Flaget Memorial Hospital Receives Crusade for Children Grant for Newborn Hearing Test Equipment
Flaget Memorial Hospital has been awarded a grant for $8,000 from the WHAS Crusade for Children. The money has been used to purchase equipment that tests the hearing of newborns. The Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation has supplemented the grant with $2,000, since the total cost for the equipment was $10,000.
Former Director of Development for the Flaget Foundation Diane Boyer, who is now director of major gifts for the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, submitted the grant application that won the Crusade funding for the hospital.
“It takes just a few seconds to screen an infant for hearing problems,” Boyer said. “It’s vital to get them screened, because they may not have another test like this until they go to school, and they may need follow-up much earlier than that. We are so appreciative to the Crusade for making this donation.”
Kentucky is a state that requires that newborns get hearing screening before they leave the hospital, said Flaget Birth Center Director Delisa Arnold, B.S.N.
“The equipment that we had before this was older, and it was getting hard to get replacement parts for it,” Arnold said. “The new Biologic Audx Pro has electric probes covered with foam tips that are placed in a baby’s ears for a few seconds. The machine records information that is downloaded into a computer. A Pass/Refer result is provided. If “Refer” shows up, the parents are instructed to take the child to a pediatrician who will refer the child for further testing.”
The machine is portable and painless and easy to use, Arnold said.
The Rev. Tom Mobley, Ph.D., a member of the Crusade board who serves as a part-time chaplain at Flaget, did not sit in on the Crusade board meeting that reviewed Flaget’s request in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Even so, “I’m so excited that Nelson County is getting more benefits directly from the Crusade,” he said. “For years the Crusade has granted quite a bit of money to the Bardstown and Nelson County school systems for special education programs, but this is only the second time the hospital has received an award.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hearing loss is one of the most frequently occurring birth defects; approximately three infants per 1,000 are born with moderate, profound or severe hearing loss. If hearing loss is not detected and treated early, it can impede speech, language, and cognitive development. Over time, such a delay can lead to significant learning difficulties.
Hearing screening is part of providing the highest quality of care, Flaget President Sue Downs, M.S.N., said.
“We want the best for our patients,” Downs said. “That’s especially true for the smallest ones.”
The Crusade, which was established by Louisville’s WHAS TV, has been raising money since 1954 to better the lives of children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. In Nelson County, paid and volunteer firefighters raise thousands for the Crusade every year. They serve in the City of Bardstown, Bardstown-Nelson County, Northeast Nelson, New Hope, Boston and New Haven-Rolling Fork fire departments.