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Lucinda Hollingshead

Lucinda Hollingshead, R.N., began screening newborns in 2007 in the Neonatal Hearing Screening Program at Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC) in Ames, Iowa. Now she oversees the program. Lucinda says that she is only as good as her co-workers, who help with screens of all the babies. She just takes the lead in assuring that all babies born at the hospital are given the state-mandated test before they are discharged. If a baby doesn’t pass the hearing test, Lucinda is the only one who follows up with re-screens and referrals to a physician. She calls parents and makes the appointments. She says, "We don’t let any of our babes ‘fall thru the cracks‘. I am still totally possessed that a baby needing the next step gets there. If you start out with help from the get go, life is better."

Lucinda was instrumental in obtaining a grant to buy an Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) machine called Algo 5 for the hospital. As there are only a few of these hearing screening machines in Iowa, newborns are referred to MGMC by other hospitals in the region for testing. She and her supervisor have made sure that competency with the hearing machine and doing the screen is part of their annual competency checklist. As she gets their quarterly state reports she shares them at a unit meeting, or passes them on to the director so she can share it at the meeting.

Lucinda has been a nurse for 37 years with most of her career at Mary Greeley Medical Center. She worked in Pediatrics until 2010 when she decided to leave the unit because of her own deteriorating hearing, which she felt might affect her work. The hospital did not want to lose her skills and reassigned her to First Nurse, employee health programs and overseeing the infant hearing tests. Now she can have many one-on-one conversations in quiet settings, which work well with her bilateral hearing aids.

In May 2012 Lucinda Hollingshead was selected for the Hamilton Relay 2012 Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award for the State of Iowa. This award was given in recognition of her leadership in early hearing detection and intervention.

Lucinda describes herself as being passionate about her work. Her co-workers have called her dedicated and reliable. When her own hearing loss hit her at 21 after an illness, she felt doomed. But now she realizes that, if she can be a nurse with bilateral hearing aids these many years later, the infants she re-screens, also, can have a productive future. She says she looks at the babies, or as she calls them, "her replacement generation", and thinks, if she can make a difference in one life for the future, then she has been successful.