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Ohio Hearing Screen Task Force Member Honored; Gail Lim, of Pediatrix Medical Group, Receives Award for Advocacy, Business Achievements

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 22, 2003--Gail Lim, a participant in efforts to secure Ohio's law mandating universal newborn hearing, has been honored for her role as an effective newborn health advocate and healthcare executive.

Lim, an Ohio native who serves as vice president and national director of Pediatrix Medical Group's Newborn Hearing Screen Program, was named 2003 "BusinessWoman of the Year for Corporate Executive/Professional Services" by South Florida Business Journal. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Lim leads Pediatrix's national hearing screen program, which annually screens more than 200,000 of the four million babies born in the U.S.

"With its law mandating universal hearing screening as of June 2004, Ohio is on track to ensure children identified early with hearing loss will be able to attend mainstream classes, maximize speech and language skills and benefit socially," said Lim. "There is a vast difference in the speech of a child who was identified early and received hearing aids, compared to a child of age three or four, who may require years of therapy."

After graduating from the Nursing School of Miami University, Lim launched her career as a registered nurse in Cincinnati in 1977. Pediatrix's newborn hearing screen program started in 1994, one year after Gail joined the company as a neonatal nurse practitioner in South Florida. In addition to heading what has become the nation's largest hearing screen program, Lim is a proponent of early identification of hearing loss.

Her focus, newborn hearing loss, is one of the most common major abnormalities present at birth, occurring in three of every 1,000 babies. If undetected, the condition will impede speech, language, and cognitive development. Since the most critical years for speech and language development are birth through age three, a simple hearing screen that takes about 15 minutes can change the course of a newborn's life.

The award recognized these innovative approaches Ms. Lim has built into the hearing screen program for Pediatrix, which provides screening at hospitals in Ohio, and over 100 nationwide:

    --  Offering consistent follow-up and expert assistance for
        diagnosis and treatment.

    --  Creating one of the nation's largest databases of newborn
        hearing screen data, with HIPAA-compliant, Internet-based
        tracking and analysis of outcomes.

    --  Conducting nationwide clinical analysis of congenital hearing
        problems to advance the state of perinatal and neonatal care.

    --  Advocating for universal hearing screening and follow-up as
        the standard of care. Ms. Lim has led Pediatrix's efforts to
        provide every newborn with hearing screening, currently
        mandated in 39 states.

The judging panel also highlighted Ms. Lim's role as a health policy advocate through her leadership in organizations including the national Deafness Research Foundation, State of Ohio Hearing Screen Task Force, State of Florida Hearing Screen Advisory Board, and membership in the American Academy of Audiology.

Complementing the Newborn Hearing Screen Program, Pediatrix Medical Group recently acquired the nation's largest independent laboratory for newborn metabolic screening. The lab tests for more than 50 genetic conditions that are potentially manageable if detected early and which, if left undetected, can lead to complications including mental retardation and death.

Newborn screening in general, and hearing and metabolic screening in particular, are of increasing interest among healthcare providers and state and federal healthcare regulators. With many conditions, early detection and successful intervention leads to better quality of life for patients while having a direct impact on reducing overall healthcare costs.


Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc., was founded in 1979 (NYSE:PDX) as a neonatal physician group and has expanded to become the nation's largest provider of maternal-fetal-newborn care. The company's neonatal physicians provide services at more than 200 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), and through its affiliate Obstetrix, its perinatal physicians provide services in many markets where Pediatrix's neonatal physicians practice. Combined, Pediatrix and its affiliated professional corporations employ more than 635 physicians in 30 states and Puerto Rico.

    CONTACT: Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc., Fort Lauderdale
             Cynthia Dillon, 954-384-0175, x-5684

    SOURCE: Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc.