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The Official Publication of The Academy of Dispensing Audiologists®
2006 Officer
Position Statements
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President’s Message: State Licensure Update, Medicare Reimbursement Status
Professional Update: AFA Update,AuDalumni Update,AAA and ARA Update
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The Official Publication of The Academy of Dispensing Audiologists®
President’s Message
Editor’s Note
Kevin Ruggle, Au.D.
ADA 2006 Officer Nomination
Position Statements
Cynthia Ellison, Au.D.
Jim McDonald, Sc.D.
Sharon Sorensen, Au.D.
Modern Day Edisons
Mackenzie Gaffney
Craig W. Johnson, Au.D.
Professional Update
Hearing Aid Services
and Satisfaction: The
Consumer Viewpoint
Carren J. Stika, Ph.D. and
Mark Ross, Ph.D.
Deafening BOOM!
Mackenzie Gaffney
Apples, Ipods and
Miss America
Mackenzie Gaffney
Advertisers Index
Oticon...........................................Inside Front Cover
Phonak Hearing Systems........................................4
GN Resound ............................................................20
GN Resound..............................................................21
ESCO Ear Service Corporation ............................29
Discovery Hearing Aid Warranties.......................31
Energizer .................................................................37
Widex ............................................Inside Back Cover
All advertisements sent to Feedback and the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists for publication must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
The appearance of advertisements in Feedback magazine is not an endorsement of the advertiser or its products or services. Neither Feedback nor the
ADA board investigates the claims made by advertisers and is not responsible for their claims.
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President’s Message ADA
Craig W. Johnson, Au.D.
President’s Message
Reserve Convention Dates
elcome back to your professional home.My service as president will
end following our convention in October and it has been my distinct honor to represent your professional interests. ADA’s 30th
Anniversary will be celebrated during our convention in Scottsdale,Ariz. Make
sure to reserve the dates of Oct.11-14,2006.Please mark your schedule and join
your colleagues for the celebration since you will not want to miss this special
event in our profession’s history.A preview of the convention facility is available
at Plan additional time in the area and visit the
unique local offerings in Sedona ( or in the Grand Canyon
- both are within driving distance.
State Licensure Update
During the past 35 years,
audiologists have evolved from
being recognized as privately
certified individuals to become
state licensed health care professionals. Several years ago the
profession recognized the need
to establish a state model licensure law that could be used as a
template for legislative change.
The model licensure task force
was established in 2003 by
Brad Stach during his AAA
Presidency and was chaired by
Barry Freeman.The task force
comprised representatives from
the Amer ican Academy of
Audiology (AAA), the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists, and the Audiology
Foundation of America. This
project required a year and a
half of effort that culminated in
a comprehensive plan for
updated licensure. The document can be found on the
Web site at www. audiologist.
The central changes in the
model licensure statute are
focused on two primary objectives. First, since the profession
has evolved to the doctorial
level,the licensing of audiology
graduates after 2007 would
require a doctor of audiology
degree.This would allow individuals who received a master’s,
or any other audiology doctorial degree prior to 2007, to be
licensed.It is significant to note
that currently there are no audiology master programs in the
United States. One of the
objectives of the task force was
to ensure consistent quality of
newly minted audiology graduates by requiring a unifying
degree,the doctor of audiology.
Other professional degreed
occupations such as optometry,
dentistry and podiatry,all insure
educational consistency.This has
been recognized as a primary
goal for audiology since the
beginning of the professional
degree movement.
The second primary objective was to be recognized for
the evolution of our profession
as the manager of hearing and
balance care. Since most initial
audiology licensure laws were
established in the 1970’s, our
profession has matured to be
recognized by many health care
carriers as the primary hearing
and balance provider. It was
believed by the task force that
an updated statute should recognize the vital role that audiologists have in patient care and
management.Thus,the description of audiologists included the
phrase “diagnosis, treat, and
manage” hearing and balance
problems.It was anticipated that
the language of “diagnosis,
treat, and manage” would provoke a negative response from
our esteemed ear, nose, and
throat (ENT) colleagues, consequently some states have opted to place this language in
“regulation” versus “statute.”
The difference is that regulations are established by state
licensing boards as opposed to
statutes that require an affirmative vote from the state legislature.The state legislature venue,
by its very nature, is a political
process greatly influenced by
self-serving ENT lobbying
efforts. To date, the national
effort to update licensure laws
has been accomplished in six
states.An excellent summary of
the licensure/regulation laws is
available on the Audiology
Craig Johnson, Au.D.
ADA President
Foundation of America’s Web
site at
I would encourage all audiologists who have an interest in
consumer access to audiology
services to become involved in
their local academies efforts to
update state licensure laws.
Insurance carrier’s recognition
of our services will continue to
increase as we are viewed as a
doctoring profession. ADA has
a wealth of experience with this
process. If your state leadership
needs strategic advice, we
would be pleased to assist.
Medicare Reimbursement
As previously reported in
Feedback,the profession requested Medicare to place a morator ium on their projected
5.8-percent audiology fee
reduction with the expectation
that a long-term reimbursement plan would be established.
Medicare has been open to new
ideas to help establish a fair
reimbursement rate for audiologists. It is anticipated that a
Continued On Page 38
ADA Editor’s Note
Editor’s Note
Craig Johnson, Au.D.
[email protected]
Kevin Ruggle, Au.D.
President Elect
Larry Engelmann, Au.D.
[email protected]
Glancing Back and Staring Forward
Welcome to another edition of Feedback. Before we move forward with this
Past President
Cynthia Ellison, Au.D.
[email protected]
issue, let’s take a quick-and-simple history test.
Do you remember signing your name with “CCC-A”?
David Berkey, Au.D.
[email protected]
Lee Micken, Au.D.
[email protected]
Do you remember explaining to your patients what M.S. or M.A. stands for?
Kevin Ruggle, Au.D.
could join?
Do you remember when Audiologists could not dispense hearing aids?
Members At Large
Do you remember when we thought analog hearing aids were the best?
Linda Burba, Au.D.
[email protected]
Do you remember when ADA started?
Lawrence Eng, Au.D.
[email protected]
Do you remember when a private-practice audiologist was a rarity?
Do you remember correcting patients when they mistakenly called you “doctor”?
C. Joseph Hibbert, Au.D.
[email protected]
Feedback Editor
Kevin Ruggle, Au.D.
1213 Hylton Heights Road, #105
Manhattan, KS 66503
Phone: (785) 537-4005
[email protected]
Do you remember when ASHA was the only professional organization you
As we move forward, we can look back and smile, and maybe even laugh at how things used to
be. Those were not the “good old days,” they were simply the beginning days. We have come along
way, but we are not home yet.
When you look through Feedback, and find the position statements of the candidates (for the ADA
Board of Directors) in this issue, you will see that many of them talk about the past and what ADA
Jay Strother
[email protected]
has done for them personally. They also speak about the path they see ADA following in the next
Managing Editor
Mackenzie Gaffney
[email protected]
ization. These professionals have made the commitment to serve you on the ADA Board, and that
few years. Please take some time to review information from these potential leaders of your organis not one to be taken lightly. The actual elections will take place this fall, so there is plenty of time
Diane Sherel
[email protected]
to consider all of these candidates.
Executive Director
Kevin Hacke
of Feedback. I am pleased to help Dr. Cindy Ellison present this great list of candidates to serve your
Association Manager
Meghan Carey
It is fun to look back, but practical and wise to look forward. I hope you enjoy your latest issue
organization in the future.
Association Assistant
Alexis Bauer
ADA Headquarters
401 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(866) 493-5544 or (312) 527-6748
Fax: (312) 673-6725
Feedback is the official publication of the Academy of
Dispensing Audiologists®. Feedback is published four
times a year with deadlines of January 15, April 15,
July 15, and October 15. Contributions are welcomed but
the Editor reserves the right to accept or reject any
material for publication. All articles published in this
magazine represent solely the individual opinions of the
writers and not necessarily those of the Academy of
Dispensing Audiologists®.
Kevin Ruggle,Au.D.
Feedback Editor
[email protected]
It is the mission of Feedback to provide doctoral-level technical, professional, business, and Academy information in a way
that prepares the ADA membership to achieve professional success, and ensure that Audiologists have the choice of
practicing autonomously as the recognized leaders in hearing and balance care and dispensing hearing instruments.
Introducing CENTRA
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DataLearning ensures her volume
preference for conversations is
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SoundSmoothing automatically
suppresses the clattering of dishes
being put away, without affecting
her granddaughter’s sweet voice.
What really matters to wearers is enjoying the most natural, personal, and comfortable
listening experience possible. That’s why Siemens developed CENTRA™, the world’s
most wearer-focused hearing system. CENTRA features breakthrough technologies like
SoundSmoothing™, which suppresses impulsive noise such as the rustling of paper —
while leaving speech signals intact. DataLearning™, which learns the wearer’s loudness
preferences and adjusts automatically. And e2e wireless™, for natural and precise
localization. For more information on this bold approach to better hearing, talk to
your Siemens Sales Representative at (800) 766-4500.
It lets the world revolve around you.
Siemens Hearing Instruments •
ADA Election 2006
Cynthia Ellison, Au.D.
Jim McDonald, Sc.D.
Sharon Sorensen, Au.D.
Election 2006 ADA
★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Candidate for President-Elect ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Candidate: President-Elect
Owner/Director,The Hearing Center, Asheville, NC
Speech and Hearing, Boston
University (1974)
M.A. Audiology, University of Connecticut (1976)
Au.D. Arizona School of Health Sciences,
A.T. Still University (2001)
• Private Practice - Audiology, 1978 - present
• Fellow - American Academy of Audiology
Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (ADA):
• Fellow Member (1978 - present)
• Member ADA Board of Directors (Treasurer 2002-present)
• Website Reconstruction and Development
• Membership Committee
• Bylaws Committee
• Feedback Contributing Author
• Formal and Informal Presentations at ADA Conventions
After a great many years as an ADA member and having had the
privilege of serving on the ADA Board as Treasurer for the past 4
years, I am looking with excitement towards building our organization’s future and helping to lead it as President-Elect.
