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U.P.'s only certified Infant Diagnostic Audiology Center

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HANCOCK — A new piece of equipment, and an expert staff have paved the way for Portage Health’s Audiology Department to become certified as an Infant Diagnostic Audiology Center by the Michigan Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program (EHDI).

Newborn Hearing TestingPortage Health is the only infant diagnostic center recognized by EHDI in the Upper Peninsula.

“Early diagnosis of hearing loss in infancy can make all the difference in the life of a hearing-impaired child,” said Melissa Collard, AuD, one of two Portage Health audiologists trained to perform full diagnostic tests on infants. “We’re proud of this distinction, and the fact that we can provide specialty care for the youngest of our patients right here in the Copper Country.”

Collard acquired expertise in the testing while spending time at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, where she managed the newborn hearing screening program and follow up for a hospital with more than 2,000 births per year.

Fellow audiologist Nancy Reed, M.A., has been testing infants for more than 25 years and recently completed intensive training focused on pediatric testing and habilitation.

With both audiologists exclusively trained in the process, Portage Health further invested in the program by purchasing a Vivosonic and Integrity V500 diagnostic instrument, which provides a much more detailed look at a newborn’s entire auditory pathway.

The equipment has the advantage of allowing for testing, even when the child is not asleep or sedated.

The state-of-the-art equipment is coupled with fantastic follow-up care.

“We can fit hearing aids on children as young as 4-weeks-old,” Collard said.

Families from all over the Upper Peninsula have made the trip to Portage Health, seeking out the expert care needed to avoid or address lifelong issues. For more information visit the newborn hearing screening page on our website.

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