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EHDI: Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

Promoting EHDI Pals

a baby girl with an inquisitive look

Presented by: Fran Altmaier, Sondi Aponte, Gidget Carle

When: This webinar was presented on September 18 at 11:30am–12:30pm MT


EHDI Pals is a powerful resource allowing parents and healthcare providers to quickly and easily identify and compare pediatric audiologists in their community. This national resource enables Arizona families living in border communities (California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico) or on tribal land to find providers closer to where they live. For many years, the Office of Newborn Screening has used a self-created resource list. It was shared with both parents and providers as a tool to locate outpatient screening and diagnostic sites. When EHDI Pals was launched, it was clear for our Office that the first and most important thing to do was find the right way to quickly let people know what EHDI Pals is about and why it’s worth using this resource. Best way to spread the news:

  1. Creating a flyer that's easy to read “in English and Spanish” for parents and providers about EHDI-Pals and how to use it:
    1. Flyer is sent to parents with the follow up letter
    2. Flyer is faxed to healthcare provider along with the Fax Back Form for infants who failed or missed their newborn hearing screening
    3. Handing out flyers at conference and other networking opportunities
  2. Dedicating the EHDI Newsletter July 2013 issue to EHDI Pals
    1. Tutorial on how to use EHDI Pals with vibrant screen shots of the website
    2. Promoting the EHDI Pals Logo throughout the newsletter
    3. Highlighting parent resources available on the EHDI Pals website
  3. Getting the word out to pediatric audiologists
    1. Mass Mailing to licensed pediatric audiologists encouraging them to enroll in EHDI Pals
    2. Mass Email notification to pediatric audiologist reminding them about the letter they received one week earlier
    3. Posting a “Call Out” on the Licensing website announcing EHDI Pals
    4. Assistance from the EHDI State Coordinator by reaching out to pediatric audiologist not yet enrolled in EHDI Pals

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify early adoption efforts implemented by the Office of Newborn Screening
  2. Recognize the value to advertise and promote EHID Pals with healthcare providers and families
  3. Understand the importance of sharing the information with EHDI stakeholders


Fran Altmaier, BSW, is the High Risk Coordinator/Project Specialist with the Office of Newborn Screening. Her responsibilities include follow up on NICU babies who do not pass their hearing screening as well as for Continuous quality Improvement (CQI) activities related to reducing loss to follow up. As a social worker, Fran has 20 years of experience in Birth to 3 year old child development, early intervention and developmental disabilities

Sondi Aponte is the Quality Improvement, Education & Outreach Manager with the Office of Newborn Screening. Primary responsibilities include ensuring that newborn hearing and bloodspot screening best practices are maintained through education and outreach efforts to clinical practices, hospitals, labs and families. Sondi has 13 years’ experience as a teacher and curriculum developer and 10 years in public health service.

Gidget Carle, BSN, is the Newborn Hearing Screening Follow up Supervisor for the Office of Newborn Screening. She oversee activities performed by Hearing Follow up Specialists and monitor progress made based on the CDC EHDI 1-3-6 goals: screening all babies by one month of age; completing a diagnostic evaluation by three months of age and verifying enrollment in Early Intervention by six months of age. Gidget has more than 20 years of experience including five years of Clinic Manger that provided screening, treatment and education for the public, 6 years as a Nurse, Established a successful Medical system that determines medical necessity long term care