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Boys Town National Research Hospital Study to be Honored at American Auditory Society Annual Meeting

Girl with cochlear implants smiling.

​​For decades, Boys Town National Research Hospital has been working to change the way America cares for kids. We know the progress we have made – we see it in the lives of our patients and the work of our colleagues every day. Now another organization is recognizing the work that is being done by our researchers.

The first weekend of March in Scottsdale, AZ., representatives from Boys Town Hospital attended the American Auditory Society ​(AAS) Annual Meeting, where they were honored for their work with children who are hard of hearing in a study conducted over a five year period.

In 2008, Boys Town Hospital researchers in audiology and child language development began working with researchers at The University of Iowa and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The team designed and facilitated a multi-site longitudinal study to examine the outcomes of children, ages 0-6, with hearing aids and the factors that affect these outcomes.

In 2015, the results for this study, Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL), was released, and the research began receiving international attention. The co-principal investigators are Mary Pat Moeller, Ph.D. of Boys Town Hospital and J. Bruce Tomblin, Ph.D., emeritus professor at the University of Iowa. A nine-article supplement volume in the professional journal Ear and Hearing was entirely devoted to OCHL and, the journal editors awarded this OCHL supplement volume a special recognition award to be presented to Moeller and Tomblin and the research team at the AAS meeting.

Additional Boys Town Hospital personnel who contributed to OCHL are Sophie Ambrose, Ph.D.; Ryan McCreery, Ph.D.; Merry Spratford and Lauren Unflat-Berry.

McCreery, Spratford and Pat Stelmachowicz, Ph.D., attended the AAS meeting and had the opportunity to be recognized on stage with Moeller when the award was announced. In addition, McCreery gave a podium presentation on sentence recognition in noise and reverberation for children with hearing aids. Both he and Spratford presented several poster sessions from Boys Town Hospital research including “Vocabulary Facilitates Speech Perception in Children with Hearing Aids,” “Relationships of Cognitive Abilities to Spectro-Temporal Ripple Detection,” “Does Sentence Predictability Influence Word Identification in School-Age Children?” and “Teacher & Student Perceptions of Student Classroom Listening Ability.”

Boys Town Hospital is proud of the work being done in the research labs here in Omaha. Their hard work will lead to improved services for children and adults around the country.