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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Stephanie Olson and Karen Putz

We nominate Stephanie Olson and Karen Putz, DHH Adult Infusion Co-Directors at Hands & Voices, for the 2018 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. Their body of professional work, as well as their personal character honor the memory of Dr. Maxon and her contributions to the EHDI community.

Stephanie Olson has been a DHH Guide since 1998 and currently serves on the Colorado H&V board and for H&V Headquarters. She is the Family Consultant for the Bill Daniels Center. During 2009, she was part of a team from Children's Hospital Colorado that traveled to London, South Africa, Brazil and New Zealand presenting on best practices in Auditory Neuropathy. Stephanie contributed to the Family Centered Care component of those presentations.

We regularly meet parents who have read her articles or seen her present, and it always comes with "Stephanie explained this to me in a way that I now understand what my child is going through." She uses her personal experience as an adult who is DHH and her extensive training to give insights into parenting. She has contributed to creating family camp experiences that truly change the trajectory of family experience.

Stephanie's gentle sensitivity to the needs of families she serves and the mentors she trains has had a huge impact on the field. She is a tireless advocate for the inclusion of a wide range of adults who are DHH in the lives of children who are DHH. She exemplifies an inviting, supportive image of what it looks like to be deaf.

Karen Putz holds a BS in Counseling and an MA in Deaf Rehabilitation Counseling. She also is a Trainer for DHH Guides, and has been an Illinois Deaf Mentor. She is the parent of three young adults who are deaf. She was one of the founding members of Illinois H&V. She is the author of 9 books, innumerable newspaper articles, and a skilled moderator of H&V Social media sites.

Karen, as a deaf adult herself, exudes a positive, can-do attitude to children and colleagues alike. She is a champion for her ability to bring together diverse stakeholders, putting the focus back on the needs of families first.

As an example of Karen's influence, she mentored a deaf student from India for three years who just graduated from college. Once suicidal with no interpreters and burdened by the idea he must have done something wrong in a previous life to come back as disabled, he's now volunteering in a deaf school teaching math while job searching.

The work of supporting families with children who are DHH is a politically charged, passion-filled field, and these two women do not shy away from tough discussions. They strategically and creatively approach their responsibilities with grace, professionalism and resiliency, and are true role models for what author Brene Brown calls, "Daring Greatly." We thank you for the opportunity to nominate two such exemplary women who clearly have made an impact on the EHDI system locally, nationally and globally.