February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


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Linda Hazard

It is with great pleasure that we nominate Linda Hazard, for the 2017 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence. Linda demonstrates exemplary leadership and passion for EHDI at both the state and national levels. Linda has effectively brought together various providers and stakeholders, including primary care practices, midwives, Head Start providers, and families to facilitate improvement on the state, regional, and national levels. Her leadership has led to real improvements for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.

With Linda at the helm as Vermont's EHDI Coordinator (VT) has used Quality Improvement (QI) methodology to decrease loss to follow-up in Vermont from 32% in 2010 to 0% in 2014, and increase the percent of homebirth babies who receive a screen by one month from 10% in 2011 to 87% in 2014. Linda has been at the forefront of using processes and systems to monitor and use EHDI data in real time to improve the VT EHDI system. She is a leader for hearing health of all ages. Linda testified at the Vermont Senate and House of Representatives to help pass bill S-66 which establishes the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind Advisory Council. The role of the council is to recommend policy to the Vermont legislature and governor to improve services, through QI initiatives, for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind children and adults in Vermont. Moreover, Linda was elected by the members to chair the council due to her leadership skills that include bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, bridging gaps, and developing a strong collaborative team among the members.

In addition to being a powerful voice for EHDI in Vermont, Linda has worked to increase collaboration and communication in state EHDI programs across the country. For four years, Linda has served in the leadership for the Directors of Speech and Hearing Programs in State Health and Welfare Agencies, an organization that represents the voice of EHDI Coordinators at the federal level. Moreover, Linda serves as the NCHAM Region I network member serving six New England states where she helps bring together state EHDI programs, AAP Chapter Champions, and other organizations to improve the regional EHDI system. Because of her skills in leading change, she was invited to be an NCHAM QI advisor, and currently serves as the successful advisor to seven states. Lastly, Linda has been a diligent and committed member of the EHDI Annual Meeting Planning Committee for three years and has ensured the conference stays meaningful to state EHDI programs and families.

In referencing Linda's role as a NCHAM network member, Janet Farrell, Massachusetts's EHDI coordinator, noted that, "…[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 and policies that improve EHDI efforts across the nation."

The U.S. EHDI system benefits greatly from Linda's passion and expertise and we hope the selection committee will recognize what a valuable asset she is.