The most unique feature of ADA is its membership.
Overwhelmingly, we are comprised of audiology practitioners
engaged in autonomous practice. As such, we face a unique set of
challenges and opportunities that may not be shared by all professionals in our field, but which are of paramount concern to us
on a daily basis.
We have long ago accomplished our goal as professional
providers of hearing aids to our patients as part of a complete audiologic package, so completely that new Doctors of Audiology find
it difficult to believe that it was ever otherwise.
ADA has a long history of identifying critical issues in our profession and then taking the actions necessary to create the necessary momentum for change — even if larger organizations
eventually take over the mainstream battles. While this has been
an important and valuable attribute of our organization in the past,
I believe the time has also come to aggressively pursue “taking care
of our own.” By that I mean turning our focus towards our
members and providing valuable resources for audiologists,and particularly Doctors of Audiology, from whose ranks all of our new
members must now come.
In that vein I would like to help lead this organization towards
development of resources and materials which will be useful to
every member practitioner for growing and enhancing their professional practices, and which as a result will also improve the quality of what we offer our patients.
In our recently developed strategic plan we have identified a
number of important areas to place our focus. Prominent among
these are: development of innovative and outstanding educational programs to assist our practitioner members; a highly interactive Web site with the latest information on issues concerning
member practitioners; a forum for member communication and
networking; development of materials which can enhance our
practices; timely and relevant articles in Feedback magazine; advocacy in legislative and regulatory areas of concern; and creating
materials and resources to promote the value that Doctors of
Audiology bring to current and prospective patients.
ADA has always been the “professional home” for entrepreneurial audiologists - a place where we can gather together, network, share, learn from each other, disagree and innovate
head-to-head. I would like to see us capitalize on that historical
strength and build upon this networking.
I will work towards ensuring that our annual conventions be kept
inclusive and welcoming to all industry and non-industry vendors,
regardless of affiliation, and that we bring exciting, educational
opportunities to our members that cannot be found elsewhere. I
will also strive to recruit more of our regular members to be more
active participants in this organization, particularly some of the
newer, younger members. In this way, we can get back to more
of a “grass roots” feel that has been a trademark of our association.
I look forward to leading this organization into the next phase
of our development, the “second 30 years.”
Position Statements Continue On Next Page
ADA Election 2006
★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Candidates for Secretary ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Candidate: Secretary
Owner/Director, Parr’s Pro Hearing Services, Inc.,
Huntingdon, PA
Candidate: Secretary
Director of Professional Relationships, HealthCare
Business Education Online, Inc., Flat Rock, NC
B.A. West Virginia Wesleyan College (1971)
M.S. The Pennsylvania State University(1984)
Au.D. The University of Florida (2001)
B.A. Indiana University (1973)
M.S. Purde Uuniversity (1982)
Au.D.University of Florida (2000)
Gerentology Certification:Western Carolina University ( 2006)
• Own, operate and manage a three-office private audiology
practice (Parrs Pro Hearing Services, Inc.) since 1991
• CAOHC Course Director, March 2003
• Board Certification in Audiology, March, 1999
• Allied Health Professional/ With Privileges in Audiology/
J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital 1986 - Present
• The Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology,
March 1990
I consider it an honor to be selected as a candidate to serve our
profession of audiology on the ADA Board of Directors. ADA has
always offered practical business management advice to audiologists
to help us succeed in our mission to help the hearing impaired and
those with balance problems. I would like the opportunity to give
back to the organization that has helped me grow my practice. As
a private practicing audiologist for seventeen years, I have seen our
profession advance in access and reimbursement, but we still have
more to accomplish. A personal goal of mine is to work diligently, enthusiastically, and relentlessly to obtain direct access for
audiologists. I will dedicate my time to the passage of the Hearing
Health Accessibility Act HR 415/S277. This legislation removes
the physician referral requirement for Medicare beneficiaries.We
need a continued presence on Capital Hill to move this legislation
forward. Direct access would improve Medicare beneficiaries’
access to hearing care.
I have gained board of director experience at the state and local
level from serving on the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology
Board for 7 years as treasurer,president elect,president and past president;the Huntingdon County Community Center Board;and our
local Rotary Board of Directors. I am part of the state leaders’ network of AAA serving as Regional Captain for Region 2 encompassing Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Delaware, D.C., and
Virginia. I enjoy mentoring our future doctors of audiology at our
national conventions.
I see a bright future for the profession of audiology with no limits on its success. I am dedicated and driven personally and professionally to accomplish our goals, to advance our profession, and to
exceed our vision. ■
• Director of Professional Relationships: HealthCare Business
Education Online, Inc.(November 2005 - Present) Cofounder/developer of innovative new online business education
program designed for working professionals in audiology and other allied healthcare professions.
• Over 23 years of combined clinical audiology practice,small business ownership,consultant services to new hearing technology and
academic start ups and non-profit professional association.
• Demonstrated success working closely with ADA during transition to new management company, SmithBucklin, Inc.
Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (ADA)
Corporate Sales Support (2005)
• Analyzed vendor needs and developed proposals to build vendor
identity with association members including speaker/sponsor
• Designed and fulfilled new innovative offers linking print media
with convention leads, increasing ROI opportunities for
• Responsible for association revenues in excess of $350,000.
• New Business Development: Responsible for planning, developing and producing first time manufacturer training opportunities and convention workshops in 2005; Growth in exhibitors
by over 20 percent in 2005.; increased advertisers in Feedback
magazine by 20 percent.
Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (ADA)
Staff Audiologist 2002-2005
• Developed HIPAA compliance member network of help in
conjunction with association president.
• Spearheaded restructure and redesign of association Web site,, in conjunction with board of directors.
Recruited web designer and contributed to expansion of member and student oriented content, along with marketing and ecommerce applications.
• Coordinated and co-produced ADA special events including
the 2004 convention day-ahead Branding Workshop along with
association president.
Continued On Page 32
Election 2006 ADA
★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Candidates for Treasurer ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Owner/Chief Audiologist,Audiology and
Hearing Health
Chair of Audiology and Associate Professor,
Arizona School of Health Sciences,A School of
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
University of Louisiana at
Lafayette (1981)
M.C.D. LSUMC School of Allied Health Professions (1982)
Au.D. Arizona School of Health Sciences (2003)
B.S. Purdue University (1991)
M.S. Purdue University, (1993)
Graduated with Highest Honors
Au.D. Baylor College of Medicine(1996)
Member of the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists since 1995
Senior Design Audiologist at Rexton, Inc. (1988-1992)
Staff Audiologist at Mcmillan Hearing Aid Center (1986-1988)
Chief Audiologist at ACI Auditory Centers (1984-1986)
Interim Audiologist at Lafayette Parish School System (1984)
Audiologist for Keith DeSonier, MD (1982-1984)
Fellow American Academy of Audiology since 1988
Served a single term as Secretary for the Tennessee Hearing
Aid Board
It is truly an honor be nominated to serve the ADA. I have been
a practicing Audiologist for over 20 years. During my career, the
ADA has been integral to my success and advancement in
Audiology. In part, I attribute the following to the ADA: a successful private practice,my Au.D.,and a multitude of Congressional
letters about direct access and tax credits for hearing aids. It is at
this time that I desire to serve those who served me so well.
In 13 years of private practice, I have learned a great deal about
furthering the interests of our profession. I understand the daily
joys and frustrations of private practice. I have shared the joy of a
tearful child who can finally talk with her mother without yelling.
I have endured the head-banging frustration of dealing with insurance companies who do not know who we are or what we do. I
have relished the satisfaction that comes from hearing that a patient
who has been suffering from BPPV is feeling wonderful within a
day after Canalith re-positioning. I have grappled with setting the
office policies that are patient-centered, not system-centered.
Outside of my 24 years of professional experience,I have focused
on growing community-based charities, offered free hearing
screenings for the less fortunate, served in Rotary club, participated
in various ministries within my church, grown my family, and
served as a secretary for 2 years on the Tennessee State Hearing
Aid Board.
As such, I have developed strong convictions about instituting
systematic change in audiology care. I believe the most important areas facing our profession are:
• Chair of Audiology and Associate Professor, Arizona School of
Health Sciences, Arizona School of A. T. Still University of
Health Sciences (1999 - Present)
• Arizona School of Health Sciences Student Choice Faculty of the
Year Award for Audiology (2005)
• Research Audiologist/Sales Representative and Consultant AVR
Sonovation, (1998 - 2001)
• Assistant Professor,The University of New Mexico, Department
of Speech and Hearing Sciences (1996 - 1998)
• Teaching Assistant, Baylor College of Medicine (1996)
• Contract Audiologist, Ben Taub General Hospital, (1995 - 1996)
• Research Audiologist, NIH Research Grant,The University of
Texas Health Sciences Center (1994 - 1995).
