The University of North Carolina announced that its UNC Pediatric Audiology program has been selected to receive the Richard Seewald Award, an international award conferred annually by the Hear the World Foundation to recognize an exemplary program specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in children. UNC reports that world renowned audiologist, Richard Seewald, PhD, will be presenting the award that was named for him on behalf of the Hear the World Foundation. The September 17, 2015 awards ceremony and reception at UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will be the culmination of a day of clinical observation and scholarship.

Richard Seewald, PhD

Richard Seewald, PhD

Dr Seewald, a professor emeritus in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Western Ontario, will be joined by three young patients, who were among the first to benefit from UNC Pediatric Audiology’s implementation of newborn hearing screening. Each of the patients received hearing aid fitting within weeks of birth. Now teenagers, all three children are on par with their peers academically and excelling in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the high school band, soccer, and ballet. Their successes illustrate the critical importance of early identification followed by early intervention for children born with permanent hearing loss.

In 1999, North Carolina joined many states by passing legislation requiring newborn hearing screening of all newborn infants, a mandate that came with the challenge of providing diagnosis and treatment for babies born with permanent hearing loss. The following year, UNC Pediatric Audiology initiated a comprehensive program to serve infants and children with hearing loss. Fifteen years later, the program follows over 1,500 children with permanent hearing loss, averaging approximately 13,000 patient visits and performing more than 350 infant diagnostic hearing assessments with auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing each year.

Source: UNC Pediatric Audiology, University of North Carolina; Hear the World Foundation

Photo credit: Plural Publishing