Dr. Nancy Young, MD
Seeing a need and lack of services for pediatric hearing loss, the FHSR Board of Directors created a strategic partnership with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly known as Children’s Memorial Hospital) to provide funding for a series of one of a kind services and programs in 2000. The goal was to remove barriers by helping children with hearing loss communicate more effectively and ease their access to services.
Leading a group of 18 multidisciplinary professionals at Lurie Children’s, Nancy Young, MD, the Lillian S. Wells Professor in Pediatric Otolaryngology, is the Medical Director of the hospital’s Audiology and Cochlear Implant Programs and has grown the program into the world’s largest. Lurie Children’s continues to expand its status as a worldwide leader in evaluating and implanting children with multiple or complex medical issues, and providing essential services and key staff positions some of which were made possible by FHSR funding.
Working with their Audiology team and Dr. Nancy Young, MD, Section Head of Lurie Children’s Section of Otology and Neurotology and Medical Director of Audiology & Cochlear Implant Programs, FHSR began funding:
- Hearing Aid Technician Providing fittings, repairs and ear molds
- Bilingual Social Workers Supporting newly identified families of children with hearing loss
- Special Equipment Purchases such as an Auditory Brainstem Response machine allowing infants to be tested un-sedated in the clinic
A BRIDGE TO OUR COMMUNITY Supporting children with implants
With key funding from Louise Hart, founding Board Director for FHSR, the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator is one of 13 such specialists in the U.S.
The Education Coordinator plays a crucial role in educating professionals in the community so that children with cochlear implants get the appropriate support level they need.
HART FAMILY COCHLEAR IMPACT EDUCATION COORDINATOR
In 2008, FHSR and Lurie Children’s established the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator, to assist implanted children and their families before and after implantation. FHSR continues to the fund this key role that collaborates with schools to create education plans to support children on their path to academic success.
Jen Haney, MA, DT-H, has been a true patient champion, constantly in contact with families and schools to identify each child’s set of strengths and areas of need so patients have appropriate supports in place. Her position assists families in advocating for their children to ensure they receive appropriate services at school, classroom placements and helps school staff to support the unique learning needs of each implanted child.
In 2021, she assisted 192 students, conducted 47 meetings with school staff to help patients, and attended 14 conferences. In addition, she trains frontline school personnel; supports educational planning and the creation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs); works with families to educate and assist them in managing their child’s needs; and facilitates communication between the child’s school and the parents.
FHSR & LURIE CHILDREN'S
Lurie Children’s pediatric Audiology and Cochlear Implant team excels at meeting the unique challenges in the care of each child and is intensifying research to bring forth better treatments. To date, experts have completed more than 2,220 cochlear implantations. In the last year—a time like no other due to the pandemic— their attention to children’s needs remained unwavering and 115 implantations were performed. Protecting patients, families and staff from viral spread required new care protocols and safety measures for everyone in the hospital. Despite these added precautions that required extra time to prepare for each patient visit and procedure, Lurie Children’s Section of Otology/Neurotology maintained the service necessary for every child who needed expertise, diagnosing 194 children with permanent hearing loss and initiating treatments in the last fiscal year, dispensing over 200 loaner hearing aids to children allowing them to not miss a beat or a moment of their hearing life. Lurie Children’s also remains the largest provider in Illinois of auditory brainstem response (ABR) tests. In 2021, they conducted 334 sedated tests and 195 natural sleep tests, a marked increase in tests over the prior year. This test provides an objective, reliable means of diagnosing hearing loss in infants and young children, as well as older children with developmental challenges, for whom testing with behavioral methods is not accurate.
The hospital has expanded audiology services at all the satellite centers including Westchester, Northbrook and Skokie. In the last year, these locations proved very important for patient families who were hesitant to come downtown but still needed care for their child.
To learn more about what is happening in the clinic today, view the FHSR IMPACT REPORT
The Lurie Children’s Audiology Department and Cochlear Implant team is committed to meeting the unique challenges in the care of each child and is intensifying research to bring forth better treatments. They remain among the top pediatric programs in the country that provide treatment and advocacy for children from birth until they transition to adult care.
To respond to patient needs with the latest and best care, FHSR is working with Lurie Children’s to launch a program to provide Music Therapy to children with hearing loss.
Lurie Children’s Music Therapists (MT) will work directly with their Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) to provide listening and spoken language therapy.
The co-treatment model is an opportunity for Lurie Children’s Speech Language Pathologists, who specialize in aural habilitation, to discover and adopt the most effective Music Therapy techniques to achieve children’s therapy goals. These techniques will be integrated into therapy sessions, parent education, carryover strategies, and activities in the home environment.
Our vision is for the Speech Language Pathologists to gain valuable knowledge and integrate components of Music Therapy into listening and language therapy goals for all children with hearing loss.
BE A PART OF IT ALL.
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