• Clinical Fellowship Year, Charles A. Lowe & Associates (1993)
• Teaching Assistant, Purdue University (1993)
• Over 37 presentations accepted and presented at national and state
level audiology meetings
• Academy of Dispensing Audiologists, Fellow Member and ADA
Feedback Student Forum Section Editor,Convention Committee
Member for 2006
• American Academy of Audiology, Fellow Member, 2003
Convention Special Events Subcommittee Member
• American Auditory Society, Member and Assistant for coordination of Mentored Student Research Poster Sessions
• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Certificate of
Clinical Competence in Audiology (1994 - 2002)
• American Journal of Audiology Reviewer (January 2003 - present)
• Arizona Audiology Council, Member and Co-Chair for
Subcommittee for Communications,Arizona Licensure Revision
Committee Member
• Arizona Speech Language and Hearing Association,Member,and
Task Force Member for Arizona Licensure Revision
• Audiology Foundation of America,Advisory Committee Member,
Former Board Member and Past Treasurer
• National Association of Future Doctors of Audiology, Alumni
Member,Advisory Council Member and Local Chapter Faculty
Continued On Page 34
Continued On Page 34
ADA Election 2006
★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Candidates for Member at Large ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Candidate, Board Member at Large
Director, Hearing Technology Associates,LLC,The
Tinnitus & Sound Sensitivity Treatment Center
of Philadelphia
Candidate: Board Member at Large
I am in the process of developing an Audiology
Consulting Service
B.A. Speech and Hearing Science and Psychology minor, with
Honors, University of Maryland - 1978
M.A. Audiology, with Distinction, Hofstra University - 1979
Au.D. University of Florida - 2001
B.S. University of North Dakota (1967)
M.A. Michigan State University (1968)
Au.D. A.T. Still School of Health Sciences, Arizona School of
Health Sciences (2005)
• Teaching appointment at Philadelphia College of OptometryDoctoral Audiology Program - Fall 2006
• Taught the Online Tinnitus Course,University of Arizona- 2004
• Private Practice - Director - Established 1993
• Executive Director, DVTA and TAP Tinnitus Association of
Philadelphia (TAP) (1993 - 2002)
• Delaware Valley Tinnitus Association (DVTA)(1988 - 1991)
• Consultant to the music industry (1995 - present)
• Clinical and Dispensing Audiologist, Hospital of the University
of Pennsylvania, Speech & Hearing Center (1992 - 1993)
• Director and Clinical Audiologist Philadelphia Elywn,
Department of Audiology
• Program Coordinator/Facilitator, Delaware Valley Tinnitus
Association (1988 - 1991)
• Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Hearing Center (1983 1988 & 1991 - 1992)
• Atr ium Hear ing and Speech Center, Cher ry Hill, NJ
(1981 - 1983)
• Board Certified-American Board of Audiology
• Member,American Academy of Audiology
• Member, PA Chapter,American Academy of Audiology
• Fellow,Academy of Dispensing Audiologists
• Served on Staff at Thomas Jefferson & the University of
Pennsylvania Hospitals & Philadelphia Elwyn
• Certified in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) by Dr. Pawel
Jastreboff - 1997 and 2004
• Founder,Tinnitus & Sound Treatment Center of
• Director, Tinnitus Association of Philadelphia (TAP)(1988-2001)
• Professional Trainer, GN ReSound- (1999 - 2001)
• Voted Best Audiologist on the Main Line - 2006
• 2 accepted and published professional papers
• Industrial screenings: On-site testing of 600 Ford Motor
Company employees
• 5 professional presentations at local and national audiology meetings
• American Academy of Audiology - Fellow (1989 - present)
• Co-owner of Arlington and Alexandria Hearing Centers, 19832005 (owned by Sonus 2004-2005)
• Marketing Manager, Director, Profes-sional Relations, Staff
Audiologist, for Danavox Hearing Aid Company (1978-1983)
• Supervisor, Audiology Clinic, Gallaudet College (University)
• Supervisor,Audiology Clinic Indiana University (1971-1974)
• Clinical Audiologist, Tuft’s New England Medical Center
• AFA Professional Leadership Award 2005
• ADA Board of Directors - 1987 - 1990
• ADA Outstanding Service Award, 1990
• AAA Board of Representatives - 1992 -1993
• AAA Board of Directors - 1993-96
• AAA Service Award 1993
• AAA Service Award 1996
• AAA Service Award 1996 for Public Relations
• Continuing Education: ACE from ASHA and Scholar from AAA
• CoChair,Audiology Awareness Committee, 1997-1998
• VA Hearing Aid Specialist Board - Appointed by Governor 1988-1992
• Better Hearing & Speech Month Steering Committee 1988- 1992
• Veteran’s Administration Hearing Aid Selection Board, 1985-88
• Consultant to FDA RE: product, 1992
• Au.D. Planning Conference 1988, Chicago
• Testified at FTC Hearing Aid Government Hearings,Washington,
D.C. 1978
• Volunteer interpreter for the deaf at Fairlingon Methodist Church
- 10-plus years
• Interviewed for the following news programs:
• NBC News with Tom Brokow
• MSNBC News
• Fox News
• Public Radio interview with Kojo Naamdi, 2002
• WTOP Radio interview 2004
• Film by AARP for release to stations
• Consumer videos by Widex for consumers & professionals
Continued On Page 35
Continued On Page 35
Election 2006 ADA
★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Candidates for Member at Large ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Candidate: Member at Large
Owner/Founder: Hearing Associates, Inc., in
Duluth MN
Candidate: Member at Large
Founder and Owner, Lake County Hearing
Clinics,Taveras, Clermont and Lady Lake, FL
B.S. Mankato State University, (1972)
M.S. University of Minnesota-Duluth (1981)
Au.D. Pennsylvania College of Optometry (2002)
Bowling Green State University
M.S. Bowling Green State University (1973)
Au.D. University of Florida (2001)
• Owner/Founder of the Duluth Clinic, Ltd., a broad based audiology practice formed in 1981. Instrumental in creating the hearing aid dispensing program at the Duluth Clinic.
• ABA Certification
• ADA - Member since the early 1980’s
• AAA - Fellow - several years
• Minnesota AA A - Member
• Recently completed 3 years as Board Member of the Minnesota
• Member of “Move the Mountain” in Chicago to develop education needs or Au.D. - Late 1980’s
• Presented at the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing
Association,“The Value of the Au.D.” - late 1980’s
I am honored to be asked to run for the ADA board as it has been
at the forefront of most of the new and innovative ideas to come
along for audiology in the past 30 years. For most of this time I
have been a member and attended all but one annual convention
since joining. It was exciting to be a part of one of the ADA sponsored events,“Move the Mountain,” that helped establish an educational model for the Au.D..It is for this excitement and the ability
to shape the future of this profession that I seek the position of ADA
Board Member.
The is well on its way to being the designated “clinical” degree of audiology and ADA needs to continue to advocate
for its future growth,development,and educational criteria.We need
to return the Ph.D. to the teaching or research degree that we desperately need. Quality students in each audiology program need to
be attracted to keep our profession growing and strong. State licensure of the “Au.D.”Audiologist is also critical for obtaining limited
licensed practitioner status and furthering our autonomy.
Whether we join AuDNet or attempt to do it on our own,branding our degree and the value of it to the consumer will be important for our future.Along with providing the highest quality care,
branding will set us apart from other “hearing care” providers.This
will allow us to move toward the “doctoring”model of care and away
from the “product” oriented care.We need to find a way to utilize
Continued On Page 34
• Board of Directors:AuDNet “America’s Au.D. Network”
(2004 - present)
• Established SONUS Florida Franchise Development, Inc. with
SONUS, USA - (1998 - 2002) - Terminated relationship with
SONUS when hearing instrument specialists were added to
the franchise agreements.
• Membership Committee for the American Academy of
• Lake County Florida Deaf Service Center Board
• Co-Chair representing private practice Audiology of the
Private Practice Committee for the Florida Speech and
Hearing Association (1985 - 1988)
• Appointed by the Gov. of Florida to the Board of Speech
Pathology and Audiology 1990
• Elected Chair of the State of Florida Speech Pathology and
Audiology Licensure Board (1990)
• Chairman of the Political Action Committee (FLASHA-PAC)
for the Florida Speech and Hearing Association (1988 - 1990)
• Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology
• Member of the National Council of Examiners for Speech
Pathology and Audiology
• Board Certification in Audiology by the American Academy
of Audiology
• Board Certification by the International Hearing Aid Society
in Hearing Instrument Sciences (1997 - 2003)
• Lake County School System award recognition for service to
the hearing impaired children of Lake County - continuous
since 1996
• He holds National Board Certification in Audiology by the
American Board of Audiology.
• He held the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology
awarded by the American Speech and Hearing Association
until 2000 and that year became a Board Certified Audiologist
with an Au.D. degree.
• John’s wife Dr. Elena Pizarro-Zeigler also has her Doctorate in
Audiology and is Board Certified in Audiology.
Continued On Page 36
Feature Deafening Boom!
Mackenzie Gaffney
Managing Editor
Deafening Boom! Feature
Demand for Au.D. Services
iPods, surround sound at the movies (or
even home theaters), concerts - the
demand for hearing services is growing
and not just among the old.Young people's
lifestyle choices are driving the need for
hearing services.First,let’s take a look at the
following study from the Amer ican
Speech-Language-Hearing Association
(ASHA) that suggests multi-pronged prevention is needed to head off risk to hearing health in the United States.
Poll of Popular Technology Usage: Hearing
Loss Symptoms Reported in High School
Age Students and Adults
More than half of high school students
surveyed report at least one symptom of
hearing loss according to a poll commissioned by ASHA and conducted by Zogby
The poll looked not only at the usage
habits of high school students and adults
with respect to some popular technology
that provides audio through ear buds or earphones - devices like Apple’s iPod, other
MP3 players,and portable DVD players - but
it also probed the public’s views about potential hearing loss from such devices.The survey also asked what potential customers
believe would be the most effective way to
convey a hearing-loss prevention message.
The findings for high school students
come from a national telephone survey with
a target sample of 301 interviews and a margin of error of +/-5.8 percentage points;
margins of error are higher in sub-groups.
For adults,the results stem from a national telephone survey with a target sample of
1,000 interviews and a margin of error of
+/-3.2 percentage points; margins of error
are higher in sub-groups.
The polling found that high school students are more likely than adults to say they
have experienced three of the four symptoms of hearing loss:turning up the volume
on their TV or radio (28 percent students
vs. 26 percent adults); saying “what” or
“huh”during normal conversation (29 percent students,21percent adults);and having
tinnitus or ringing in the ears (17 percent
students, 12 percent adults).
