Semin Hear 2008; 29(1): 111-121
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021779
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Coordinating a Hearing Health Education Program: Challenges and Strategies

Linda C. Howarth1
  • 1Oregon Hearing Research Center, Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon
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Publication History

Publication Date:
11 February 2008 (online)


Organizations that present health education programs in kindergarten through twelfth grade classrooms must navigate a variety of administrative and logistic obstacles. A great deal of preparation, collaboration, and coordination is required to deliver such curricula to students in our nation's schools. Program evaluations and outcomes research add additional layers of complexity to this process. This article describes some of the challenges, failures, and successes experienced by the Dangerous Decibels hearing health program at Oregon Health & Science University. Elementary and middle schools were recruited to participate in studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the program's intervention strategies. Interventions included classroom presentations given by hearing scientists, school nurses, and high school students; an exhibit at a local science museum; and an interactive, Web-based version of the museum exhibit. Elements of program coordination are described and recommendations are made based on these experiences.