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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Yusnita Weirather and Nancy Rushmer

With personal pleasure and honor, I nominate Yusnita Weirather and Nancy Rushmer for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. Yusnita and Nancy are EHDI Partners Extraordinaire! For decades, they have invested their professional lives to bring the gift of language tobabies who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH).

Working at NCHAM as the Director of Training and Dissemination, Yusnita was a critical participant in the early days of EHDI. Collaborating with Tom Behrens and the NCHAM team, she provided training and developed EHDI training modules for states and local hospitals. She participated in trials to evaluate new equipment and techniques.

Later, she continued her work in the Pacific, serving as Hawaii State EHDI Coordinator and Pacific Region Network Specialist. She provided technical assistance throughout the Pacific. Her pediatric audiology skills are unparalleled. In addition to clinical work, she participated in important research and published extensively.

Nancy Rushmer's initial work as a provider of infant early intervention pre-dated EHDI. Working with Tom Behrens, she demonstrated the gains from early identification of hearing loss, providing data that convinced powerful persons, including Surgeon General Koop, of the need for EHDI legislation.

She became a trainer of early intervention personnel, working closely with members of the deaf community to ensure that children who are DHH had access to both oral and visual communication modes. Beyond the classroom, with support from Marion Downs, Nancy made impressive contributions to professional early-intervention literature. Recently, she has worked with several Pacific Island agencies to train local persons in early intervention and family support.

As the twilight of their professional careers approaches, these Partners Extraordinaire have volunteered their efforts to bring high-quality clinical and early intervention services to the children and families of the Marshall Islands.

Yusnita has trained local screeners, provided pediatric audiological services under challenging conditions, and instituted a valuable data system–resulting in an excellent EHDI program for this nation.

Working with diagnostic information provided by Yusnita, Nancy has trained local personnel to provide high-quality early intervention services not only for babies who are DHH, but for other infants with more complex needs. She has worked with the community to develop parent support services and to influence leaders regarding the importance of early identification and intervention.

Beyond their clinical and educational contributions, these EHDI Partners Extraordinaire! work closely with families who have immigrated to the United States to provide better opportunities for their children. They have given their time and resources to assist families in countless ways, going far above and beyond reasonable expectations to create opportunities for these children to enjoy the best possible future.

After contributing at the national level, Yusnita and Nancy, working in the most rural and remote location, have overcome vast cultural and geographic challenges to create local EHDI excellence for the Marshall Islands. As EHDI pioneers and colleagues of Toni Maxon, they continue to make a difference in the lives of babies who are DHH and their families. These EHDI Partners Extraordinaire! are deserving of this award!