Less than half of high students (49 percent) say they have experienced none of
the symptoms, compared to 63 percent of
More than half of
high school students
surveyed report at least
one symptom of hearing loss according to a
poll commissioned by
ASHA and conducted
by Zogby International.
adults who say they have.
It is not clear from the poll what is causing the symptoms, though results found
usage habits among students and adults
that are potentially detrimental to hearing
For example, two-fifths of students and
adults set the volume at loud on their Apple
iPods,with students twice as likely as adults
to play it very loud (13 percent vs. 6 percent). Meanwhile, adults are more likely
than students to use their MP3 players for
longer periods of time. Combined, more
than half of adults use them 1-4 hours (43
percent) or longer (9 percent) compared to
fewer than one-third of students - a disparity that may reflect the time adults
spend commuting to and from work.
“Louder and longer is definitely not the
way to use these products,” according to
Brenda Lonsbury-Martin Ph.D., ASHA’s
chief staff officer for science and research.
“Eventually,that becomes a recipe for noiseinduced hearing loss, which is permanent.”
The release of the poll results were a key
feature of “America:Tuned In Today...But
Tuned Out Tomorrow?”,a panel discussion
held by national lawmakers and leading
experts whom ASHA convened at the
National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
They included:U.S.Rep.Mike Ferguson
(R-NJ),Vice Chair, House Subcommittee
On Health; U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey
(D-MA), Ranking Member, House
Subcommittee on Telecommunications
and the Internet; Lonsbury-Martin; Brian
Fligor, ScD, Children’s Hospital, Boston;
Dean Garstecki, Ph.D., Northwestern
University;and,Anne Marie Tharpe,Ph.D.,
Vanderbilt University.
“Our poll tells us that we should take a
close look at the potential impact of some
popular technology on hearing health,”
according to ASHA President Alex
Johnson, who moderated the panel discussion. “ That is why ASHA believes in
bringing experts together as we did today
to discuss the issues involved.”
ASHA advises consumers to lower volume levels, limit listening time, and use
earphones that - unlike ear buds that come
with products like the iPod - block out
unwanted sound that can prompt users to
increase volume levels (poll results indicate
that 77 percent of surveyed students,and 81
percent of adults have not purchased such
earphones).It also encourages the public to
see a certified audiologist if they are experiencing hearing-loss symptoms.
“Overall, we believe that public education is a big part of the solution,” Johnson
says. “We intend to redouble our efforts
with a focus on prevention. Many ASHA
members are school-based.Through them
and others,we plan to reach out to younger
kids - to their parents, significant adults
and educators.This is so important because
even minimal hearing loss can significantly harm the social and educational development of children.”
Johnson also called for steps to make safe
listening and protecting one’s hearing easier to practice.“Discussions need to occur
between health experts and manufacturers
about developing ways for consumers to
know when they are putting their hearing
at risk when they are using these devices.”
Conducted the last two weeks of
February 2006, the ASHA-commissioned
poll also found that both teens (69 percent)
and adults (50 percent) are more likely to
turn down the volume in an effort to prevent hearing loss than take other steps such
as limiting the listening time.
Among students,African Americans and
Hispanics are more likely than Caucasians
to report that they have experienced at
least some symptoms of hearing loss.
Continued On Next Page
Feature Deafening Boom!
Adults seem less concerned about dangers
to their own hearing, though in some cases they use the popular technology covered
in the poll for longer periods and at higher volume than teens.
Of the technology covered, only laptops
were more likely to be used by adults.
Except for the Apple iPod and one other
MP3 player,teens are more likely to use the
products covered by the poll for longer
periods, at higher volumes. Teenage boys
are more likely than teenage girls to use the
products surveyed in ways that may cause
hearing loss later in life, by listening for
longer periods and at higher volumes.
Older adults are more likely to report
using surveyed products at lower volumes
than younger adults and teens. Equal percentages of adults (48 percent) and teens
(47 percent) say that they are not concerned about hearing loss from using the
surveyed products, with teens (53 percent)
much more likely than adults (33 percent)
to say they are concerned. More than one
half of teens (58 percent) say they are not
likely to cut down on the time they use the
technology surveyed, and 31 percent are
not likely to reduce the volume.
While a majority of parents (59 percent)
are concerned with hearing loss in their
children from the use of the technology,
less than half are willing to limit the
amount of time their children use it. And
only 10 percent of teens say learning about
the dangers to hearing from family and
friends is the best way for that message to
be conveyed.
More on Stereo Usuage
A few months back, Brian Fligor, ScD,
CCC-A and director of diagnostic audiology at the Children’s Hospital Boston,
Department of Otolaryngology and
Communication Disorders, led an online
class, “Output Levels of Personal Stereo
Systems: What Audiologists Need to
Know.” Fligor was quick to note that
expecting kids to not listen to iPods is
unrealistic, and rather, as audiologists, it is
necessary to understand some basic elements of noise-induced hearing loss
(NIHL) in order to help individuals listen
more responsibly.
With individual susceptibility, there is
no greater risk in children than adults.Yet,
when you talk about (riskier) behavior
there is a greater risk for hearing loss in
children. The National Institute on
Deafness and other Communication
Disorders (NIDCD) estimates 28 million
in the U.S. have hearing loss and 10
million of the 28 with contribution
from noise. It the be unreasonable for us
to excuse high-decibel noise if it was
due to occupational exposures. When
the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration sets standards on decibel
exposure, it seems irrational to listen to
music or other recreational noise at the
same, or even higher, decibels for entertainment.
Fligor mentions two causes of noiseinduced hearing loss: the first, mechanism
of injury from chronic, moderately high
noise expose; the second, acoustic trauma;
and lastly, individual susceptibility - population “fractiles” describing variation in
degree of hearing loss seen in population.
But before causes accelerate to permanent damage, Fligor, like other industry
professionals, is suggesting prevention and
minimization of hearing loss.There is no
concrete evidence that earbuds are more
detrimental to your health than over-the-
Deafening Boom! Feature
Apple Sued Over iPod Related Hearing Loss
John Patterson of Louisana has filed a lawsuit against iPod maker Apple, claiming that the popular portable music
players are "inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss." Patterson is asking for cash in unspecified quantity, and iPod upgrades designed to protect
users from accidental hearing loss. Although Patterson himself does not claim to have actually suffered hearing loss,
the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in San Jose claims that the capacity of the device to exceed 115 decibels presents a legitimate risk. Patterson has not issued any public statement, but his attorney Steve Berman explained
Patterson's reasons for pursuing the case:
“He's bought a product which is not safe to use as currently sold on the market. He's paying for a product that's
defective, and the law is pretty clear that if someone sold you a defective product they have a duty to repair it.”
Apple already includes a cautionary notice with the documentation of every iPod, which warns that “permanent hearing loss may occur if earphones or headphones are used at high volume.” Patterson considers this warning inadequate,
and wants something to be done about it. It is unlikely Apple will readily compromise the glossy iPod aesthetic by adorning the music player with permanent warning messages, but fears of legal liability in an overly litigious society may force
the issue. This isn't the first time that iPod-related hearing loss concerns have afflicted the company. Stringent foreign
regulations forced Apple to impose a 100 decibel limitation on all the units sold in France. That kind of restriction is
not enough for Patterson, who also claims in his legal complaint that the ubiquitous white ear buds shipped with the
music player increase the risk of hearing loss because of their proximity to the ear canal.
Audiologists have been concerned about portable music player induced hearing loss for quite some time now.
Apparently, the iPod does not pose a greater threat than any other portable music player, and responsible listening
makes the risks entirely controllable. An article from Times Online last month includes some relevant quotations from
audiologist Angela King, who explains hearing loss:
“People with good hearing have tiny hair cells that line the inner ear and transmit signals to the brain, which it interprets as sound,” King explains. When repeatedly exposed to uncomfortably loud noises (loud is defined as above 80dB),
including music through headphones and at concerts, those hair cells require a rush of blood or oxygen, otherwise “they
effectively die.” Temporary hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a sign that hair cells are trying to recover, but
“over time recovery becomes impossible and hearing is permanently impaired.”
According to the article, audiologists recommend reducing volume and limiting listening time to approximately an
hour a day. Manufacturers recommend taking frequent listening breaks in order to give the ears a chance to rest. The
article also includes some interesting statistics from the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, which state that 39 percent of listeners between 18 and 24 years of age do not use safe listening habits.
ear earphones. Although, decibel level is
said to not exceed 85, and over long periods of time (years) and levels higher than
85 can contribute to NIHL.
Apple - the Name in Personal Audio
That said,can we expect consumers,children and adults alike, to be fully responsible
for the level at which they listen to music?
Some say that the manufacturers should be
liable for setting limits/maximums on volume. Case in point with Apple’s recent
release of a software update for iPod nano
and fifth generation iPod that allows customers to set their own personal maximum
volume limit,and gives parents the ability to
set a maximum volume limit on their child’s
iPod and lock it with a combination code.
The Apple download is free and available at The
volume limit feature works with any headphone or accessory plugged into the iPod
headphone jack as well as the iPod Radio
With all the press that Apple has been
receiving regarding NIHL and iPod,Apple
has directed consumers and the media to, a site devoted to
the science of sound and its potential to
cause permanent damage to your hearing.
An elementary review for most, but for the
general, layman consumer the discussion
on sound waves and frequency is a good
introduction into “listening responsibly”
and “thinking about the volume.” It
emphasizes that although there is not a
single volume setting that fits everyone’s
sound preference and healthy hearing level, there are ways to ensure you are setting
one fit for your ears.Paying attention to the
duration in which you listen to audio at
high volumes and avoiding turning up the
volume to block out noisy surroundings
are just two ways to develop good
audio/listening habits. ■
Feature Apple, iPods and Miss America
Mackenzie Gaffney
Managing Editor
Apple, iPods and Miss America Feature
Apple iPod has been scattered
throughout the news pages over
the last few months - from the
front page,business and technology - iPod has caused controversy,court cases and now, possibly, hearing loss.
