MADERA — Valley Children’s has taken another step in its commitment to providing the highest quality of care to children in the Central Valley through the establishment of the first pediatric Cochlear Implant Center in the region.
The Valley Children’s Cochlear Implant Center provides children needing cochlear implants a dedicated home to see a multidisciplinary team of pediatric subspecialists at one time, in a single location. This multidisciplinary team includes professionals from audiology, speech language pathology and
“When a family decides with a medical specialist that a cochlear implant is the best medical decision for their child, the last thing they want is to have to make multiple trips to different facilities, taking possible days off work, impacting their family’s schedule and causing additional stress on their child,” explains Dr. Kyle Robinette, pediatric otolaryngologist and medical director of Valley Children’s Cochlear Implant Center.
Children with severe hearing loss who will not benefit from hearing aids
may be considered for cochlear implants, which transmit sound information directly to the auditory nerve. While hearing aids amplify sounds, cochlear implants directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by cochlear implants are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which is then translated by the brain as sound.
The cochlear implant team works carefully with families to determine eligibility and create a personalized strategy for best hearing outcomes. Patients who receive cochlear implants typically experience vast improvement in auditory function and speech clarity.
Additionally, this program recently was approved as a California Children’s Services (CCS) program. The CCS program is administered as a partnership between county health departments and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). This CCS certification ensures that children eligible for Medi-Cal are able to access the services through the cochlear implant program.
“By becoming a CCS program, more children who qualify for cochlear implants can benefit quickly and the stress of needing to go out of the Valley for the surgery is eliminated,” says Dr. Robinette.