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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Lylis Olsen

As Arizona EHDI partners, it is our honor to nominate Lylis Olsen for the 2020 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. Lylis has been a pillar in the establishment and growth of the Arizona EHDI program for over 25 years. She has been an integral part of advocating at local, state and national levels for children with hearing loss and their families. She has worked tirelessly to establish and guide the Arizona Newborn Hearing Screening/Follow-Up Program. She is the intermediary between parents, legislators, audiologists and early interventionists. Lylis' participation on numerous state and national committees is a reflection of peer respect and recognition of her knowledge. Lylis has truly committed herself to the continued success and excellence of the Arizona EHDI system and is the leader that has brought our state together. She has spent the past 20 years asking, "How can we make services for children with hearing loss better in our state?" and with nothing more than a suggestion, she creates a program to meet the need.

As audiologists and ENTs, each practicing in the state of Arizona for more than 20 years, we recognize many of the improvements in services for children with hearing loss have been the result of Lylis' accomplishments. In the 1990's, Lylis laid the groundwork for legislation that mandated recording all newborn hearing screening results and management of the newborn follow-up program. Lylis provided our hospitals with support to establish and run a hearing screening program. In 1998, she partnered with the EAR Foundation of Arizona securing necessary funding for equipment and services that were needed to provide universal newborn hearing screening to the rural parts of our state. One year later, she established the HEAR for Kids program, which provides loaner and permanent hearing aids, as well as audiological evaluations to children from birth to eighteen who otherwise would go without. Over the last 20 years, thousands of aids have been dispensed and we have had the privilege to see the relief families experience when they have benefitted from this program.

Understanding the vital role of the parent in our state EHDI system is what sets her apart. Lylis initiated the start of Arizona Hands & Voices 13 years ago to lay the groundwork for allowing parents to have a voice. Since then, she not only encouraged parents to have a voice but to take a seat at the table. She has maintained her commitment through mentorship and support in finding innovative ways to embed parent support in our EHDI system. She has opened the door for parent leaders to be front line in decision making and improving systems. Her vision for EHDI is child centered and family focused, realizing the value of active parent engagement.

Her entire career as an audiologist, a public health professional and state EHDI coordinator has been a testament to the essence of this award. It is without hesitation that we recommend Lylis for the 2020 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence.