hospitals, primary care centers and public health centers.
The EHDI Advisory Committee, a group of diverse community stakeholders, was established in 2002 and continues to meet a minimum of three times per year to proactively promote the EHDI 1-3-6 National Goals in Alaska. Case reviews of children identified with hearing loss are presented at the Advisory Committee meetings. These case reviews provide continued quality assurance to the State EHDI Program and offers committee members the opportunity to network and to share ideas on how to improve services to families. In this forum, challenges and barriers to services are identified as well as areas in which technical assistance by the EHDI Program would be helpful to improve service delivery and assist in providing diagnosis and enrollment into early intervention services in a timely manner. Issues identified in this forum will generate models for quality improvement.
The Intervention Taskforce, a sub-committee of the EHDI Advisory Committee, met in March 2007 and broke into three smaller groups to address the following issues: 1) access to early intervention services, 2) identification and treatment for children with late onset and progressive hearing loss, and 3) follow-up for children with high risk factors in accordance with the recent 2007 Joint Commission on Infant Hearing (JCIH) guidelines. A fourth group is proposed to update the Alaska EHDI handbook, Guidelines for Pediatric Audiological Assessment & Intervention, to coincide with JCIH guidelines. The outcomes of these subcommittees will be a revised EHDI communication protocol to improve the system of referral and promote timely follow-up for infants/children from screening through intervention services. This protocol will be widely distributed throughout the State to birthing hospitals, birthing centers, public health centers, early intervention programs and primary care providers. The EHDI Program Manager and AAP Chapter Champion will continue to present in communities throughout the State, including Pediatric Grand Rounds presentations by the AAP Chapter Champion.