La Porte Hospital offers Safe Sitter classes

La PORTE – La Porte Hospital is offering Safe Sitter courses for young teens, grades 6-8, to help them learn about home safety and the basic about how to be a safe babysitter. Upcoming classes are Aug. 2 at the hospital. Pre-registration is required by calling 219-326-2322. The cost is $45. 

More than 600,000 young teens have graduated from this medically-accurate program that teaches how, why, and where injuries happen so they can be prevented. The course provides hands-on practice in lifesaving techniques to young teens who are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting, so they are equipped with the skills and confidence to act in an emergency. They learn basic first aid, infant and child choking rescue, and CPR. Students also receive instruction on how a child’s age affects how to care for them, how to prevent problem behavior, and how to run their own babysitting business.

Students who graduate from a Safe Sitter course receive a completion card demonstrating that they know how to use their skills. 

For more information about the Safe Sitter organ


Colson named exe. dir. of Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Edu. 

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health has named Bethany Colson executive director of the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education.

“Bethany is well-versed in the tools available to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and is a strong proponent of allowing parents to choose the communications methods that are right for their child,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Her experience as an early intervention specialist and speech language pathologist, along with her knowledge of the center and its clients, will serve Hoosiers well.” 

Colson has served as deputy director at the center since 2016, where she has managed the center’s budget and contracts and overseen special projects and operations of its regional centers. She has served as interim director twice, most recently following the departure of former director Christine Moody. Previously, she served as early intervention coordinator for the center, providing oversight to programming for children from birth to age 3. She also has worked as a speech language pathologist at the Indiana University School of Medicine, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf and the University of Tennessee Child Hearing Services program.

Colson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and hearing science from Indiana University in Bloomington and holds a Master of Arts degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Memphis. She also holds a Master of Science degree in deaf education from the Washington University School of Medicine. 

“It has been my privilege to serve with center staff in a variety of roles over the past few years, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue this important work with them in the executive director role,” Colson said. “We will continue to work to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing children have the resources and support to reach their full potential.”

The Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education was established in 2012 by House Enrolled Act 1367 and is overseen by the Indiana State Department of Health. The center’s central office is located in Indianapolis, and it has two regional offices in Fort Wayne and Scottsburg. 

The center is responsible for providing services, information and support to deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families, including:

Tracking and monitoring individual child progress from birth through school exit

Coordinating with state agencies involved in providing services to deaf and hard-of-hearing children

Providing training and support to ensure professionals, parents and guardians understand all communication options

Providing assessment services and helping schools meet the needs of the children in their districts

Each year, approximately 250 babies are born with hearing loss in Indiana; more than 90 percent of those children are born to hearing parents. The center provides resources for parents and guardians in an unbiased manner to educate them about their child’s language and communication development to assist families in meeting their child’s individual needs.

For more information about the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, visit its Facebook page at

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at


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