A key factor in the development of children is the ability to hear the world around them. The Child Development Center (CDC) recognized this and previously hosted a clinic once a month for three days for children from all over the state to take part in. They then offered early hearing detection and follow-up care in partnership with the Wyoming EHDI program.
While this was a tremendous addition to CDC services, they wanted to do more. Three days a month just wasn’t enough, according to the Executive Director of CDC, Alisha Rone.
“We have a great partnership with the EDHI Program,” Rone stated. “It used to be, EDHI (short for Early Hearing Detection & Intervention) would come to Casper and host a clinic 3 days a month for children from all over the state for early hearing detection or, if there was hearing loss in a newborn, they would come here and do follow-up testing.”
It was an important part of CDC services but, as the clientele grew, so too did its need for services.
“We thought that 3 days a month just wasn’t sufficient for all the kids in the state,” Rone continued. “To prevent them from having to go out of state, we decided to expand on our clinic and our partnership with EHDI to bring in an audiologist that focuses on pediatrics.”
Audiologist, Dr. Kallie Ellis, Au.D., joined the CDC team to offer full-time pediatric audiology services to local children, as well as those in surrounding communities.
Ellis comes to the Child Development Center with a wealth of knowledge in pediatric care and she will be a vital part of the CDC family moving forward.
“She’ll be here all the time and can see children every week,” Rone said.
Ellis, in addition to her duties as an audiologist, will travel across the state supporting the other Child Development Center locations. She will also provide support and training for the labor and delivery nurses at Wyoming hospitals on the newborn hearing screening equipment. Ellis is also central to the development and implementation of the Late Onset Hearing Loss (LOHL) program which is a program that targets the identification of hearing loss in children ages birth through twenty-one.
Additionally, Rone says that the CDC will be partnering with other local organizations to provide even more audiology services.
“We’re also partnering with Hands & Voices and other programs across the state,” she stated. “We want to provide more support to families who have a child with hearing loss. We’ll be able to fit hearing aids right here at CDC and provide hearing aid maintenance utilizing WYCHAP funds, so families don’t have to travel.”
The addition of Ellis, as well as the partnerships with other local agencies is designed to make the process of hearing screenings as easy as possible for parents and their children. CDC hears the needs of the community and is eager to provide resources for those needs. The addition of Dr. Ellis is just one of the innovations that the Child Development Center of Natrona County will be utilizing in the future.
For more information, visit cdccasper.org or call 307-235-5097.