March 8-10, 2020 • Kansas City, MO


The 2020 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be presented at the 2020 National EHDI Meeting in Kansas City, MO. 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 2020 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be made on Monday March 9, 2020 at the National EHDI Meeting in Kansas City, MO. More about the National EHDI Meeting, including past nominees and recipients can be found below.

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John Eichwald

John Eichwald has worked in the field of audiology for more than 30 years and over the years has made a significant contribution and commitment to Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) from his work as team lead of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) EHDI program, to his subsequent contributions to the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. He had substantive involvement with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) by developing key technical profiles in the Quality Research and Public Health Committee (QRPH). Prior to that time, John was actively involved with the Directors of Speech and Hearing Programs in State Health and Welfare Agencies (DSHPSHWA) that provided the initial dataset to CDC's EHDI Program. He established the Utah State EHDI program. John valued the role of EHDI Coordinators and their role in collecting important individual child data for tracking and program quality improvement.

John recognized the importance of simplifying data collection requirements of all involved in EHDI from hospitals to public health to providers. To him, this meant introducing electronic data that was auditable and verifiable. At IHE, his insights and thoughtful ideas were essential working with electronic health record and public health vendors, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, as well as non-profits and professional organizations like Clinical Data Standards Exchange Consortium and Association for Healthcare Research and Quality among others. John guided and crafted the QRPH Technical Profile entitled Newborn Admission Notification Information (IHE NANI), in use in more than 260 hospitals to transmit electronic demographic data information to state programs. IHE NANI provides states with an accurate denominator of hospital births in real time. It is used in EHDI programs and most recently for Newborn Bloodspot Screening in Minnesota and Virginia. He was also instrumental in the QRPH Early Hearing Care Plan which was a Clinical Document (CDA). Both profiles have been updated by IHE showing their value for public health. He understood and taught developers that newborn data needed to be different from adult information. His work has become well-established and made EHDI a common and understood work with Epic, Cerner and General Electric among others.

Under John's leadership the United States has developed a national database that is a model for the rest of the world. The data system in the United States is one of the most complex globally with 50 states and 9 territories or other jursdictions reporting screening, diagnosis, and early intervention data. The CDC data systems developed under John's direction has been instrumental in driving the development and quality of the EHDI systems.

John Eichwald played a significant role on the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) for many years. His knowledge, insight, perspectives and vision guided the thinking and writing of best/recommended practices documents in the screening, identification, diagnosis, and treatment/habilitation of hard of hearing and deaf infants and children. His contributions were outstanding particularly with respect to data management and systems development.