Title: 'Expect the Unexpected: EHDI Workforce Development and the Benefits of Cross Training and Succession Planning '
Track: 8 - EHDI Workforce Issues
Keyword(s): succession, cross-training, retension
Learning Objectives:
  1. Understand the importance of cross-training staff in EHDI Programs
  2. Learn about how to increase productivity and improve job satisfaction of EHDI staff
  3. Gain knowledge about the importance of documentation of program activities and use of quality assurance timelines


Strategically planning for unplanned changes to an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program is difficult. There are many factors that can challenge an EHDI program and affect the families served. These challenges include: organizational changes, resignations of key staff, training, emerging demographics/language needs, decreased budgets and other factors. In Massachusetts, we carried out strategic planning to identify our mission, goals and priorities. This plan is important, but having trained staff to carryout the work is the most important component. We do our utmost to ensure strong leadership and identify the next generation of leaders who will carry out our mission. Efforts are made to recruit/retain/value staff who are committed to the program. We accomplish this through hiring consumers who are Deaf or hard of hearing, family members with children with hearing loss, a diverse workforce that represents the population served and work in close partnership with professionals from related disciplines. We strive to have a thorough understanding of the duties and strengths of each EHDI staff member and the stakeholders who have influence on the EHDI Program. We work as a team at both the program and initiative levels. This presentation will describe the importance of a “team” approach and demonstrate how productivity can be improved through cross-training of staff. This includes documenting all aspects of program activities and training other staff to perform various duties carried out by the team. We will demonstrate how planning for succession can increase productivity in difficult times and promote overall job satisfaction/flexibility for employees. The importance of hiring consumers and families, goals to reduce turnover and commitment to maximizing skills and talents will be discussed. Massachusetts will share tools used by our program, including quality assurance/quality improvement plans and timelines.
Presentation: 1316SarahStone.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Janet Farrell - Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter
Department of Public Health
     Credentials: BA
     Other Affiliations: DSHPSHWA, New England Regional Genetics Group
      Ms. Farrell is the Program Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program. She is also the Project Director of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement and Maternal and Child Health grant. She is a senior manager in the Children and Youth with Special Health Needs Program in MA.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Sarah Stone - Co-Presenter
MA Dept. of Public Health
     Credentials: BBA
      Sarah Stone, Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program is dedicated to ensuring effective communication with families, birthing hospitals and audiological diagnostic centers. Ms. Stone has been instrumental in developing scripted messages and program materials that assist families and providers in understanding the EHDI goals and objectives. She has a background in public policy and business.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.