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Early Childhood Screenings Offered with Support from The Blue Ribbon Foundation

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By: Christine Zavaskas
March 5, 2014
Pictured at the check presentation are: (Back row, from left to right) Dr. LuAnn Batson-Magnuson, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, East Stroudsburg University; Dr. Rachel Wolf, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, East Stroudsburg University; Christine Zavaskas, grant and program specialist, The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; and Tim Lee, executive director, Pocono Services fo Families and Children (Monroe County Head Start). In the front row (from left to right) are Luis, Elijah, and Garrett, all Monroe County Head Start students, and Cassondra Renna, graduate student clinician, East Stroudsburg University.

A speech-language-hearing assessment program for at-risk preschoolers and their siblings recently received a boost from The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Thanks to a $6,731 Foundation grant to East Stroudsburg University’s Center for Research and Economic Development, the University’s Speech and Hearing Center will collaborate with Head Start Centers in Monroe County to provide screenings and intervention services. Graduate students, under the direction of speech/language pathologists, will provide the screenings.

An estimated 276 children will receive testing in the coming year at the Head Start locations and at the annual Monroe County Head Start Health Fair. Those who are identified as having possible communication disorders or delays will receive referrals to low- or no-cost services for further evaluation and treatment.

“The early identification of a communication delay is crucial in terms of helping to decrease the long term negative impact on the well-being of the child.” said Dr. Rachel Wolf, assistant professor in the Speech-Language Pathology department at East Stroudsburg University.  “We are grateful to The Blue Ribbon Foundation for making it possible for us to provide these important screenings to local Head Start students and their siblings.”

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central

Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. In more than a decade of service, The Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to 190 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 191,000 at-risk individuals.