Earlier this year a Louisiana man, John
Kiel Patterson, accused Apple for not taking proper actions to prevent hearing loss
with iPod users and filed a class action suit.
Even after Apple’s recent release of a downloadable software program that controls and
limits volume, newspapers reported members of the suit saying that wasn’t enough,
falling short of what Apple could have done
to limit volume levels.
Either way, Apple limiting volume or
members of the class action suit receiving
money, educating consumers is the overarching solution to minimize the number of
future hearing-loss individuals and stopping
the damage some individuals have experienced by iPods and the like.
Recognizable Face for NIHL Education
Deidre Downs does not have noiseinduced hearing loss (NIHL), but has been
hearing-impaired since she was a child and
wears hearing aids. And although Downs
does not have NIHL, she has become GN
ReSound’s spokesperson for a campaign to
GN ReSound Announces Sound Effects
Campaign to Prevent Noise-Induced
Hearing Loss in Young People
GN ReSound N.A., a leading hearing aid manufacturer based in Minneapolis, announced its
new Sound Effects campaign at the American
Academy of Audiology's convention. The campaign aims to raise awareness - particularly
among young people - about the growing problem of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) associated with the widespread use of portable MP3
players and other high-decibel noises that surround Americans every day.
Miss America 2005, Deidre Downs, an aspiring pediatrician who has been hearing-impaired
since childhood, will travel on behalf of the
campaign to spread the word to young people
and others about preventing NIHL.
"We now know that more than 28 million
Americans suffer from hearing loss, and nearly a third of those cases can be linked to noise-
cover most of the country and internationally
that will educate individuals about preventative
measures for NIHL. With clout as Miss
America 2005 and a journey to becoming a
pediatrician makes for a perfect match - Downs
and the Sound Effects campaign.
“We will be speaking to high school students and consumer seminars to spread the
word on preventing hearing loss,” says
Downs. “MP3 players, concerts, sporting
events;all are loud environments that can do
Ear plugs or ear protection is necessary,
Downs comments,at 115 decibels for 15 to
20 minutes can do damage. As a child,
Downs experienced her peers harsh judgments and comments for wearing hearing
aids, and she says that is part of the reason
that she wants to participate in this educational endeavor.
“I have the experience of being made
fun of as a child for wearing hearing aids and
now I want to help young people prevent
hearing loss,” Downs finishes.
Downs recognizes the challenges that are
associated with getting the public to see the
effects of excessive volume levels, especially when the general public doesn’t usually
think in decibels - and most iPod users
won’t hear you when you tell them not to
exceed 85 decibels.
induced damage that could have been prevented," said Richard Jackson, president of GN
ReSound North America. "With the growing
popularity of MP3 players and ear buds blasting loud sounds directly into the ear canal,
we're particularly concerned about the growing number of young people at risk for NIHL,
and we're on a mission to help prevent it."
Studies estimate that more than 5.2 million
American children between the ages of 6 and
19 years old suffer from permanent NIHL in one
or both ears.
"Any repeated or prolonged sounds over 85
decibels can damage the tiny hair cells in the
inner ear that send sound messages to the
brain, and once those cells die, they never grow
back," said Joy Glen, M.A., an audiologist and
director of professional training at GN
ReSound. "Damage often happens faster than
you might think. For instance, listening to an
MP3 player at full volume for just 15 minutes
can result in permanent hearing loss."
The Numbers
If Downs is to visit high school students
and explain about the dangers of NIHL,
are teens already aware of this concern? A
study from the American Speech-Hearing
Association (ASHA) suggests that they are
more likely to admit to having experienced
three of the four symptoms of hearing loss
and less than half of the high school students
say they have experienced none of the
Between CD players, cell phones, stereos and iPods, consumers are at a point
where caution must be taken because using
one form or device as opposed to the other does not reduce the is the level
at which they are using the product.The
same study from ASHA asserts that adults
are just as likely to be using MP3 players
and at the same levels and close to the
same duration.
GN Resound’s campaign,Sound Effects,
is right in not closing the doors to those 18
and older.Adults and teens need to be educated and given alternatives for changing
their listening behavior. Minimizing the
durations you listen and maximize the
level to which you listen are just a few
suggestions to offer your patients. And, as
we know, with knowledge comes the
opportunity for us to create new habits. ■
"This is an important campaign," Downs said.
"Millions of kids have perfectly good hearing that
is being permanently damaged by noise. The
good news is that this type of hearing loss is
completely preventable. The message is simple:
by easing up the volume in their daily activities,
they have an excellent chance of preserving
their hearing for many years to come."
Deidre Downs, Miss
America 2005, is
spokesperson for GN
ReSound's Sound
Effects campaign to
prevent premature
noise-induced hearing loss. Deidre, who
(Photo: GN ReSound)
wears a GN ReSound
Metrix hearing aid, will be traveling around the
country to tell young people and others how to
protect their hearing. GN ReSound, is the secondlargest hearing aid manufacturer in the world.
Feature Industry Innovations
Starkey’s Bluetooth-compatible ELI and other
exciting new technologies from manufacturers
and hearing-instrument makers
Mackenzie Gaffney
Managing Editor
Industry Innovations Feature
he Hearing, Speech and
Deafness Center has recognized digitally programmable hearing aids
and completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
hearing aids as top contenders for
major advancements in hearing aid
technology.The center has placed an
article online entitled just that,
“Advancement in Hearing Aid
Technology,” available at www. one company,going
digital has added a new technology
product to there already advanced
product offering.
Hearing-Edison Spotlight: Starkey
Digital technology is better compared to
analog hearing instruments because it can
not only do what analog instruments can,
but more efficient according to Starkey.The
precision and flexibility of digital technology also gives hearing professionals the ability to be more accurate in tailor ing
amplification to match that of their customers’ listening and lifestyle needs.
The reason for the Starkey Spotlight ELI,a miniature Bluetooth device that gives
wireless communication between hearing
aid wearers and modern Bluetooth signal
sources. The official Bluetooth Web site
defines its technology as, “a short-range
communications technology intended to
replace the cables connecting portable
and/or fixed devices while maintaining high
levels of security. The key features of
Bluetooth technology are robustness, low
power and low cost...a uniform structure for
a wide range of devices to connect and
communicate with each other.
Being Bluetooth-compatible, ELI is able
to communicate with any Bluetoothenabled device like telephones, computers
or televisions. More specifically for the
hearing industry, ELI can communicate
with hearing aids in two ways: an Audio
Shoe to any compatible behind-the-ear, or
a neck loop to any hearing aid with a manual telecoil.This enables consumers to talk
on mobile phones for up to 150 minutes
without touching a handset. It minimizes
the buzz associated with hearing aids
and mobile phone units and allows for listening to computers or televisions without
hardwire connections.
The Basics of ELI
• Range is 33 feet
• Recharge time of 1-1/2 hours
• Talk time of 2-1/2 hours
• 140-hour operating time
• Rechargeable lithium-ion-polymer battery
• Weight is 5.2 grams
Starkey Research
At last year’s Medical Alley/MNBio
Conference,Starkey mentioned hearing aid
technology’s joining other technological
advances like ELI’s Bluetooth and other
consumer electronics,and the Internet.The
Internet often drives the knowledge that
patients find while doing their own research
and Starkey recognizes this trend towards
online health care knowledge, access, diagnosis and treatment.But,for now,the traditional methods of diagnosing and treatment
remain a patient-doctor, in-person interaction (as opposed to virtual); however,
Bluetooth technologies and wireless capabilities are expected to enhance the hearing
instrument industry.
More Latest & Greatest
With all the new innovations from the
“modern-day Edisons,” we thought that it
would be interesting to take a look at the
new technologies some of the manufacturers and hearing-instrument makers are creating in the industry.
microPower by Phonak
microPower offers a new miniaturized
high performance hearing system in the
power segment.A revolutionary miniature
microPower is developed for active
users with significant hearing loss.
Canal Receiver
Technology (CRT)
is at the core of this product that places the
hearing instrument’s receiver in the canal
and the size of the BTE can significantly be
reduced to an ultra small casing.The receiver in the ear provides additional gain and
output with a smooth, broadband frequency response.
With the separation of the microphone
and the receiver, most sources of acoustic
feedback are eliminated.This product is one
of the first micro devices with an automatic T-coil and FM capability. It has a weight
of 2 grams and introduces a new level of ease
for the wearer by using a soft instant fit
dome. microPower is offered in nine casing
colors,including black transparent as well as
four face plate colors for the custom shell.
Auria iConnect by Advanced
Bionics Corporation
A wireless, FM adapter, Auria iConnect
will make classroom education and afterschool activities for deaf children with
cochlear implants simpler.It attaches securely to the HiRes Auria cochlear implant
processor so active children with unique
hearing needs can participate freely and
confidently in their daily activities. And
more mainstream classrooms are now
equipped with FM systems which makes
Auria iConnect an added benefit for schools
as well.
Ion by Sonic Innovations Inc.
An open-ear hearing aid targeted for first
Continued On Page 33
ADA Professional Update
Professional Update
Starkey to Match 2006 AFA Donations, AFA Announces Scholarship Winners, AFA
Announces 2005 Donation Results, AFA Announces New Otoscope Program, AFA
Announces “Au.D. News” E-Newsletter, AuDalumni is Launched, AAA 2006 Election
Results Announced, AAA Applauds Apple, Annual ARA Institute
AFA Update
Starkey to Match 2006
AFA Donations
Donations to the Audiology
Foundation of America will
now be worth twice as much,
thanks to a matching grant, up
to $50,000, from Starkey in its
continuing support of the AFA
and the Au.D. movement.
The matching campaign
kicked off during this year’s
AAA convention in Minneapolis. In each of three previous
matching years, the AFA has
raised over $100,000.Donations
will continue to be used in support of the AFA’s mission: to
transition audiology to a doctoring profession with the
Au.D. as the basic requirement
for practice.This year, the AFA
has also placed special significance on working for state
licensure change throughout
the country.
