A new project will promote early intervention services for children with hearing loss.

UniHealth Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to a USC-Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles unit that provides audiology and speech language pathology services to children with hearing loss from birth to adulthood. The Center for Childhood Communication, known as C3, is part of the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

Childhood deafness impacts linguistic skills and social, emotional and intellectual development. Because children experience a sequence of developmental milestones in the first few years of life, early intervention in the form of hearing technologies and rehabilitation can have an enormous impact on a child’s long-term development.

“Treating children with hearing loss early is critical to their development,” said Mary Odell, president of UniHealth Foundation. “We want to bridge the gap between the diagnosis of early onset hearing loss and a full continuum of intervention services.”

The project seeks to provide intervention services as close to the time of diagnosis as possible. Doing so will provide these children a better change to experience an optimal outcome in all areas of their development — particularly their ability to listen, talk, and acquire language and literacy skills.

Unihealth is an independent private health care foundation that is committed to philanthropy and support of innovative activities that positively impact health.

— Sara Reeve