Interview with Program Administrators, Aly Lerman and Danyi Ma
6/26/2020 3:01:42 PM
Aly and Danyi were interviewed online by Kaitlyn Mielke.
According to the 2015 EHDI Annual Report, approximately 250 children were born with hearing loss in the state of Minnesota.The loaner program was established to help ensure that infants and young children (0-18 years) with newly identified hearing loss receive intervention in a timely manner. We provide temporary amplification to give families time to adjust, assess and arrange for permanent hearing devices and/or await medical intervention.
It is our goal to facilitate the treatment process and act as a resource for children diagnosed with hearing loss. We hope to give everyone equal access to communication through hearing devices as their family takes the time necessary to make difficult decisions regarding their child's hearing loss.
The program provides hearing devices for children that are loaned for a six month period. Extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Our partnership with Unitron provides children earmolds free of charge. The hearing devices are cleaned and serviced by the program administrators, and shipped directly to the audiologist’s office for fitting.
Anyone aged 0-18 that is diagnosed with hearing loss and needs temporary amplification. There is no financial criteria that needs to be met to qualify for this program.
Our inventory includes traditional hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids, FM systems and other assistive hearing technologies from reputable manufacturers. We also have an inventory of tamper-proof battery doors, care kits, cases, batteries and other accessories that can be provided upon request.
During the loaner period, the child’s family and audiologist will be working to secure funding and/or decide on an intervention approach. Following their loaner period, children have gone on to purchase hearing aids, have a cochlear implant or bone-anchored hearing device surgery, or have decided to use American Sign Language, or a combination of options as their preferred communication approach.
The program is funded by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We receive an annual grant that is used to keep the program running, as well as to cover costs for necessary purchases. In addition to purchasing devices to keep our inventory up-to-date with current technologies and demand, we also reach out to hearing aid manufacturers who generously donate new devices. Donations from audiologists and the general public have been received as well.
Recipients should inquire about our program through their audiologist, who we directly work with to provide our services. Audiologists across the state are informed of and have access to the online hearing aid loaner bank system where orders can be placed.
The current program administrators are Aly Lerman and Danyi Ma, both students in the Doctor of Audiology program at the University of Minnesota. Aly is a fourth year graduate student embarking on her externship at the Kansas City VA. Danyi is a third year graduate student who is interested in working with the adult population.
Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
In 2007, MNCDHH and advocates successfully advocated for funding from the legislature for the Hearing Aid Loaner Bank. The Minnesota Department of Health has signed a contract of $70,000/year with the University of Minnesota to run the Hearing Instrument Loaner Bank. Loans of hearing aids provided to families with babies with hearing loss immediately upon request. Every family who has requested help has received it.