NCHAM and National CMV Foundation Partnership
Introduce yourself and role within NCHAM
Hi, my name is Alyson Ward, I’m a senior researcher and the Director of Quality Improvement at the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM). NCHAM is housed at Utah State University, which located in beautiful Logan, Utah.
What is the role and purpose of NCHAM?
The mission of NCHAM is to ensure that all infants and young children with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and have access to timely and appropriate audiological, educational, medical intervention, and family support services. NCHAM receives funding from multiple sources to conduct research, training, and technical assistance activities to support and improve newborn and early childhood hearing screening, diagnosis, and early intervention. NCHAM also serves as the National Technical Resource Center for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs across the US and it’s jurisdictions. Most EHDI programs are housed in their state/jurisdictional health departments and oversee newborn hearing screening and follow up. Some EHDI programs are involved in early childhood hearing screening as well.
How has NCHAM worked collaboratively with the National CMV Foundation in the past?
NCHAM staff were involved in the Utah hearing targeted CMV legislation and eventually became members of the Utah CMV Council. Once the council merged into NCMVF, I was asked to apply to serve on the board of the foundation. I served on the board for three years. I then moved to working with the foundation through work groups and advisory groups. I appreciate the collaborative relationship between NCHAM and the NCMVF, we are stronger together.
How does NCHAM work with (support, etc.) CMV families and the CMV community in general?
NCHAM seeks to support efforts to increase awareness and prevention of congenital CMV through its involvement with the NCMVF as well as Expecting Health’s CMV Connect Workgroup. We also encourage and provide support and resources to state and jurisdictional EHDI programs around CMV. We disseminate CMV-related information through our website, social media, our new podcast, and through our EHDI and CMV conferences.
What is the focus of this year's CMV Public Health and Policy Conference? Who should attend this conference?
The CMV Public Health and Policy Conference (CMV-PHP) has grown over the last decade. We anticipate this being the biggest CMV-PHP ever and are excited to bring our national and international partners together. This conference is unique as it brings together researchers, clinicians, ancillary providers, and parents in one space. The respect and support between all the attendees is awe inspiring.
What is significant about this year's conference?
The biggest highlight of this year’s conference is that it is the 10th
anniversary of the Utah’s CMV legislation, which was the first hearing-targeted legislation in the world. Utah really led the way in CMV screening, and we get to celebrate the influence that this seminal legislation has had on both the US and the world.
How does NCHAM celebrate and recognize CMV Awareness Month?
NCHAM has been celebrating CMV Awareness Month through posts on our various social media channels. We’ve also updated CMV information on our website
. Our biggest focus is getting people to the CMV-PHP conference that will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah October 8-10. Register