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Diana D.
Democrat CO 1

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  • Celebrating the 100Th Birthday of Dr. Marion Downs

    by Representative Diana DeGette

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    DeGETTE of colorado in the house of representatives Thursday, January 16, 2014 Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 100th birthday of Dr. Marion Downs and celebrate her pioneering work to expand hearing screening in newborns and early intervention for individuals with hearing problems. Dr. Downs' groundbreaking work has served as an inspiration for many generations of Coloradoans and the medical community.



    Dr. Downs is a Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She began her esteemed career in Colorado, at University of Denver, where she was a professor of Audiology and Director of the Audiology Clinic from 1951 to 1959. It was there that Dr. Downs began implementing hearing aids for infants as young as six months old during a period of time when hearing aids were typically fitted at the age of three. Her practice of applying hearing aids at such a young age has shown tremendous results in hearing, speech and communications development. Dr. Downs then moved to the University of Colorado School of Medicine where she developed the first national infant hearing screening program in 1963. Since that time, she has devoted her professional career to identifying and managing infant hearing issues and developmental strategies.

    Throughout her 35 year career, Dr. Downs has received numerous awards such as the Outstanding Achievement award from the University of Minnesota, Gold Medal Recognition from the University of Colorado, Northern Colorado and the University of Arizona School of Health and Sciences. She has received honors from nearly every auditory and speech society and has co-authored textbooks such as Hearing in Children, which serves as a worldwide resource to educate students on childhood auditory disorders.

    At the age of 100, the lively Dr. Downs continues her work on important health issues related to auditory, speech and communication disorders. There is no doubt that Dr. Downs tireless efforts will continue to inspire future generations for many years to come.

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