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Tammy O'Hollearn

The Iowa EHDI program nominates Ms. Tammy O'Hollearn, LBSW, for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence for 2013. Ms. O'Hollearn is the State of Iowa EHDI Coordinator. One of Ms. O'Hollearn's most noteworthy achievements includes traveling to all Iowa birthing facilities (81), in three years, to provide education and training to hospital personnel. These visits identified strengths, best practices, hospital technical assistance needs, and areas for improvement in the hospital newborn screening programs. Following the visit, each facility received a detailed report of up to ten pages explaining their compliance with EHDI law and program quality. As a result of these visits, statewide EHDI data showed an increased number of children screened prior to hospital discharge, decreased miss and refer rates, and a reduced number of children lost to follow up and documentation. Additional accomplishments that highlight Ms. O'Hollearn's numerous contributions since she joined the EHDI program in 2006 include:

  • Implementing a web-based data system for EHDI surveillance, eSP™, in spring of 2007. All birthing facilities and audiological providers have been trained to report hearing screen results, outpatient re-screens, and diagnostic assessments into the web based data system since March of 2007. Prior to Ms. O'Hollearn's arrival, only five (of 81) birthing facilities reported through eSP™, and Iowa EHDI staff manually entered 80,000 paper reporting forms into the data system.
  • Ms. O'Hollearn has developed and maintained partnerships with local hospitals, audiological providers, Guide By Your Side, and Iowa's Part C system, which has resulted in improved newborn screening reporting, successful follow up, and intervention for children and families. She also has outstanding relationships with EHDI programs in neighboring states, which has led to the exchange of hearing screening and diagnostic assessment data for border babies and referrals.
  • Ms. O'Hollearn has worked closely with Amish community leaders to determine best ways to increase screening and rescreen rates in effort to reduce the number of refusals in the Amish community.
  • Ms. O'Hollearn promotes the importance of public education and outreach surrounding newborn hearing screening, follow up and intervention. She was instrumental in developing Iowa's EHDI website and quarterly EHDI newsletters. Iowa was one of five states nominated for the EHDI website award at the 2012 EHDI National Conference.

She has also participated in many other challenging projects related to data collection and design including the CDC iEHDI project. Iowa was among the first two states selected for the project due to its ability to capture and report individual-level high quality data.

Those who have worked with Ms. O'Hollearn in any capacity know her to be a very dedicated, enthusiastic, and passionate individual who works tirelessly devoting her time and energy to serving the needs of the children and families of Iowa. We are proud to have such a loyal and committed individual leading the EHDI program in our state. On behalf of the entire Iowa EHDI team, we strongly recommend Ms. Tammy O'Hollearn for the Antonia Brancia Maxon award for EHDI excellence as we believe she truly deserves this award.