Two University of South Dakota researchers will apply $400,000 in federal funding over the next two years to support the work of South Dakota's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program.
The EHDI helps fund early childhood hearing loss detection.
Associate Chair of Research/Evidence-based Practice in Nursing Haifa Samra and Associate Professor of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Jessica Messersmith will conduct research that provides training, support and other resources for birthing centers, doctors, families and other people who interact with the EHDI program. Samra and Messersmith will also hold focus groups with program participants to assess where the program could use more support.
The researchers said children who have a hearing impairment detected before they are 6 months old do much better than those who have the condition addressed later in life.
“The goals of this work are long-standing," Messersmith said. "This is one component of a larger effort to improve the services available to the families of children with hearing loss in our state."
The funding was provided by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration with the assistance of the South Dakota Department of Health.