2016 Newborn Screening & Genetic Testing Symposium Now has Call for Abstracts Open

The 2016 Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium (NBSGTS) will be held in St. Louis, MO from February 29 – March 3, 2016.
You are invited to submit abstracts for oral presentations, posters or roundtables. All submissions must be completed online. Full details on this process are contained in the Call for Abstracts. Please read and follow these directions carefully. Only abstracts submitted online will be considered. The deadline for abstract submission is September 11, 2015.

Link: http://www.aphl.org/conferences/Pages/2016-NBSGTS.aspx

The woman behind deaf and blind school’s English as a Second Language Program

When Betsy Sotillo-Gaura was a child, communicating with her cousin Denise Gonzalez was a challenge.

Sotillo-Gaura spoke fluent Spanish with her Cuban immigrant parents and brother at home and fluent English with her classmates and teachers at school. However, she didn’t have a way to communicate with her cousin. Three years older, Sotillo-Gaura was determined to solve the problem.

Sotillo-Gaura’s aunt contracted German measles (also known as rubella) when she was pregnant with Gonzalez, during the epidemic in the U.S. during the 1960s. Her cousin was diagnosed as deaf at birth due to rubella.

Read more at the link below.

Link: http://staugustine.com/living/community/2015-06-13/woman-behind-deaf-and-blind-schools-english-second-language-program#.VYHLCmDT6BU

Implants, signing let deaf kids be bilingual

Parents of deaf children face a critical responsibility to learn and use sign language, according to a majority of hearing experts quoted in the journal Pediatrics, although the question of whether or not to sign has grown increasingly controversial. 

Ten thousand infants are born yearly in the U.S. with sensorineural deafness, and data suggest that half receive cochlear implants, small devices that help provide a sense of sound to profoundly deaf individuals.

While some specialists advise that all deaf children, with or without cochlear implants, learn sign language, others fear that learning sign language will interfere with the demanding rehabilitation needed to maximize the cochlear device. Still others worry that asking parents to learn a new language quickly is too burdensome.

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/15/us-deafness-signing-kids-idUSKBN0OV2LD20150615

Hearing In Stereo: How The Brain Balances Left & Right

University of New South Wales (UNSW) researchers have answered the longstanding question of how the brain balances hearing between our ears, which is essential for localizing sound, hearing in noisy conditions and for protection from noise damage. The landmark animal study, published in Nature Communications, provides new insight into hearing loss and could possibly improve cochlear implants and hearing aids. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at the link below.

New Telehealth Bills Introduced To Congress

Last week, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced S. 1549, a telehealth bill that would require Medicare coverage for round-the-clock emergency support for telemedicine and telephone visits when a beneficiary’s medical record and care plan are available. The bipartisan bill is a part of the Care Planning Act of 2015 which would help patients manage their chronic care planning and improve care coordination.  To read the bill please visit: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1549/text
In the House, Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-52) introduced H.R. 2725, a telehealth bill to modify current legislation in order to expand the use of telemedicine in the TRICARE veterans’ program. To read bill HR 2725 please visit:  https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2725/text