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Screenings at Local Head Start

A San Diego youngster has his hearing tested by an audiologist Saturday during a screening program.

A San Diego youngster has his hearing tested by an audiologist Saturday during a screening program.

In an effort to give back to the Annual Meeting host city, two otolaryngologists, three audiologists, and six audiology doctoral students participated in a hearing screening program for children at the San Diego Neighborhood House Association’s (NHA) Webster Head Start location on Saturday.

“The event was a special opportunity for parents to learn about the importance of early identification of hearing loss and for the physicians to be involved with community outreach in a relaxed and non-medical environment,” said Anthony Magit, MD, MPH, clinical professor of otolaryngology and director of the Human Research Protections Program at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. His colleague, Wen Jiang, MD, clinical associate professor of otolaryngology, also participated.

The audiologists from Rady Children’s Hospital provided initial hearing screenings on about 40 children. Drs. Magit and Jiang then performed exams on children with abnormal hearing screenings or tympanograms. They discussed their findings with the child’s parents, who were directed to follow-up with their children’s pediatrician or to have additional hearing tests.

The NHA serves more than 24,000 families through 14 programs and 8,000 children a day through Head Start, a federally funded child development program designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with comprehensive services.

“A lot of these children haven’t been to a doctor until they’ve come through our program. We provide health screenings, dental screenings, eye exams, etc., so today was a jumpstart on some of those benefits,” said NHA President and CEO Rudy Johnson.

“I want to thank the organization for their volunteerism, for their time, and for partnering with the Neighborhood House Association in San Diego. We know there are times when attendees and administrative staff want to get into the community and assist where they can. This was huge for our organization.”

The AAO-HNSF and NHA also provided activity booths for face painting and bubbles, free haircuts, and breakfast. Plus, one boy and one girl each received a bicycle through a raffle.

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