student poster at the EHDI convention. The EHDI Collaborative has also created a video of families sharing their views and experiences. This video stars parents of children with hearing loss and has been translated into multiple languages and is featured on the South Dakota EHDI webpage (https://doh.sd.gov/family/newborn/hearing/).

There is still much work to be done in South Dakota, but with groups like the South Dakota EHDI Collaborative, the State will address these challenges head on and continue to improve the outcomes of children with hearing loss. In addition to moving EDHI initiatives forward, the EDHI Collaborative partners are educators that are changing the future of EDHI programs. For example, one professor asks her students to create their "elevator speech" about EDHI. This ensures that the students are able to provide succinct information about EDHI. This type of advocacy will ensure that the EDHI programs in South Dakota will continue in perpetuity.