“Starkey has been wonderfully supportive of the AFA, the
Au.D. movement and the profession of audiology,” said AFA
Director Micheal Hartman,
Au.D.“ changes
the lives of practitioners and
their patients for the better.
Starkey’s contribution will give
us the opportunity to gather
more resources and continue to
push the profession forward.”
Donations are now being
accepted via the AFA Web site
AFA Announces
Scholarship Winners
Thanks in part to scholarships
from the Audiology Foundation
of America, two more audiologists have joined the Au.D.
movement by enrolling in distance education programs.
Michael Pengelly and
Jennifer Reside each won
$1,000 scholarships, funded by
Widex,during a drawing at the
AFA booth during the 2005
AAA Convention.
Michael Pengelly (top) and Jennifer
Reside each won $1,000 scholarships, funded by Widex.
Pengelly began classes at the
Ar izona School of Health
Sciences last fall. Reside, who
holds degrees from the
University of Iowa and
Louisiana Tech University, will
attend the University of
Florida’s distance education
program beginning this spring.
She currently works in a private
practice in Minnesota, dispensing hearing aids and adminis-
tering vestibular evaluations.
“I am pursuing an Au.D.
because I love what I do and
want to learn as much as I can
about the field,” said Reside.
The AFA will continue to
award scholarships as part of its
participation at AAA in 2006.
This year’s convention will be
held in Minneapolis, Minn.,
from April 5-8.
AFA Announces 2005
Donation Results
Individual audiology practitioners and the hearing industry supported the Audiology
Foundation of America (AFA)
with $97,000 in financial support in 2005. Results were
recently tabulated after a final
end-of-year campaign drive.
Donors also backed the AFA
through its annual Art Auction,
via handmade and donated
items, as well as in the annual
AFA Golf Tournament event.
Together, these events raised
over $35,000.
This continued support of
the Au.D. movement allowed
the AFA to provide students
with scholarships worth
$27,000, finance nine white
coat ceremonies, give 12 presentations at state and national
conventions and advertise the
Au.D. over 25 times in professional audiology and consumer
publications.The AFA also provides an online Au.D. directory
for consumers via the AFA Web
site,and contributes articles and
other news items to various
print and online audiology
publications in support of the
Au.D. transition.
AFA Announces New
Otoscope Program
The Audiology Foundation
of America (AFA) has created
a new otoscope program for
third-year Au.D. students.The
new program, “Clued in to
Audiology” asks students to
read several articles and complete a short quiz to earn an
Only third-year students in
four-year Au.D. programs are
eligible to participate, and otoscopes will only be available
while supplies last.
Widex donated $10,000 in
otoscopes for this program
which will allow the AFA to
continue its work in supporting
Au.D. students and the Au.D.
“This new program will help
Au.D. students learn some of
the history of the Au.D. movement by reading important articles that have been written
throughout the transition,” said
AFA Executive Director Susan
Paarlberg. “It will give them a
sense of where we’ve come
from,and where we’re headed.”
Interested students can find
the quiz and further information by looking under “Educational Resources” on the AFA
Web site -
The AFA is a non-profit
foundation founded in 1989 to
lead audiology’s transition to a
doctoring profession with the
Au.D. as its unique designator.
Its vision includes the goal of
changing state licensure to
Professional Update ADA
incorporate the Au.D. as the
basic criteria for practice.
AFA Announces “Au.D.
News” E-Newsletter
The Audiology Foundation
of America (AFA) has created a
new e-newsletter, “Au.D.
News,” intended for Au.D.s to
keep them informed about
important issues within their
The free “Au.D. News” will
be e-mailed to subscribers six
times a year and will address
topics such as state licensure
updates and resources for
Au.D.s,as well as highlight AFA
scholarship winners and other
pro-Au.D.movement activities.
“Au.D. News” debuted in
February. New subscribers can
join the recipient list by e-mailing their contact information
to [email protected]
AuDalumni Update
AuDalumni is Launched proudly
announces its launch as a new
online community for all audiologists and audiology students.
Much like,
AuDalumni puts a fun spin on
a good concept: network with
colleagues from the past and
build friendships for the future.
Ross Cushing, Au.D., the
director of AuDalumni commented, “My hope is that
AuDalumni will become the
best way for audiologists to keep
in touch and make announcements online. AuDalumni has
completed a beta test with 20
audiologists and students and is
now inviting all of the audiology community to join. Not
only is it fast and easy to register, it’s free - and it’s addictive.”
In time,AuDalumni hopes to
provide not only information
sharing and entertainment value, but also a means to raise
money for scholarships and
humanitarian efforts.
To register at AuDalumni,
please go on the web to www. and click on
the orange “Register” link in
the Log In module. Then
choose and upload a picture for
your profile.
University of Pittsburgh in
Pittsburgh,Penn.She has extensive experience in educational
Patrick Feeney, Chief
of Audiology in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head
and Neck Surgery and V.M.
Bloedel Hearing Research
Center, University of Washington, Seattle,Wash.
These four new board members will join eight board members who currently represent
the private practice and clinical
practice settings.
AAA Update
2006 Election Results
The American Academy of
Audiology is pleased to
announce the results of this
year's election for PresidentElect and Board Members At
Large, whose terms begin July
1, 2006.
Academy President-Elect Alison Grimes, Au.D. is the
Coordinator of Clinical
Audiology for UCLA Medical
Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Following her term as president-elect, Grimes will assume
the office of president on July 1,
2007, for a one-year term.
Academy Board of Directors
- the following three nominees
were elected to the Academy
Board of Directors for a threeyear term beginning July 1,
2006 and running through June
30, 2009.
Bopanna Ballachanda, Ph.D.
is the Director of Audiology for
Premier Hearing Centers in
Albuquerque, N.M.
Kris English, Ph.D. is an
Associate Professor at the
American Academy of
Audiology Applauds
Apple’s Software to Limit
iPod Volume
The American Academy of
Audiology applauds Apple’s
introduction of a free software
update that gives iPod users the
ability to set maximum volume
limits on the device. In light of
the potential for use of personal stereo devices to result in
hear ing loss, the Apple
announcement reinforces the
Academy’s recommendation
that limits on volume level and
time spent listening are important factors to consider to protect one’s hearing.
“As the professionals responsible for hearing health care and
hearing loss prevention, audiologists are pleased to learn that
Apple has developed a free software package that provide iPod
users a method to limit the volume on the system. This can
help to guide people to use
their iPods in a responsible
manner that may prevent permanent hear ing loss” said
President Gail Whitelaw, Ph.D.
Using a combination code,
the update allows users and parents to set volume caps on the
iPod and lock them in.The new
volume limit update works
with all earphones and acces-
sories plugged into the iPod
headphone jack as well as the
iPod Radio Remote.The software update is available as a free
download for the iPod nano
and fifth generation iPod. iPod
users can download the free
update at
The American Academy of
Audiology, representing over
10,000 audiologists, is dedicated to providing quality hearing
care services through professional development,education,
research, and increased public
awareness of hearing and balance disorders. To learn more
about the audiology profession
and how audiologists are helping the 31 million Americans
who experience hearing loss,
please visit the Academy’s Web
site at
ARA Update
Annual ARA Institute
The Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology (ARA) announces their Annual ARA Institute
which will be held Oct.19 – 22,
2006 in Louisville, Ky. This
year’s conference theme is:
Honor ing our Past and
Preparing for our Future Celebrating 40 Years of the
Academy of Rehabilitative
Audiology. To celebrate the
40th anniversary,two of the past
ARA presidents, Dr. Julia Davis
(president 1980) and Dr. JeanPierre Gagné (president 1996)
will be the featured speakers at
the event.
Please visit the ARA website: for: podium
paper submission forms, Oyer
award applications,and institute
registration forms. ■
Feature Hearing Aid Services and Satisfaction
Hearing Aid Services
and Satisfaction:
The Consumer Viewpoint
Carren J. Stika, Ph.D.
Mark Ross, Ph.D.
Reprinted with permission
from the authors.
Hearing Aid Services and Satisfaction Feature
the U.S. today, a person
can purchase hearing
aids from two types of
dispensers: audiologists
and hearing instrument
specialists (formally known as hearing aid
dealers). Both groups are licensed to dispense hearing aids, but each came to this
activity based on significantly different paths
of formal education and training.There is
no information that indicates that consumers as a whole favor either group of dispensers. Such decisions are uniquely
personal and appear to have less to do with
the dispenser’s professional association (i.e.,
audiologist vs. hearing instrument specialist) than the consumer’s past experiences
with a particular dispenser or facility, the
recommendation of a referring source, the
influence of advertising,as well as such factors as convenience,cost,etc.Once involved
with someone,consumers are likely to continue to patronize the same person or facility in the future,if they are satisfied with the
quality of services previously obtained.
There are significant differences in the
nature and scope of training between audiologists and hearing instrument specialists.
Audiologists receive their specialized training in colleges and universities and currently require a minimum of a master’s
degree in order to be eligible for professional certification (CCC-A) and to meet
state licensing requirements. Before being
certified, audiologists must also pass a standardized, national competency examination. In 2007, a clinical doctorate (the
Au.D.) will be required of all audiologists
entering the profession.This will add, at a
minimum, a full year to their academic
training. Audiologists work in a variety of
medical,educational,industrial,clinical and
private practice settings with all ages and
types of populations. Much of their training and activities, however, is concerned
with the medical and diagnostic aspects of
hearing loss and not with hearing aids
State licensure practices for hearing
instrument specialists,on the other hand,are
less standardized across the country. The
general requirement typically specifies a
high-school diploma or two-year degree as
well as the passage of a written and practical examination. In addition, approximate-
ly 15 states require a training program or
apprenticeship ranging from 6 to 12
months before a hearing aid dispensing
license can be obtained.In order to become
a board certified hearing instrument specialist,two years of additional experience as
a hearing instrument specialist,and the passage of a national competency examination,
is required. Rather than working in a variety of settings, as do audiologists, hearing
instrument dispensers are pr imar ily
engaged in private practice.It is when hearing aids are dispensed to adults that roles of
the hearing instrument specialists and the
audiologists overlap (audiologists are the
group that usually selects and fits children
under the age of 18 with hearing aids).
