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EHDI-PALS Project Coming Soon: Interview with Alison M. Grimes, AuD

EHDI-PALS Project Coming Soon: Interview with Alison M. Grimes, AuD

August 30, 2012 Interviews

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, spoke with Dr. Grimes about the Early Hearing Detection and Pediatric Audiology Links to Services (EDHI-PALS) project, a new online resource for parents and professionals.

Academy: Hi, Alison. Always a pleasure to chat with you!

Grimes: Hi, Doug. Good to speak with you, too.

Academy: Alison, I'd like to focus today's interview on the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention and Pediatric Audiology Links to Services (EHDI-PALS) project.

Grimes: Sure, that would be great.

Academy: First of all, I should note that the entire project is an absolutely massive collaboration.

Grimes: Indeed. This project was originally launched by the CDC and has involved talented and dedicated people from ASHA, AAA, Hands and Voices, DSHPSHWA, JCIH, NCHAM and so many talented audiologists—the list is just too long to detail here. I also want to thank the CDC Information Technology (IT) people who have done an extraordinary job pulling all of this together to make it user-friendly. It's in the process of being test driven by a small group of parents.

Academy: Okay, so this project seems to take the EHDI core concepts and offer resources to parents and professionals?

Grimes: Right. When an infant is diagnosed as having a permanent hearing loss, parents may spend a lot of time and anguish searching the Internet, speaking to friends, families, and providers, and finding the right office to provide whatever additional audiological services and/or diagnostics, hearing aid fittings, ENT services, counseling, cochlear implant evaluations and more, might be required. EHDI-PALS provides an efficient and easy-to-use road map to help families find the right professional center for them and for their child's immediate and long-term needs.

Academy: And is EHDI-PALS geographically comprehensive? That is, will it cover the entire United States, as well as states, counties, and cities?

Grimes: Yes, that's the goal. EHDI-PALS guides parents in making choices based on their child's needs, geography, and other issues—such as insurance. I should mention that EHDI-PALS only contains information on physical brick-and-mortar centers. That is, individual audiologists are not listed, but the centers in which they work are listed. The EHDI-PALS Web site helps parents easily navigate through locations, choices, and alternatives.

Academy: And CDC is funding all of this?

Grimes: Yes. CDC initiated the project and CDC been the coordinator and "driver" of the process. Brandt Culpepper is the chair of the Task Force—and the entire group of audiologists and professionals including CDC personnel have worked together to make this happen.

Academy: That's fantastic. Sounds like an amazing resource.

Grimes: Yes, it will be a wonderful resource for parents and families. It's been two years in the development process and we're almost ready to launch.

Academy: This is pretty exciting, Alison! When will the Web site launch, what's the address, and for providers and offices that want to be part of the EHDI-PALS, who do they write to?

Grimes: The site will launch in November. Prior to the formal launch, audiologists will have an opportunity to register their sites and clinics.

Academy: Thanks, Alison. It's a joy to speak with you and I'll look forward to visiting the EHDI-PALS Web site!

Grimes: Thanks, Doug, I appreciate your interest in EHDI-PALS!

NOTE: The EHDI-PALS Web site will not launch until late October/early November. We will alert you to the participation opening as soon as we receive word from the CDC.

Alison Grimes, AuD, is the past president of the American Academy of Audiology, Board Certified Pediatric Audiologist, Head of the Audiology Clinic at Ronald Reagan University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, Board Certified in Audiology, is the Web content editor for the American Academy of Audiology.

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