NYU Langone Health Launches New Hearing Loss and Screening Program for Low-Income Immigrant Families

NEW YORK, April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In the United States, five out of every 1,000 children suffer from hearing loss. After accounting for immigrant children from Mexico and China, that figure increases by at least 7.5 percent.  Hearing loss affects a child’s quality of life and can delay the ability to learn a language, learn in school, and socialize with peers. According to researchers, mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50 percent of content covered in a classroom setting. Access to screening for hearing loss and timely referrals to treatment can reduce hearing loss and lead to improved quality of life.

To meet this important need, NYU Langone Health, in a collaboration between its Institute for Excellence in Health Equity (IEHE) and its Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, has launched the Hearing Loss Awareness and Screening Program for Low-Income Immigrant Families. The Program, supported by a generous multi-year gift from the Silverstein Family, will bring screenings to community-based settings — such as community centers and faith-based organizations — to access this kind of care.

The Program will serve families in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Mineola, Long Island; and other immigrant communities in NYC. For the program’s first year, the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity will leverage the infrastructure of its Community Engagement Pillar by partnering with two community-based organizations and four faith-based organizations in Brooklyn.  

“We are eager to partner with our colleagues in Otolaryngology at NYU along with invested community leaders to bring awareness to this critical topic, as it is essential to get all children screened for hearing loss and connected to timely treatment when necessary,” said Ayana Jordan, MD, PhD, Institute for Excellence in Health Equity Pillar Lead and associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Population Health at NYU Langone.

Community volunteers are trained by NYULH physicians on hearing loss screening techniques and how to refer children for follow-up care at NYU Langone, when necessary.

“The goal is to understand the incidence of unrecognized hearing loss and the causes in this vulnerable age group, and to establish ongoing best in class programs and care to treat the hearing loss. Every child should be able to maximize their potentials,” said J. Thomas Roland Jr., MD, the Mendik Foundation Professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at NYU Langone, who led a recent training for the program’s volunteers.

“This program will address community level barriers that most immigrant and low-income families face in accessing healthcare by leveraging the influence of trusted community partners to spread awareness of screening their children for unrecognized hearing loss,” said Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, director of the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity and the Dr. Adolph and Margaret Berger Professor of Medicine and Population Health.   

For more information about the Hearing Loss Awareness and Screening Program for Low-Income, and Immigrant Children, contact Nadia Islam, PhD, associate director, Institute for Excellence in Health Equity, [email protected].

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SOURCE NYU Langone Health