These differences in training and background between the two groups beg the
question whether such differences are relevant insofar as consumer perceptions of
satisfaction are concerned. In other words,
is there indeed a difference in satisfaction
between those who purchased their hearing aids from audiologists or hearing instrument specialists? In order to answer this
question,we constructed a questionnaire in
which we sought to determine, if on average, consumers were generally more satisfied with the services they received from a
member of one or the other group.While
there have been studies that have compared
audiologists and hearing aid dispensers in
regards to their relative demographic makeup, referral sources, financial factors, number of client visits, binaural/monaural
recommendation, etc. (Skafte, 2000; Strom
2001),none have,to our knowledge,explicitly reported the relative satisfaction of consumers to the services provided by these
two groups.
In addition to this basic objective, we
also included other questions related to the
hearing aid selection process.This includes
such factors as the cost of the hearing aids,
number of visits and hours spent,the nature
of the services received,and the work location of the audiologists (private practice,ear,
nose and throat office,hospital,university or
speech and hearing center). In total, the
two-page questionnaire consisted of 13
questions.In the analyses below,respondent
ratings for all types of audiologists were
averaged when compared to hearing instrument specialists.
Survey Respondents
A total of 942 hearing aid users completed the questionnaire.Respondents were
drawn from a number of sources,including
people who attended the Self Help for
Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH)
national convention in St. Paul, Minn., and
in 2000, members of several local SHHH
chapters, members of the “SayWhatClub,”
plus a large number of hearing aid users
who received the Massachusetts
Commission on the Deaf and Hard of
Hearing newsletter. Respondents were
mostly older folks (about 76 percent were
age 60 years or older),with a wide range of
educational levels (although half had either
a bachelor’s or graduate degree). For the
most part, these were experienced hearing
aid users (about half had worn aids for 10
years or more).
Satisfaction with Services Received
It is important to emphasize that we did
not ask whether people were satisfied with
their hearing aids, but rather whether they
were satisfied with the services they
received from the person who dispensed
the aids to them. We view this as much
broader question than focusing just on the
hearing aids themselves,encompassing,as it
does,the totality of interactions consumers
have with the person who sold them the
hearing aids.
The results indicated that most consumers (76.6 percent), regardless from
which type of dispenser they purchased
their aids (i.e.,audiologist or hearing instrument specialist), indicated that they were
“definitely satisfied” or “satisfied” with the
services they received. However, with
regards to the key question comparing satisfaction between the two groups of hearing aid dispensers, we found that a
significantly greater percentage of people
who received hearing aids from audiologists
reported higher levels of satisfaction compared to those who received their aids from
hearing instrument dispensers (81.4 percent
versus 66.8 percent).
On the flip side of this question,we wondered whether there would be a difference
in the percentage of consumers who
expressed dissatisfaction with the services
they received from audiologists versus hearContinued On Next Page
Feature Hearing Aid Services and Satisfaction
ing instrument specialists. The results of
this survey did show such a difference:
more folks who purchased their aids from
hearing instrument specialists expressed
dissatisfaction than those people who
obtained hearing aids from audiologists
(21.5 percent versus 9.6 percent).In a related question, people were asked if they
would recommend their hearing aid dispenser to friends or relatives. In response,
more people who saw audiologists said,
“yes” (8l.3 percent) compared to those
who saw hearing instrument specialists
(62.7 percent).Therefore, according to our
findings, while people are generally satisfied with the services they receive when
purchasing hearing aids, they are generally more satisfied, and less dissatisfied, with
the services provided by audiologists than
by hearing instrument specialists. For both
groups, the longer a person wore a hearing aid and the higher the education level, the more satisfied they tended to be
with their hearing aids.
Table 1: Percentage of Respondents Indicating Information or Services were Provided
by Hearing Aid Dispenser
Referral Patterns to Hearing
Aid Dispenser
We were interested in knowing more
about how people are referred to a particular hearing aid dispenser and whether
there are differences in referral patterns for
people who purchase their hearing aids
from audiologists compared to those who
purchase their aids from hearing instrument specialists.The results of this survey
indicated clear differences in referral patterns. We found physicians referring a
much higher percentage of consumers to
audiologists (32.5 percent) than to hearing
instrument specialists (7.8 percent). On the
other hand, survey results indicated that
fewer people who saw audiologists (2.3
percent) were influenced by advertisements
in the public media compared to those
individuals who purchased their hearing
aids from hearing instrument specialists
(21.2 percent). This is the same pattern
found in other studies (Skafte 2000; Strom,
2001).Apparently, hearing instrument specialists depend more upon advertising than
do audiologists to acquire new clients,
while audiologists benefit more than do
hearing instrument specialists from professional networking. For other sources of
potential referral (e.g., family or friends),
Invited to participate in group meetings to help orient me to
my new hearing aid(s) ..................................................................7.7%.......................3.1%
Audiologists Hearing Instrument
(N = 651) Specialists (N = 230)
Provided clear explanation of my current audiogram..................77.7%.....................66.8%
Provided reason for selecting my hearing aid .............................78.6%.....................71.6%
Discussed care of the hearing aid ................................................79.2%.....................79.0%
Discussed care of the battery.......................................................66.6%.....................66.2%
Discussed earmold hygiene.........................................................59.8%.....................57.9%
Made certain I understood the T-switch ......................................48.2%.....................42.4%
Explained use of directional microphones ...................................25.7%.....................20.5%
Informed me about other hearing assistive technologies
(e.g., for the TV and telephone, Personal FM system;
signaling and warning devices) ...................................................33.7%.....................28.4%
Asked to complete a questionnaire to identify problems my
hearing aid causes me .................................................................11.7%......................9.6%
Asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire after wearing
the hearing aid to determine improvement..................................10.1%......................8.7%
Discussed coping and communication strategies .......................16.9%......................9.2%
Discussed with my spouse and/or other family members the
specifics of my hearing loss and communication strategies.......20.8%.....................20.2%
Provided information about Self Help for Hard of Hearing
People, Inc. (SHHH), Association for Late Deafened Adults
(ALDA), or other consumer resources.........................................19.1%.....................14.8%
Discussed communication strategies for dealing with
my hearing loss at work...............................................................13.3%......................7.9%
the percentages were similar for audiologists and hearing instrument specialists.
Number of Visits and Hours Spent
with the Hearing Aid Dispenser
We wanted to know whether audiologists
spend more or less time with their clients
than hearing instrument specialists.Based on
the results of this study, no significant difference emerged between audiologists and
hearing instrument specialists with respect
to number of visits and hours spent with the
consumer. When obtaining a hearing aid,
consumers tended to make slightly more
visits to the hearing instrument specialist
(4.3 visits) than to audiologists (4.1 visits),
but actually spent a bit more time with the
audiologists (3.2 hours) than with hearing
instrument specialists (2.6 hours).Evidently,
people saw their audiologists for a longer
period with each visit.
Cost of Hearing Aid
There were no significant differences
between the groups in respect to the prices
they charged for hearing aids. We asked
respondents to indicate cost category (e.g.
$501-1,000, $1,001-1,500, $1,501-2,000)
rather than the specific price.While both
groups charged people a wide range of
prices for hearing aids, neither group
favored either the higher or lower category price hearing aids. For both groups,
however,cost was significantly related to the
number of visits and hours devoted to the
selection process,as well as to the age of the
hearing aid.The more a hearing aid costs,
the more visits and hours spent on the
selection process and the more recently it
had been purchased. And there is nothing
surprising about this. Probably, these relationships reflect the fact that the more
expensive hearing aids were purchased
Hearing Aid Services and Satisfaction Feature
more recently, containing more programming options to work through, and that
they may require more remakes (in the case
of completely-in-the-canal hearing aids).
Interestingly, while for the hearing
instrument specialists there was no significant relationship between the cost of the
hearing aids and subsequent satisfaction,
there was such a positive relationship for
the audiologists.In other words,those people who purchased expensive hearing aids
from audiologists tended to be more satisfied than those who purchased similar
hearing aids from hearing instrument specialists.We hasten to point out that this does
not imply that people who purchased
expensive aids from hearing instrument
specialists are dissatisfied, only that no significant statistical relationship existed
between satisfaction and cost.At this point
in time, the reason for such an asymmetrical relationship can only be speculative;
possibly, it reflects the generally higher satisfaction ratings received by audiologists.
Services and Information Received
During the hearing aid dispensing
process, prospective users must receive certain kinds of information and services if
they are to be successful hearing aid users.
Certainly information about the care and
maintenance of the hearing aids is essential; however, people with hearing loss can
also benefit from other types of information and services, such as group hearing aid
orientation programs, information about
various assistive listening technologies other than hearing aids, coping strategies for
both the hearing aid wearer and hearing
family members, and community and
national resources. Indeed, several SHHH
position papers are explicit on this point,
emphasizing the benefits of consumer education and support services at the time of
the hearing aid purchase. Because we, too,
recognize the value of providing this type
of information and services to hearing aid
consumers, we asked people to indicate
whether or not they received various services and information at the time of purchasing their hearing aid(s).The results are
shown in Table 1.
As seen in Table 1, several patterns
emerge with respect to services and information provided to hearing aid consumers.
Interestingly, while for
the hearing instrument
specialists there was no
significant relationship
between the cost of the
hearing aids and subsequent
satisfaction, there was such a
positive relationship for the
audiologists. In other words,
those people who purchased
expensive hearing aids from
audiologists tended to be
more satisfied than those
who purchased similar
hearing aids from hearing
instrument specialists.
