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John Ted Holloway

John Ted Holloway has made exceptional contributions to the public health implementation of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs. He had the insight to be concerned about hearing in newborns, to establish a program before such was popular, and to set the stage for the present approach to EHDI programs.

Although the success of EHDI programs has been made possible by advances in instrumentation and research documenting its efficacy, the systematic implementation of programs has been coordinated by the public health infrastructure. Dr. Holloway served 31 years as the Health Officer of Southeastern District, Waycross Georgia. In his career he made important contributions to EHDI at the national, state, and local levels.

A major contributions at the national level was his adaption of the "high risk registry" to measure prevalence of disabling conditions such as hearing loss among children. It is no exaggeration to say that his work enabled the first population-based newborn hearing program in the United States. He secured funding for a prototype surveillance program in rural southeast Georgia and successfully managed it beginning in the 1980's. Data from this program, presented at the 1993 NIH Consensus Conference on newborn hearing screening, demonstrated that population-based data could be generated to monitor the success of early screening programs. The potential for EHDI surveillance contributed to establishing a new EHDI program at CDC, thus broadening the Federal support initially provided by HRSA and NIDCD.

Because of the leadership of Ted Holloway, his health district now has nearly two generations of organized concern about hearing in infants. Even in the five years after he retired, the Waycross Health District bettered the Georgia average of percent newborns screened, and in 3 of those 5 years had lower "refer" rates. His District created an Access data-base to monitor screening and follow-up needs. Other health districts in Georgia replicated that model. The accomplishments are all the more remarkable considering that this health district is the poorest in Georgia with the majority of births Medicaid-funded.

Dr. Hollaway recognized that EHDI programs are state-based, in that states must pass legislation enabling/mandating early hearing detection and intervention. When the state of Georgia passed EHDI legislation in 1999, Dr. Holloway provided strong leadership within the public health sector that was based on years of experience in the successful delivery of similar programs like metabolic newborn screening.

Dr. Holloway has also been active at the local public health level. When EHDI programs were introduced in Georgia, Dr. Holloway's surveillance system was adapted to track and monitor infants in the new program. His program has served as the model for the rest of the state.

Dr. Holloway recently retired as District Health Director, but continues his advocacy for public health. He serves on the board of directors of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Advisory Council for Public Health and is a member of the Medical Association of Georgia and the Georgia Public Health Association.

We strongly recommend Dr. Holloway as the 2013 recipient of the Maxon Award.