6/13/2012 Brigadier General Heidi Brown Gives $250,000 Gift to Establish the William G. and Virginia Maxwell Brown Center for Pediatric Audiology Development and Learning
Former Ft. Bliss Commander Heidi Brown made a $250,000 gift to the University Medical Center Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Fund to name the Pediatric Center for Pediatric Audiology Development and Learning in honor of her parents William G. and Virginia Maxwell Brown.
The William G. and Virginia Maxwell Brown Center for Pediatric Audiology Development and Learning will focus on follow-up care for children with hearing loss, and will provide a developmental home for the indigent children in our care for whom timely follow-up care may make the difference in success in life. It will also help enhance training and preparation of pediatric residents to increase their awareness of childhood hearing loss and its related disorders so it is incorporated into their professional practice.
Of every 1,000 infants in Texas, an estimated three are born with significant hearing loss and many more are born with milder hearing loss, 97% of those are born into hearing families. By age 18, approximately 17 in 1,000 children have a hearing problem that would likely benefit from early identification and intervention. Reports show that the rate of hearing loss in El Paso is double the state and national average.
Mandated newborn hearing screenings identify children with hearing loss, but, in El Paso, it is estimated that as many as 75% of those identified are not receiving developmental follow-up intervention. This results in a loss of critical months crucial to the normal cognitive skill development of speech and language – months that are gone forever. Any degree of hearing loss can be educationally handicapping for children often resulting in difficulties later in life, including problems with listening and speaking skills, literacy skills, academic performance, and long-term job opportunities.
The William G. and Virginia Maxwell Brown Center for Pediatric Audiology Development and Learning will be located near Pediatric Rehab in the basement of the new El Paso Children’s Hospital.
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