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EHDITION COLORADO

Volume 2, Issue 7 February 1, 2022

From the EHDI Director

By Arlene Stredler Brown

A full body shot of a smiling slender fair-skinned woman in a forest.  She is wearing gray hiking pants with a zip up blue jacket and a light cap as well as hiking boots. She is on a wet hiking trail surrounded by slender aspens, fallen aspen trees, and knee high meadow grass. The sky is cloudy and there is a mountain and evergreen trees behind her.

I’m choosing to look at the start of a new year as an opportunity. In spite of the Omicron surge, I am hopeful that we will stay safe. More inspiration comes from friends who have lost their homes in the recent Marshall Fire. They bring a level of optimism about seeing their loss as an opportunity to build again - making their new homes even better suited to their current lifestyles than their previous homes. These friends have also shared a regard for their lives over their things that have been lost. That outlook is inspiring; if they can be looking forward, then so will I.

Colorado EHDI staff have already stepped up to the new year and are doing new work. We are engaged in new topics in some task forces. We are publishing materials that have been recommended by task forces. And, we continue to meet regularly with partners in other state agencies. I also want to recognize Bill Vertrees and his colleagues at CDPHE who have reported Colorado’s 2020 data to the CDC - on time! This data will be included in the national database for the first time in several years. It’s only the third week in the new year as I write these updates. We have accomplished a lot!

March 31st of this year will mark the end of our second year of our HRSA grant. Starting in Year 3, you may see some changes with our newsletter’s formatting as we continue to explore the best ways to disseminate information. Thank you all for participating in what we have done and in the many initiatives we aim to bring to fruition. May 2022 be a very good year. asb

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Announcements

The Screening Task Force meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be March 8, 2022 from 11:00-12:00 pm. Please note that there will not be a February meeting while COEHDI staff work on materials.

The Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Adults Task Force meets quarterly. The next meeting will be February 14, 2022 from 11:00-12:00 pm.

The Early Intervention Task Force meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be February 15, 2021 from 2:00-3:00PM.

The COEHDI Alliance meets the 3rd Friday of each month from 10-11:30AM. The next meeting date is February 18, 2022. Meetings are open to the public and members of the public are invited to submit a public comment. The public comment request form can be found at this link: Public Comment Request Form

CSDB is offering monthly professional development workshops. Kimberly Sanzo from Language First will be presenting on Friday February 25, 2022 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. The title of the presentation is: ASL-English Language Therapy and Research-Based Treatment. For questions or more information, contact Ashley Renslow at (719) 822-3537 or arenslow@csdb.org

The Diagnostic/Identification Task Force meets on the 1st Thursday of the month. The next meeting will be March 3, 2022 from 4:00-5:00 pm. Please note that there will not be a February meeting while COEHDI staff prepare materials about children with unilateral hearing loss.

The Families of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Children Task Force meets quarterly. The next meeting will be March 14, 2022 from 11:00-12:00 pm.

All Colorado EHDI Alliance and Task Force meetings will be announced here as will other Colorado EHDI system stakeholder meetings. If you would like your meetings included in our monthly newsletter, contact: info@coehdi.org.

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Spotlight on Brian Herrmann

Headshot of a fair-skinned male in a black suit, white shirt, and purple tie with white dots. He is wearing wire-rimmed glasses and has closely cropped hair with a part on the left side. He is looking at the camera with a smile

This month’s spotlight highlights Brian Herrmann, a Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, with a focus in pediatric hearing loss. He also serves on the Alliance and the Screening and Diagnostic/Identification Task Forces as well as the tele-audiology subcommittee.

Growing up in Northern Illinois, he received both an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and a medical degree from the University of Iowa. Dr. Herrmann received both his Otolaryngology residency and Pediatric Otolaryngology fellowship training in St. Louis. Practicing in Atlanta, GA for 15 years, Dr. Herrmann served as Director of Hearing Loss at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and participated in many public outreach programs regarding pediatric hearing loss and literacy. Relocating to Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2018, he was happy to again support these efforts through CO-EHDI. With CO AAP’s recent call to increase awareness for congenital CMV, Dr. Herrmann initiated a collaborative effort with other health professionals at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, and UCHealth Poudre Valley to streamline multidisciplinary care for children with congenital CMV, including those with hearing loss. Having experienced hearing loss that has progressed with age, Dr. Herrmann knows firsthand the importance of providing proper support for individuals with hearing loss.

Dr. Herrmann and his wife reside near Longmont, and have two teenage boys. In their free time, they enjoy hiking, reading, and playing golf. Both he and his family thoroughly enjoy exploring Colorado’s mountains and open spaces, and look forward to further adventures in the future.

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Partnership to Study "Late ID"

by Kristin Uhler and Sara Kennedy

What: Community engagement grant through the Colorado Clinical &Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) to build partnerships with key stakeholders to identify challenges, growth opportunities, and to strengthen support for families who have children who are later identified with hearing loss. The project’s primary aims are to learn more about suspected health disparities affecting follow-up from newborn hearing screening into pediatric audiology and into early intervention.

Why: In anticipation of increased incidence of late identification of hearing loss secondary to missed and delayed newborn hearing screening and audiologic services as a result of COVID-19.

Who: Colorado Hands & Voices (Sara Kennedy) and the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine (Kristin Uhler)

When: July 2021-March 2022

How: Partnership with an advisory group of community stakeholders, meetings with two birthing hospitals (one urban and one rural) and two midwives, parent focus groups, and a parent survey.

