As a pediatric audiology specialist, Instructional Specialist Dr. Maryrose McInerney has long been involved in activities at the state level related to providing audiology services to infants and children. She was recently appointed to the New Jersey Newborn Screening Advisory Review Committee (NSARC), a committee established by the NJ Commissioner of Health to annually review the disorders included in the Newborn Screening program.
McInerney has been asked to co-head a cCMV subcommittee which will perform an in depth literature review on the benefit of newborn hearing screening with reference to an antiviral medication, determine if blood spot universal screening is feasible at this time and to address implementation of this legislation in all of New Jersey’s birthing facilities. The committee, made up of a team of 14 healthcare professionals, will make recommendations to the Commissioner through NSARC.
Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) is the most common infectious cause of birth defects in the United States with 1 in every 200 babies born with this condition. While this is a common virus that generally is harmless to people with healthy immune systems, pregnant women who are exposed to it can pass it along to their unborn infants which can result in sensorineural hearing loss, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders and learning delays.
In addition to her work with NSARC, McInerney has also served as the chair of the NJ Hearing Evaluation Council since 2018. This is the only committee in the state that advises the Early Hearing Diagnosis and Intervention Program.