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Science Ambassador Lecturer Biography

    Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

    Each year in the United States, more than 12,000 babies are born with a hearing loss, making it the most frequently occurring condition for this group. This presentation provides an overview of the CDC Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. CDC EHDI supports states and territories in their efforts to develop a complete EHDI tracking and surveillance system, that identifies children who do not pass their hearing screening and ensures that they receive follow-up hearing evaluation and intervention services. In addition, the presentation discussed state EHDI legislation, educational materials, and cultural sensitivity. A real life example of a study that investigated the risk of bacterial meningitis in children with cochlear implants was shared, including the study methods, findings and recommendations.

    Marcia Victor, MPH

    Marcia Victor, MPH, is a health education specialist at CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). Ms. Victor helps to provide technical assistance to state and local health departments in planning and implementing materials and activities for EDHI programs. She brings to CDC over 9 years experience in health education. Ms. Victor earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology at the University of Central Florida and a Master of Public Health from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. Before joining the CDC's EHDI team, Ms. Victor worked as a health research scientist with the Prevention Research Team in the Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (DBDDD). Prior to that, she served as a postgraduate fellow in the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.

    Krista R. Biernath

    Dr. Krista Biernath is a Medical Officer with the CDC-EHDI team. Dr. Biernath’s work includes the tracking of bacterial meningitis in children with cochlear implants. She is a co-author on the paper “Risk of Bacterial Meningitis in Children with Cochlear Implants” which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, July 2003. She is also responsible for the cochlear implant/ bacterial meningitis tracking and surveillance system within CDC EHDI. Dr. Biernath joined the CDC EHDI team in 2002. She oversees several research projects, and provides technical assistance to state EHDI tracking and surveillance system. Dr. Biernath is a board certified pediatrician specializing in developmental pediatrics. She received an MD in 1993 from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at The Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Akron Ohio. Subsequently, she completed a three-year developmental pediatric fellowship at Emory University where she co-founded the International Adoption Evaluation Center in Atlanta. Dr. Biernath served as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer prior to joining the CDC-EHDI team.

    Marcus Gaffney

    Marcus Gaffney has been a member of the CDC EHDI Team since 2000, as an ORISE Fellow. He received his Masters of Public Health from Mercer University in 2004. Mr. Gaffney’s work includes the analysis of newborn hearing screening data, providing technical assistance to states, and the development and management of special projects. A few of his recent activities include an analysis of the effects of state newborn hearing screening legislation and the coordination of efforts to examine the effects of mild and unilateral hearing loss among children.


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Page Last Modified: January 25, 2006

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