Therese C. Walden, AuD, a practicing audiologist in Maryland, attended a PAC luncheon to support Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in downtown Washington, DC on September 28th. The American Academy of Academy PAC is supporting Senator Murray based on her lifelong dedication to healthcare and family issues. It is also important that we get her support for the reauthorization of the EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) legislation (S.2424) that will ensure that the necessary funding is made available at the federal and state level to help identify and care for the hearing needs of infants and children.
Speaking with Senator Murray and her staff allowed us to provide them with information on the important work that gets done with the funding given by this necessary legislation. They learned that early detection of hearing loss is working; however, the follow-up and management of those infants and children who have hearing loss needs improvement. Although we have come a long way with prior funding, we are still far from 100 percent concerning confirming the diagnosis of hearing loss and supplying the appropriate treatment and early intervention for the infants and children diagnosed with hearing loss. Reauthorizing the legislation now will allow for the continuation of the work that began back in 2000 and will help the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to more fully fund the state programs collect the necessary data and outcomes and support ongoing research that provide us with a considerable insight as to the effectiveness of early intervention and development of best practices.
Take a moment now and contact your legislators through our Legislative Action Center to request their support of the EDHI bill. Those few minutes you spend sending your senators an email will go a long way towards helping the infants and children with hearing loss (and their families) to get the care they need promptly. Investment in early detection and early intervention and ongoing management now will pay off well for those individuals and society as a whole in the future.
Are you interested in attending PAC events to promote key issues and legislation for audiology? Please, contact Kitty Werner, VP of Public Affairs for more information.