Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing honored as the Leader of Change – Leader in Health Care competition

Support for paramedics, development of psychiatry, assistance for children with autism, and development of diagnostic reagent kits are the winning projects chosen by Mazovian residents in a special edition of the Leader of Change – Leader in Health Care competition. The final gala of the competition was held during the 12th Mazovia Development Forum on 6 December 2022 at the Legia Warsaw Conference Center. The Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, headed by Prof. Henryk Skarżyński, was awarded in the Prevention and Health Programs category. On behalf of the Institute, the award was received by Paweł Doliński, Deputy Director for Organization and Development.

The awarded achievement was “Hearing Screening Program for First Graders of Primary Schools from the Mazovian Voivodship in school years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019”. The primary objective of the Program is the early detection of hearing disorders in children starting school education. The undertaking was implemented in four cities with county rights and 37 counties within the Mazovian province.

From the beginning, the Institute’s mission involved implementing preventive and screening tests. The key programs implemented in the last several years, covering more than 1,500,000 school children and adolescents, include the program implemented in cooperation with the Farmers’ Social Insurance Contribution Fund and the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund and the program implemented with the local government of Warsaw and the local government of Mazovia. Screening is an excellent example of comprehensive thinking about the early prevention and detection of various conditions that affect human development and daily communication with the surrounding environment. An important example of specific activities taken for Polish science and medicine, which I initiated and coordinated, was the program “Equal Opportunities for Children with Communication Disorders in European countries.” This issue was highlighted as the priority of the Polish Presidency of the EU in 2011. I was the main initiator of signing two European Consensus Statement Documents on hearing, vision, and speech screening in preschool and school children. Following the activities carried out jointly with the Ministry of Health, in December 2011, the EU Parliament adopted the “EU Council Conclusion on Early Detection and Treatment of Communication Disorders in Children, including the Use of e-Health Tools and Innovative Solutions.” Prof. Henryk Skarżyński is also involved in coordinating clinical and scientific projects with more than 100 centers on all continents, including hearing screening of school children in Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America.

The Leader of Change competition is designed for projects co-financed with the European Funds in the Mazovian region. The purpose of the competition, organized under the honorary patronage of the Marshal of the Mazovian Voivodship and the European Commission Representative Office in Poland, was to promote the results of aid from the European Union. Winners were announced in the following categories: combating the COVID-19 pandemic, diagnostics and treatment, prevention and health programs, and innovation. The competition organizer is the Mazovian Unit for Implementation of EU Programs.