Press Releases

3 Methodist Hospitals Become Nebraska Newborn Hearing Hospital Champions

Published: Dec. 6, 2021

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is one of the most common birth defects in the United States. However, the earlier children are identified as deaf or hard of hearing, the sooner they can begin receiving services that allow them to overcome those challenges.

Methodist Fremont Health, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital have recently joined the growing list of 17 Nebraska Newborn Hearing Hospital Champions. Methodist Fremont Health has been a champion since April, with Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Jennie Edmundson becoming champions in October.

The initiative, led by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (NE-EHDI), aims to educate parents about the importance of early hearing detection and intervention to protect babies from missing out on the most critical period in early childhood for speech and language development.

“Certifications like this demonstrate our dedication and commitment to our patients to practice evidence-based care,” said Jessie Fechner, director of nursing at Methodist Women’s Hospital. “This means Methodist is keeping our practices up to date, ensuring that we are doing what’s best for our newborns.”

To become hearing hospital champions, the teams at Jennie Edmundson, Methodist Fremont Health and Methodist Women’s Hospital completed five steps:

  • Take the Newborn Hearing Hospital Champion Pledge.
  • Develop or update their current Newborn Hearing Screening Policy.
  • Have in place a hospital personnel education plan.
  • Provide patient/client education.
  • Complete internal audits annually.

 The Nebraska Newborn Hearing Hospital Champion initiative could have a significant impact by:

  • Identifying more babies as deaf or hard of hearing by 3 months of age
  • Having fewer babies left without early access to language
  • Keeping more deaf and hard of hearing children on track with their hearing peers
  • Providing better educational and vocational outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children as they grow into adults
  • Leading to millions of dollars in potential tax savings annually for the Nebraska special education system. 

Learn more about the Nebraska Newborn Hearing Hospital Champion program.