Analysis of the data from all sources is ongoing and will be shared with the EHDI community once data collection and analysis has been completed.

How can you help?

We would be grateful if professionals could contact any families on their caseload with a young child identified as deaf/hard of hearing after six months of age and invite them to complete the survey or participate in the final focus groups.

Ways to help:

  • Please share the contact for the final focus groups (info@co-hv.org). We'll find dates that work for families in February (English and Spanish).

  • Share this link for the parent survey: (https://redcap.ucdenver.edu/surveys/?s=N3PDY9DHNYNTHJ7N)

  • If you know of a midwife who may be willing to engage in discussion about newborn hearing screening in their community, please share their contact information.

Please contact Kristin Uhler at kristin.uhler@cuanschutz.edu and/or Sara Kennedy at Sara@co-hv.org with any questions. Thank you!

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CDPHE Corner

By Leanne Glenn

Happy New Year to everyone! We have shared the Q3 2021 hospital reports via email. Please contact Leanne Glenn (leanne.glenn@state.co.us) if you did not receive your report. Also, we have submitted the 2020 data report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We appreciate all of the hard work that our providers have put in to enter data in these busy times!

Please feel free to view our January 2022, HIDS Monthly Bulletin on the "Provider Resources" section of our website: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/center-for-health-and-environmental-data/registries-and-vital-statistics/newborn-hearing-screening-provider-resources

These bulletins cover many useful topics that can help improve 2021 data and keep up with incoming 2022 data.

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The Ascent Program

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Task Force Updates

February is the last month that will include task force updates. As of March, 2022, you can access meeting minutes and agendas on our website: https://www.coehdi.org/taskforces/. If there are any questions, contact info@coehdi.org.

Screening

HRSA requires each state EHDI program to create a plan for continuous hearing screening through 36 months of age. Task force members identified some initiatives for continuous screening that are already in place including: (a) HeadStart and Early HeadStart have mandates for hearing screening; (b) the Colorado Department of Education has published guidelines for continuous screening (Click Here); and Denver Public Schools coordinates with some metro-area hospitals and some health clinics which have purchased OAE equipment. The COEHDI plan will incorporate these current initiatives into the continuous screening plan we will submit to HRSA.

Diagnostic/Identification and Transition from Diagnostic/Identification to Early Intervention

There is a notable issue in the HIDS database that is creating an underestimate of the number of children who are DHH who are receiving early intervention. A lower number was reported to the CDC; however, in-state analyses will manually override this number to accurately reflect the true number of children enrolled in early intervention services. This situation will be monitored when we report 2021 data as the numbers may be more accurate when data is entered in real time (rather than in arrears). If the problem persists, it will be addressed.

The task force members support two new ways to encourage families of children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) to opt in for no-cost support services. These services include family-to-family supports, informational support from the Regional Colorado Hearing (CO-Hear) Coordinator, and/or developmental monitoring through CU-Boulder. One approach we are taking is to inform PCPs by publishing up-to-date information about UHL in the Colorado AAP newsletter. Our thanks to Ted Maynard for supporting this. The other approach is to create an infographic that can be distributed to parents by the diagnosing audiologist. Input into the infographic has been solicited from all attending task force members.

Please note that future updates from the Diagnostic/Identification Task Force will be published on the COEHDI website: www.coehdi.org

Early Intervention

This group is focusing on child outcome data. Utilization of The FAMILY Assessment, an assessment of child development specifically designed for children who are DHH, was the topic at this month’s task force. The FAMILY Assessment is being utilized by 70% - 80% of families. COEHDI is investigating ways to integrate this assessment into Part C’s activities (e.g., IFSPs). There was robust interest in this action from all stakeholders at the task force meeting. This action, if taken, could take a time burden off of families and interventionists who currently conduct the Part C assessment and The FAMILY Assessment. The results of The FAMILY Assessment provide early interventionists with information that can contribute to the IFSP and can inform session plans. The protocols in The FAMILY Assessment are norm-referenced, have age equivalents and/or standard scores. This task force will continue to analyze this issue in future months.

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Alliance Meeting Brief

This February issue is the last month that will include Alliance meeting briefs. As of March, 2022, you can access meeting agendas and minutes on our website: https://www.coehdi.org/alliance/ If there are any questions, contact info@coehdi.org.

January’s Alliance meeting was attended by 13 of our 18 members. There were 12 additional attendees including COEHDI staff, task force members, members of the public, and those who provided accommodations. Agenda items and decisions made include: adoption of November 2021 meeting minutes, a consensus vote on the Newborn Hearing Screening Brochure, review of family-to-family support data, a discussion of the subgrant process, and task force updates.

The next Alliance meeting will take place on Friday February 18, 2022 from 10-11:30AM. Contact a member of the Alliance or COEHDI staff to obtain meeting access information. See our website for monthly meeting minutes (https://www.coehdi.org/alliance) as well as the link to the public comment form (https://forms.gle/df7LSFGAEyPAgDqJ7).

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Gratitude/Acknowledgements

Sara Kennedy is taking on a new role and will be further immersed in activities at the Hands & Voices HQ. This is great news for her and Hands & Voices national. It also means that she will be stepping down as director of our Colorado chapter. “I hate to see you go” has never had more meaning. I met Sara shortly after her daughter, who is hard of hearing, was born. Sara birthed her daughter at home and has been a tireless advocate for screening home births ever since. She is our CIHAC co-chair. She is the editor of the Hands & Voices Communicator. She is a woman of many talents who is passionate about helping other families. We will miss her. Congratulations, Sara!

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