<< Back

Linda Hazard

Linda became Vermont EHDI director in the fall of 2010. Prior to becoming the director, she was our program manager responsible for many aspects of our program including direct clinical services, coordinating our state hearing advisory council, data reporting and management and coordinating our state-wide hearing aid financial assistance program.

Linda's career as an audiologist is vast and varied. Her positive impact on EHDI in Vermont began even before she came to work for the program; in fact, before our state had a true EHDI program. She established the first and only Cochlear Implant Program in Vermont in 1984 and was a consultant for the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing providing early intervention services to children and their families. Both of these programs continue to be critical pieces in our EHDI system.

Linda's contributions to our EHDI program, as director and manager, have been numerous. From working with an individual hospital to pilot outpatient appointment scheduling prior to discharge to creating and releasing new features in our database that enable providers to view and enter hearing results.

For this nomination, I would like to highlight her work with community partners, specifically her work with home birth midwives. Linda has worked tirelessly and travelled all over the state to help establish, expand and maintain partnerships with our four early head start programs, primary care providers, and home birth midwives. These partnerships are invaluable, contributing to the decrease in our lost to follow-up rates as well as providing early periodic screenings for the birth to three population.

Less than 10% of Vermont home birthed babies received newborn hearing screening between 2007-2009. In 2011 Linda established a newborn hearing screening initiative with our home birth midwives. Over a two-year period Linda has placed eleven Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) units around the state; provided training, education and mentorship to all 18 home birth midwives. Due to this partnership, more than 60% of our home birthed babies had received a hearing screening by the end of 2012. This is a huge success and an invaluable partnership. These partnerships continue as Linda, and the VTEHDI program, continues to collaborate and support our state-wide home birth midwives and other community partners who provide newborn and early periodic hearing screenings. These partners are now being trained to directly enter their hearing screening results into our state integrated health profile.

The VTEHDI program looks forward to many more years under Linda's leadership. Her passion, compassion and ability to work with various providers and families speak to the many successes in our state and program.