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Wellness & Prevention
Public Health
 
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What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

MISSION

The Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program develops, promotes, and supports systems to ensure all newborns in Nebraska receive hearing screenings, family-centered evaluations, and early intervention as appropriate.

Childhood deafness is one of the most common birth conditions in the United States. Newborn hearing screening is the first step in the early hearing detection and intervention process.

Infographic of newborn hearing screening

On average, 3/1,000 babies born will have some form of hearing loss. Before universal newborn hearing screening became the standard of care, children born deaf or hard of hearing were not identified until 2-1/2 to 3 years of age.

When left undetected in infants and young children, deafness will impair a child's ability to develop normal speech and language skills, stay on track academically with their hearing peers, and achieve on time social and emotional milestones.

To ensure that newborns and infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing begin receiving appropriate and timely high quality services, the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (NE-EHDI) Program has developed goals focusing on newborn hearing screening, diagnostic evaluations, early intervention, medical home, family support, periodic hearing screenings, professional development, program development, EHDI promotion, and data systems.

For more information about the Nebraska Infant Hearing Act, visit infanthearing.org.

Congenital Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a common viral infection, and the leading non-genetic cause of hearing loss in infants born in the United States. Every pregnant woman is at risk of acquiring CMV, but only 9% of women know about it. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Women may be able to lessen their risk of getting CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from babies and young children. Some ways to do this are by not sharing food and utensils with babies and young children, and washing hands after changing diapers. These actions can't eliminate your risk of getting CMV, but may lessen your chances of getting it". Visit the National CMV Foundation website to learn more about CMV, along with information on prevention.  You can also order educational materials at no cost from the EHDI order form.

 

 

Early detection and early intervention saves money!

  • Special education for a child with unidentified hearing loss who does not receive timely early intervention services will cost schools an additional $420,000/child by the time that child graduates high school.  
  • For children who are born deaf or those who lose their hearing before age one, the lifetime costs (including direct medical costs, non-medical costs, and reduction of lifetime earnings) exceed $1 million.

      Fast Facts

  • The majority of children born deaf or hard of hearing are born to hearing parents.
  • 33 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing each day in the United States.
  • Most children born deaf or hard of hearing have no other health issues.
  • Some babies who are born with normal hearing may lose their hearing in early childhood.

 

Early intervention

The Nebraska Early Development Network (EDN) provides Early Intervention (EI) services for families with children birth to age three with developmental delays and/or health care needs and connects families to needed services. EI is an individualized program of services and supports based on the needs of the individual family. 

EI is important because research shows that the first three years are the most important time for learning in a child's life. Providing developmental supports and services early improves a child's ability to develop and learn.  It may also prevent or decrease the need for special education services later on.  The goal of early intervention in Nebraska is to "open a window of opportunity" for families to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential.

Visit the Families Page of the EDN website for more information about EI services in Nebraska.

Advisory c​ommittee

An Advisory Committee, comprised of stakeholders representing many disciplines and perspectives, has been active in

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providing leadership since the implementation of the Infant Hearing Act of 2000. The Advisory Committee meets twice a year and meetings are open to the public.

The purpose of the NE-EHDI Advisory Committee is to provide direction and guidance to the NE-EHDI Program regarding the newborn hearing screening system. Specific Advisory Committee activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To discuss and advise on the goals for the NE-EHDI Program.
  • To advise on the improvement of reporting, tracking, and follow-up protocols to effectively link the NE-EHDI Program and early intervention systems.
  • To assist in increasing the program's responsiveness to the expanding cultural and linguistic communities in the state.
  • To guide the long-term planning and evaluation of the NE-EHDI system in the state.
  • To review the semi-annual newborn screening statistics and make recommendations for program improvements.

The membership of Advisory Committee is culturally and geographically representative of stakeholders with an interest in and concern for newborn hearing screening.  The Advisory Committee consists of no more than 20 voting members, and the NE-EHDI Program Manager who is a non-voting member. 

2019 & 2020 Meeting Dates & Locations: (Meetings are posted on the Public Meeting Calendar)

Funding

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H61MC00065, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, $250,000 total award amount. No nongovernmental sources support the program. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

This project is supported by the by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under Cooperative Agreement Number, 2 NUR3DD000797-06-00, award amount of $150,000. The NE-EHDI Program is 100% financed with Federal money and no funding is received by nongovernmental sources. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nebraska Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
Division of Public Health - Department of Health & Human Services>
Phone Number
(402) 471-6733
Toll Free Number
(888) 545-0935
Fax Number
(402) 742-2395
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026


 

 Brenda Coufal
Program Manager
Phone Number
(402) 471-6770

 Jim Beavers
Business Analyst
Phone Number
(402) 471-1526

 MeLissa Butler 
Community Health Educator Sr.
Phone Number
(402) 471-3579

 Shelli Janning 
Community Outreach Coordinator
Phone Number
(402) 237-9007

 Jennifer Lee 
Community Health Educator, AuD Intern
Phone Number
(402) 471-6746