Mission Children’s Hospital to open pediatric program to help children with hearing loss

Press release

From Mission Health:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 3, 2013) – Mission Children’s Hospital is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to provide the Asheville area with expert-level care of children with hearing loss.

In June 2013 Mission Children’s Hospital will open a Pediatric Audiology Program to serve an unmet need in the region as the only comprehensive pediatric audiology program serving children from all counties of western North Carolina.

“The need for this program was identified by a group of concerned parents and healthcare providers from across western North Carolina. They see families having to travel out of town to Winston Salem, Charlotte or Chapel Hill to receive care and asked Mission to develop this service locally. We exist to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Therefore, we are excited to be able to offer pediatric audiology at Mission Children’s Hospital,” Susan Mims, MD, MPH, Vice President and Medical Director, Mission Children’s Hospital, said. “There are hundreds of children in our region in need of audiological care and we want them to be able to receive that care close to home.”
The Pediatric Audiology Program will offer each child a comprehensive audiologic evaluation with state- of-the-art equipment and facilities. The program’s comprehensive audiology services include:
• Initial and follow-up hearing screenings for newborns
• Audiologic evaluations that include Visual Reinforcement Audiometry, Conditioned Play Audiometry, Speech Audiometry and Pure Tone Audiometry
• Otoacoustic emissions and diagnostic auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing, in natural sleep state or with sedation
• Tympanometry and acoustic reflexes
• Hearing aid evaluations and dispensing, follow-up and repairs
• Earmolds and swim plugs
• FM system dispensing, follow-up and repairs
• Information and support for parents and family members

As part of the collaboration with the UNC-Chapel Hill, Mission Children’s Hospital welcomes Melissa Aldana Hermann, PhD, as its Pediatric Audiologist. Dr. Hermann completed her doctoral externship at UNC Hospitals’ pediatric audiology program and comes to Mission Children’s Hospital with a multitude of experiences working with hearing loss in infants and young children.

“Children who receive early diagnosis and intervention have better communication outcomes than those whose treatment is delayed,” Dr. Hermann said. “I look forward to improving access to pediatric audiology services for children in western North Carolina.”

UNC-Chapel Hill has been instrumental in providing technical support in the development of Mission Children’s Pediatric Audiology Program. Mission Health will continue to collaborate with UNC-Chapel Hill through mentorship of annual fourth-year clinical doctorate interns.

Mission Health is affiliated with another UNC medical school, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Mission Children’s Hospital is now scheduling appointments for evaluation. If you have a concern about your child’s hearing, please contact your physician for a referral and then contact Mission

One-Call at 828-213-2222. Choose Option 2 to schedule an evaluation with Pediatric Audiology.

The Pediatric Audiology Program at Mission Children’s Hospital is located at Reuter Outpatient Center at 11 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Asheville.

About Mission Children’s Hospital
Mission Children’s Hospital, located in Asheville, N.C., is the only children’s hospital in western North Carolina.
Mission Children’s Hospital has an annual average of 1,600 patient admissions to their pediatric inpatient units, 4,000 outpatient pediatric surgeries, almost 14,000 pediatric visits to the Emergency Department, and around 40,000 visits to our pediatric specialists. Each year approximately 700 ill and premature newborns receive life-saving care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Mission Children’s Hospital currently has 130 beds in several specialized units, including a neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric intensive care unit, a pediatric and adolescent specialty unit, and child and adolescent psychiatric units.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. Mission Health was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems in 2012 and 2013 by Thomson Reuters and Truven Health Analytics, respectively. Mission Health is one of only two medium-sized health systems to receive this recognition in 2012 and 2013, and the only health system in North Carolina to achieve that distinction.
Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates five hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in more than 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties.

Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health. Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 730 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. Other Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 9,500 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission- health.org.


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