Title: 'Changing Public Health Policy in Vermont with Newborn Hearing Screening for Homebirth Families:Midwives' Perceptions'
Track: 10 - Policy, Advocacy and Legislative Issues
Keyword(s): midwives, collaboration, holistic, hearing screening
Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe how changes in policy can reduce lost to follow up for home-birth infants.
  2. Discuss the benefits perceived by midwives of partnering with a public health program.
  3. Define holistic model of care.


In 2000 the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing Screening recommended hearing screening for all infants born in the United States. In Vermont less than 10% of infants born at home between 2008 and 2010 received a hearing screening. As part of a Health Resources and Services Administration grant awarded in September of 2010, the Vermont Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (VTEHDI) initiated a pilot project to collaboratively involve home-birth midwives in the hearing screening of infants born under their care. This qualitative research study recruited 7 licensed midwives in Vermont and used narrative inquiry to focus on midwives perceptions of partnering with a public health model of care for newborn hearing screening in the homebirth population. Midwives were recruited based on regions of the state, time in the profession, varying ages and number of births attended per year in order to have a cross section of Vermont licensed midwives represented. The goals of the research plan were best addressed through the use of individual interviews, observations of midwives screening infants and focus forums. Cross-case analysis techniques were used in analyzing data and three themes were identified in the process that focused on: 1) fostering a holistic model, 2) promoting informed choice, and 3) fostering collaboration. Other analytical approaches were infused that included poetic transcription, visual representation and scholarly personal narrative (SPN). The findings suggest the importance of fostering collaboration, inclusion, mentoring, education and training between midwives and VTEHDI. In particular the study findings illuminate the role of informed choice for families, the role hearing screening plays as part of a holistic model and the role mutual respect plays with midwives as partners. By exploring midwives perceptions this study offers insight to professionals about the experiences of midwives and their multifaceted role with home-birth families and a public health program.
Presentation: 1210LindaHazard.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Linda Hazard - Primary Presenter
Vermont Department of Health
     Credentials: Ed.D CCC-A, FAAA
     Other Affiliations: ASHLA, AAA
      Dr. Linda Hazard is currently the Director of the Vermont Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. Employed by the only tertiary hospital in the state and contracted to the department of health. Member of the state Hearing Advisory Council and Speech Language Hearing Association (VSHA). Dr Hazard has a doctoral degree in Leadership and Social Policies. Prior to her position at VTEHDI Dr. Hazard worked for Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas and was the Director of Audiology and the Cochlear Implant Program at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.