Semin Hear 2000; 21(4): 295-308
DOI: 10.1055/s-2000-13461
Copyright © 2000 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662


Betty R. Vohr1,4 , Peter Simon2 , Kristen Letourneau3
  • Brown University School of Medicine
  • 1Rhode Island Hearing Assessment
  • 2Rhode Island Department of Health, Program, Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 3Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Program, Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 4Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 December 2000 (online)


Universal newborn hearing screening is a preventive public health program in its developmental stages in the United States. Currently 28 states have legislation mandating universal hearing screening. The purpose of a newborn hearing screening program is early identification of a condition for which early intervention or treatment can lead to a reduction of morbidity or disabilities associated with the condition. Legislation that became effective in July 1993 mandated universal newborn hearing screening in Rhode Island. This article reviews the impact of child health policy and legislation in the state of Rhode Island on the development of an integrated system of hearing screening, identification, and intervention. It will also discuss the importance of linkages with key community and government players to facilitate a smooth seamless statewide system of services relative to the goals of universal newborn hearing screening.