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EHDI: Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

Family Engagement Strategies from the broader MCH Community

a speech therapist working with a child and parent

Presented by: Treeby (Williamson) Brown, Michelle Jarvis, Michelle Koplitz, Sara Wainscott, Tigisty Zerislassie

When: Wed., March 22nd 2017 1-2 pm EST/noon-1 pm CST/11-noon MST/10-11 am PST.

Where: Adobe Connect


Family Engagement is defined as “patients, families, their representatives, and health professionals working in active partnership at various levels across the health care system to improve health and health care.” Family engagement takes place at the individual, community and policy levels. To better understand the landscape of family engagement across Title V programs, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) conducted a nationwide survey with state Title V maternal and child health and special health care needs programs in 2014-2015 to ascertain the application of family engagement strategies as well as the challenges faced by states.

The objectives of this webinar are:

  1. To understand current activities supported by MCHB’s Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs to foster family engagement.
  2. To inform the broad EHDI community about AMCHP’s work in promoting family engagement and family-professional partnerships.
  3. To learn about successful systems-building strategies to increase family engagement that have potential application to EHDI programs.

Staff from MCHB will provide an introduction and talk about activities and resources at the federal level related to family engagement. Next, the results of a national survey will be discussed, providing examples of family engagement drawn from the broader MCH community that are relevant to EHDI systems. Additionally, state EHDI partners will share their systems-level strategies to foster family engagement.

In preparation for this webinar, participants are encouraged to review the AMCHP survey report [PDF]

Presenters (listed alphabetically):

Treeby (Williamson) Brown

Chief, Integrated Services Branch, DSCSHN/MCHB at Health Resources and Services Administration. Prior to her new position, Treeby was the Senior Program Manager for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and then Associate Director of Child and Adolescent Health at AMCHP.

Michelle Jarvis

Specialist, Family Engagement and Leadership Development. Michelle contributes to the advancement of maternal and child health programs through planning and program implementation, research, advocacy, education and evaluation projects related to family engagement and leadership development. These activities include project planning, coordination and evaluation; collaboration with advisory committee members, AMCHP members and staff on project activities; serving as liaison to federal project officers; and project and policy promotion. Michelle’s work is cross-cutting and contributes to major issues surrounding family engagement and leadership development in all areas of AMCHP's policy, programmatic and member engagement work. The work involves serving as a consultant and advisor across the organization, partnership with fellow staff, participation in associated professional organizations and groups and collaboration with member programs and funding agencies.

Michelle Koplitz

Project Officer for the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) program within the Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, at the MCHB of HRSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this position Michelle oversees UNHS state grant programs and is the lead on the UNHS’s new Family Leadership in Language and Learning program that was developed to support families within national and state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) systems.

Sara Wainscott

Sara is the Texas EHDI Follow Through Guide Project Coordinator through their contract with Texas Hands & Voices. Sarah also is a faculty member at Texas Woman's University in Communication Sciences & Disorders focused on early intervention and deafness. Most importantly, Sarah is the mother of a two children who are deaf: John who is 19 and Maggie who is twelve.

Tigisty Zerislassie

Project Officer at US Government, Department of Health & Human Services, HRSA. LCDR ( Lieutenant Commander) Tigisty Zerislassie is an active duty officer with the US Public Health Service and a project officer in the MCHB. Prior to HRSA, Tigisty worked at a school based mental health clinic and the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Service Agency. Tigisty has been with HRSA for 7 years and joined MCHB several months ago where she works on the Family to Family HIC and Family Professional Partnership grants.