March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


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Linda Hazard

It is with great pleasure that we nominate Linda Hazard, the Vermont EHDI Coordinator, for the 2016 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. Linda demonstrates exemplary leadership and passion for EHDI at both the state and national levels.

Before Vermont (VT) had a formal EHDI program, Linda worked to support infants who were deaf or hard of hearing. She helped establish a Cochlear Implant Program and was a consultant for the state's early intervention program. Once the VT EHDI program was established, Linda served as a program manager and was responsible for multiple, integral aspects of the program. In 2010, Linda was promoted to her current position of VT's EHDI coordinator, where she continues to improve services to children and families by building partnerships with hospitals, audiologist, health care providers, midwives, and other providers. With Linda at the helm, VT has decreased its loss to follow-up from 32% in 2010 to 10% in 2013.

In addition to being a powerful voice for EHDI in VT, Linda has worked to increase collaboration and communication in state EHDI programs across the country. She has served on the Directors of Speech and Hearing Programs in State Health and Welfare Agencies (DSHPSHWA) board for three years, later became vice president, and now currently serves as president elect. As president elect, Linda has worked to ensure sustainability for the group and to make certain that EHDI coordinators have a voice in national organizations. As the NCHAM Region I network member serving six New England states, Linda helps bring together state EHDI programs, AAP Chapter Champions, and other organizations to improve the regional EHDI system. Linda has excelled in this role as highlighted by Janet Farrell, Massachusetts's EHDI coordinator, "…[Linda] is a treasure to all of her New England colleagues, cares very much about our region and is also very committed to helping guide systems/policies that improve EHDI efforts across the nation."

Under Linda's leadership, the VT EHDI program has used Quality Improvement (QI) methodology to achieve remarkable successes, including increasing the percent of homebirth babies who receive a screen by 1 month from 10% in 2011 to 85% in 2014. Acknowledging Linda's skills in leading change, she was invited to be a NCHAM QI advisor, and currently serves as the advisor to five states. Lastly, because of her QI success and experience and a desire to best serve the QI needs of states, Linda is integral in providing direction to the QI advisor group.

Linda's ability to effectively work with various providers and families and to facilitate improvement on the state, regional, and national levels has led to real improvements for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, and speaks to Linda's passion for EHDI.