Title: 'Beyond Early Head Start: Washington State's Inter-Agency EHDDI/ECHO Collaboration'
Track: 1 - EHDI Program Enhancement
Keyword(s): Inter-agency collaboration, ECHO training
Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe the benefits of inter-agency collaboration to extend EHDI activities to under-served communities.
  2. Apply or adapt one state model to another state's EHDI system.


Washington has been part of the Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative— affiliated with the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management—since its inception. The ECHO Initiative focuses on “. . .extending the benefit of periodic hearing screening to children aged birth to 3 years of age in a variety of health and education settings.” In an effort to widen our screening safety net including reducing loss to newborn screening follow-up, a group of EHDDI stakeholders developed a plan. It included (a) expanding our state ECHO training team, (b) targeted trainings to both early intervention programs and Early Head Start programs in under-served communities, and (c) purchasing OAE units for some of the neediest programs. Our ECHO team now includes nine representatives of five state agencies, each supporting staff time and travel expenses related to conducting these ECHO trainings. As a result of our partnership, we are placing seven new OAE units this year in under-served communities, including tribal early childhood programs, and providing the eight-hour ECHO training for designated staff to ensure that high quality hearing screening protocols and procedures are adopted. The ECHO partners communicate data with the state EHDDI program. Our long-term goal is for all Washington Early Head Start and Part C programs to be ECHO partners, with OAE hearing screening as part of their regular screening protocols and offering hearing screening to a broader array of families in their communities. We expect the outcome will be more infants and toddlers with undiagnosed hearing loss identified and supported with appropriate early intervention services. Other states might be interested in pursuing broader EHDDI/ ECHO collaborations among agencies that have a stake in reducing newborn screening loss to follow up and identifying hearing loss in infants and toddlers as early as possible.
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Debra Lochner Doyle - Author
Washington State Department of Health
     Credentials: MS, CGC
      Ms. Doyle is the State Coordinator for Genetic Services and the manager of the Screening and Genetics Unit for the Washington State Department of Health. She is board certified by both the American Board of Medical Genetics and the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Ms. Doyle received her B.S. in genetics from the University of Washington and her M.S. in human genetics and genetic counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Before accepting her current position, she held positions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center, Jone's Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, and Women and Infant's Hospital Prenatal Diagnosis Center. Ms. Doyle is a past President of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and is a founding member of the Coalition of State Genetics Coordinators.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -
Nancy Hatfield - POC,Primary Presenter,Author
Washington Sensory Disabilities Services
     Credentials: PhD
      Nancy Hatfield is director of early childhood and co-director of the state deaf-blind project for Washington Sensory Disabilities Services, a statewide program that supports children and youths with hearing loss and visual impairment. Nancy has worked for many years in early intervention for families with infants/toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing. For the past 20 years she has worked for the State of Washington, enhancing services to families via training for early intervention service providers and collaborating with other State agencies to improve county and state systems. In addition to a B.S. in Speech Pathology & Audiology, Nancy has a M.S. and Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from the University of Rochester in New York, where she also worked at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from Staff of Washington Sensory Disabilities Services.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Laurie Geneva - Co-Presenter,Author
Washington EHDDI Program
     Credentials: MPH
      Laurie Geneva currently works at the Washington State Department of Health Early Hearing-loss, Detection, Diagnosis and Intervention (EHDDI) program as Follow-up Coordinator. Her work includes ensuring infants receive hearing screenings and the necessary follow-up as well as screener education at birthing hospitals throughout the state. She also volunteers annually at Family Camp (a two-day retreat for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing), which is a chance to interact with families touched by the EHDDI program. She received a BS in Bio-Anthropology from Western Washington University and an MPH in International Health and Development from Tulane University. Prior to joining the EHDDI program, Laurie worked as a Physical Activity Specialist for a Worksite Wellness Program in New Orleans. Outside of professional interests, she enjoys anything outdoors as well as reading and cooking.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.