Monday, October 19, 2015

Colorado Newborn Hearing Program thanks outgoing and incoming champions

The Colorado Newborn Hearing Program wants to thank our outgoing AAP Chapter Champion, Dr. Albert Mehl for over 20 years of service and welcome our new AAP Chapter Champion, Dr Maureen Cunningham.

Dr Mehl provides medical care for children of all ages at Kaiser Permenente. Following completion of his undergraduate degree at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, he attended medical school at the University of Colorado. He​ ​completed two years of pediatric residency at the University of Arizona, and one year at the University of Hawaii. He has been practicing in the field of general pediatrics since 1985 and has a special interest in the area of early childhood hearing loss, and through the American Academy of Pediatrics served on a national newborn hearing screening task force. Dr. Mehl helped start the first newborn hearing screening program in Colorado in 1992. Dr. Mehl and several colleagues published a landmark article which proved that infants who are born in hospitals that screen were identified by three months and began early intervention by six months thus resulting in normal speech and language at three years of age. Hospitals who chose not to screen were often not identified until two years of age. This research prompted legislation requiring all hospitals to screen for hearing loss before hospital discharge. in 1997 he became the official chair of the Colorado Infant Hearing Advisory Committee.

Dr. Cunningham is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She splits her time between the Section of Hospital medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Cunningham completed medical school at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2007 and a pediatric residency at the University of Colorado / Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2010. In 2014, she completed a research fellowship at the University of Colorado and earned her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. During her fellowship, Dr. Cunningham completed a research project examining factors associated with loss to follow-up for Newborn Hearing Screening in Colorado. She presented her results at the EHDI national meeting in March 2015 and Pediatric Academic Societies’ meeting in May 2015. Dr. Cunningham is actively involved in child development research in Colorado and in Guatemala. Dr. Cunningham’s father has profound hearing loss and her mother is Deaf. As a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA) and a pediatrician she is passionate about supporting improving outcomes for children with hearing loss and supporting families.

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