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Elizabeth Seeliger

As Program Director, Dr. Seeliger has led the Wisconsin Sound Beginnings (WSB) EHDI program since its inception. Along with a strong system of collaborators, she successfully created systems and programs to establish UNHS and reduced loss to follow-up (LTFU) by engaging stakeholders, which included families, health care systems and early intervention programs.

Dr. Seeliger developed a voluntary UNHS system by working with hospitals, midwives and audiologists, resulting in more than 99% of babies being screened each year in Wisconsin. Under her leadership, WSB has reduced LTFU for babies who did not pass their screening by 57% in just three years. She spearheaded the development of a web-based data system, WE-TRAC (Wisconsin EHDI-Tracking Referral and Coordination) to manage, monitor and measure Wisconsin's hearing screening, LTFU and diagnostic rates. She has engineered innovative data exchanges with the state lab of hygiene, vital records, WIC and Early Intervention services, ensuring ease of data entry by its end-users.

Dr. Seeliger is a national leader in the effort to ensure that families who choose Out of Hospital delivery have access to affordable, culturally appropriate UNHS. She engaged and educated midwives, secured funding to purchase OAE screeners, placed ABR screeners with Amish Birth Attendants and championed the effort to create an integrated newborn blood, hearing and heart screening program in Out of Hospital settings.

Dr. Seeliger is a strong believer in family involvement and support. She collaboratively developed programs and materials that have been replicated by others: the Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Program, Parent Resource Notebook for families of newly diagnosed children, and the web-based EHDI Toolkit. She also serves on the boards of Wisconsin Families for Hands & Voices and Hands & Voices Headquarters. Dr. Seeliger has worked to build a system of care that truly meets families where they are at, developing a team of Regional Outreach Specialists who provide in-home and community screening to families who are experiencing barriers to traditional care and creating culturally sensitive educational materials to be shared with families. She also strives to ensure that the WSB program is learning and growing through participation in conferences, trainings and other opportunities, such as the National Center for Cultural Competence EHDI Community of Learners.

In 2013 Dr. Seeliger completed an Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health certificate program, and co-facilitated pre-sessions on infant/parent relationships at the 2014 and 2015 national EHDI conferences. She has been instrumental in creating WSB's CARES program (Coordination, Assistance, Resource and Evaluation Specialists) to support families and early intervention programs. After Wisconsin's involvement in the early NICHQ Learning Collaborative, she incorporated quality improvement into WSB's work. Finally she has ensured that Wisconsin continues to collaborate with the NECAP study that will provide additional outcome data.

Dr. Seeliger is a true innovator who has helped Wisconsin become a leader in ensuring that all babies born in Wisconsin are screened, diagnosed and receive timely, culturally appropriate and family-centered early intervention.