EHDI Conducts Virtual Training On ChildLink Data System
On January 23, Joseph Mendiola, Interoperability Data Manager, Guam CEDDERS (Left) with Carlo Docago, DMR (Right) perform operations for EDHI’s server.
First and foremost, Guam Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
(EDHI) would like to thank our partners during this COVID19 Pandemic for their service to Guam’s community! Like in most places throughout the world, COVID19 has caused a halt to most services on Guam since March 16, 2020. As a direct result of the government shutdown, the Guam Early Intervention System (GEIS) and the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) audiology unit postponed scheduled outpatient hearing screening appointments for the safety of families and staff during this challenging period.
Although this shutdown has setback the ability for infants to receive timely follow-up hearing screening services to infants delivered at the local government hospital who refer at the initial hearing screening, there is still a silver lining for infants born on Guam! Amid all the COVID19 challenges that the medical community has encountered, Guam EHDI’s birthing site partners continue to provide initial newborn hearing screening before discharge from Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA) and Sagua Mañagu Birthing Center (SMBC). GMHA staff continued to monitor and track the number of babies needing an outpatient hearing screening appointment and gathered the families’ contact information to assist the Guam EHDI partners once outpatient hearing screening services can be resumed. The SMBC did not miss a step as staff continued providing follow-up outpatient hearing screening appointments at their facility. Kudos to the hardworking team at GMHA and SMBC for advancing the mission of screening babies before discharge in line with the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing Screening (JCIH) guidelines!
Our Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) family partner, Guam’s Positive Parents Together, Inc. (GPPT), was also affected by the pandemic. GPPT canceled an inaugural Deaf and Hard of Hearing Family and Mentor Pool Party scheduled by GPPT for its DHH families to meet and interact with DHH adults. The long-awaited and highly anticipated event to bring families of children who are DHH together with the adult DHH community would have provided families the opportunity to interact and foster relationships with DHH adults and provide DHH children role models for them. Guam EHDI continues to work with GPPT to ensure families receive opportunities to engage with the DHH adult community.
On May 7, Guam EHDI provided training on the Guam ChildLink Data System at the request of Guam’s Preschool Development Birth to Five Leadership Workgroup. The presentation allowed participants to learn how Guam ChildLink has evolved to be a data collection, surveillance, and reporting system for five early childhood projects on Guam. During the presentation, the Guam EHDI Interoperability Data Manager, Joseph Mendiola, summarized the Guam EHDI network, reviewed the Guam ChildLink database development and maintenance, and discussed opportunities for data sharing. In attendance were representatives from Guam CEDDERS, the Guam Early Learning Council, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Maternal and Child Health Bureau, DPHSS Family Health Information Resource Center, DPHSS Bureau of Social Services Administration, and GDOE GEIS.