First, there is a slight, although not significant, greater frequency of services and
information provided to consumers by
audiologists than by hearing instrument
specialists. Second,
and certainly more
striking, is the finding that services and
infor mation that
directly impact
upon the hearing
aids themselves are
provided more frequently by both
groups than any
which may appear
to be secondary or
ancillary to the
hearing aid device
itself. In other
words,although the
vast major ity of
respondents reported receiving information about the
care of their new
hearing aids,batteries and ear mold
hygiene, fewer than
50 percent of the
respondents noted
that they received
information about
the use of the “T-
switch” (telecoil), directional microphones
or other hearing assistive technology from
either audiologists or hearing instrument
specialists.Moreover,the number of respondents who reported receiving information
about coping and communication strategies, support groups (e.g., SHHH,ALDA),
or invitations to participate in group hearing aid orientation meetings drops precipitously to less than 20 percent.
A few points must be made clear when
interpreting the results regarding services
and information re-ceived. Respondents
had three choices: “no,” “yes” and “not
needed.” This latter category was mostly
appropriate for long-time hearing aid
users, those who the dispenser “knew for
certain” that the specified service or information was not needed. It is probable,
therefore, that more hearing aid users actually received these services than these figures indicate.
It should also be noted that we were
asking what people remembered, not what
they actually received. It is probable that
Feature Hearing Aid Services and Satisfaction
some people simply forgot that the information or services were provided. None of
us can claim an infallible memory. Still,
what people rated is what they recalled. If
they did not remember receiving some
service/information then it suggests a need
for more extensive follow-up procedures
for review and reinforcement.
While the results indicate that, on the
average, consumers expressed a significant
preference for the services provided by
audiologists, it is important to note that
there was a large overlap in the ratings
between the two groups.These results represent average data and should not be
applied to any individual.We do not recommend that consumers abandon any
hearing instrument specialist whose services
they were content with, just on the basis of
the results of this study.On the other hand,
however, it is apparent that consumers as a
whole are generally more satisfied with the
services they receive from audiologists than
from hearing instrument specialists. This
should hardly be a surprising observation.
It conforms to every other professional
activity that we are aware of. Given a condition of varying complexity,such as is presented by hearing loss, and “solutions”
which likewise embody a range of possibilities, naturally that group with the most
comprehensive training will,on the average,
provide the more appropriate treatment.
This is why schools were invented.
When we began this study, we were not
certain how many people with hearing
loss understood the background and training differences between audiologists and
hearing instrument specialists, or understood that there were indeed two separate
groups legally dispensing hearing aids.We
are still not certain.We did try to get at this
in several of our questions. In the very first
question in the questionnaire, we specifically asked people to indicate the source
from whom they purchased their last hearing aid. Choices included audiologists
working in various settings,hearing instrument specialists and an “I don’t know” category. Only 2 percent of the respondents
checked this latter option, which suggests
that people did understand the differences
between the two groups.
Still,when we tried to word several questions to specifically make this determination,the responses we received were difficult
to interpret.It was a challenging question to
formulate without suggesting a preferred
answer.We asked people to comment if they
distinguished between the two groups when
seeking professional help for their hearing
loss needs.The majority of respondents (71
percent) reported distinguishing a hearing
instrument specialist and an audiologist
when purchasing hearing aids. But this
doesn’t inform us whether a greater percentage actually knew the difference
between the groups,but simply did not take
that into consideration when they purchased hearing aids.
Written responses to this question suggested that people did sense that there was
a “professional” difference, although they
couldn’t specify exactly what that was.
There were frequent comments that audiologists were trained in the medical aspects
of hearing loss while hearing instrument
specialists focused on the hearing aids
In our judgment, perhaps the most relevant information we obtained in this
study is contained in Table 1. Frankly, from
either group, the percentage of respondents who reported that they received
some particular service or information was
appallingly low.Perhaps,as we noted above,
these items were actually conveyed to the
hearing users; no matter, what they recall
is the only information that can possibly be
of assistance to them. Neither audiologists
nor hearing instrument specialists did a
very good job in conveying information
about T-coils, directional microphones and
other types of hearing assistive devices.
Very few conveyed information about coping and communication strategies generally or on the job. Few also administered
some sort of standardized self-report scale,
either before or after the hearing aid was
dispensed.Without this kind of information, it is not possible to develop quantitative accountability information or the
content necessary for individualized counseling of the client and family. In a way, it
matters little how many degrees a hearing
aid dispenser has; if he/she does not incorporate the additional information obtained
in routine clinical practice, it might as well
be non-existent.
It is likely that people would express
more satisfaction with the services they
received from any hearing aid dispenser
had more extensive and intensive services
aural rehabilitation been provided them.
For the most part, and for most people, we
believe that this can be provided within a
routine group hearing aid orientation program, as recommended by an SHHH position paper. There is no magic to this; we
know that hearing aid users can benefit
from additional counseling and a group
A/R program (Kochkin,1999;reviewed in
Ross, 1999). Current marketing and clinical trends, however, suggest a future where
even less follow-up services and information will be provided rather than more.
Hearing aids purchased via the internet is
one example of how the product and aural
rehabilitation services can be disconnect-
Hearing Aid Services and Satisfaction Feature
ed (as reviewed in another
SHHH position paper).
Clearly, consumers will have to
be both more knowledgeable
and more assertive if they are to
ensure that they receive the
kinds of information and services necessary to help them
reduce the total impact of a
hearing loss on their lives. ■
Kochkin, S. Paper delivered at
the World of Hear ing
May 29th l999.
Ross, M. (1999). Redefining
the Hearing Aid Selection
Process. Aural Rehabilitation
and Its Instrumentation,ASHA
Special Interest Division #7,
7(1), 3-7.
Skafte, M. D. (2000).The 1999
Hearing Instrument Market The Dispensers’Perspective.The
Hearing Review, 7(6), 8-40.
Strom, K. E. (2001). The HR
2000 Dispenser Survey. The
Hearing Review, 8(6), 20-42.
This project was a collaborative effort of the Rehabilitation
Research and Training Center
(RRTC) for Persons who are
Hard of Hear ing or Late
Deafened, located in San
Diego, Calif ., and the
Rehabilitation Engineering
Research Center (RERC),
located at the Lexington
School for the Deaf in New
York, N.Y. The RRTC and
RERC are funded by the U.S.
Department of Education,
National Institute on Disability
and Rehabilitation Research
in order to learn more about
how individuals adjust to
their hearing loss, including
their use of assistive listening
Carren J. Stika, Ph.D., is director of Research at the Rehabilitation Research Training Center,
San Diego, Calif. Mark Ross,
Ph.D., currently works with the
Rehabilitation Engineering
Research Center, Lexington
School for the Deaf, located in
New York, N.Y.
For Clients
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ADA Election 2006
Susan J.Williamson (Flory), Au.D.
Candidate: Secretary (continued)
Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (ADA)
Staff Audiologist 2002-2005 (continued)
• Designed content, coordinated logistics
and directed the 2005 membership
recruitment and retention campaign
along with association treasurer resulting
in 10% growth in membership.
• Responded to global inquiries from
within and outside the organization,
including industry, consumer, student
and member outreach.
• Coordinated exhibits and represented
ADA at national conferences and on
Capital Hill for purpose of building professional identity of organization to better assist membership and the
• Led industry watchdog activity, coordinated with Food and Drug
Administration in review of proposed
new hearing technologies and assisted
board secretary in designing appropriate
response from association.Team successfully defeated the 2004 proposed FDA
citizen’s petition to create new class of
over-the-counter hearing devices.
• Initiated and produced first ever electronic member survey conducted in
• Academy of Dispensing Audiology (ADA)
Editor, Feedback magazine ( 2001-2002)
• HearDoc, Inc. Industry Consultant
• Professional audiology consultant to
startup hearing instrument manufacturers,Songbird Medical,Cranbury,NJ and
InSound Medical, Newark, CA.
• Headed up audiology liaison to state
licensure boards regarding U.S.Food and
Drug Administration regulatory issues
surrounding new hearing aid technology including: serial number and additional device nomenclature,trial period,
medical exam,audiogram,written contract provisions, consumer protection
and marketing materials.
• Developed and promoted new distribution channels and programs focusing
on audiologists for expanding market
penetration with innovative disposable
hearing instruments.
• Hilton Head Hearing Services, Inc.
President and Founder (1983-2001)
• Conceptualized and founded Hilton
Head Hearing Services, the first private
practice audiology facility in Beaufort
County, SC.
• Developed complete auditory evaluation, diagnosis, management and wellness program incorporating stateof-the-art hear ing enhancement
• Initiated, developed and implemented
hearing conservation programs for area
businesses, resorts and schools.
• Contracted independent audiology services to various ENT, internist, and family practice physicians.
• Recruited and managed staff consisting of 2 audiologists and 2 administrative assistants; coordinated all aspects
of small business management and
• Expanded business to include two locations at time of sale with a market penetration 23 percent higher than the
national average in hearing aid sales.
• Fellow South Carolina Academy of
Audiology (1991- 2003) - Board Member,
Executive Council, Professional Liaison
• Fellow American Academy of Audiology
(1990-present) - SC State Representative
• Fellow Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (1989-present) - SC State Representative, Former Board Member
• Audiological Resource Association (1989
- present) - CEU Chair, Former Board
• 8 professional publications and presentations at national and state Audiology
• U.S. Small Business Administration
1996 South Carolina State Champion Award
• Hilton Head Island Chamber of
Commerce - 1995 Hilton Head Island Small
Business of the Year Award
• Sertoma International - 1991 Service Club
Supporting Hearing Impaired Tribune Award
SertomaInternational - 1990 Sertoman of
the Year
The Academy of Dispensing Audiologists has a history and tradition of serving as a catalyst for positive change
for audiologists and the profession. As
ADA celebrates its 30th anniversary, the
need for this professional organization to
continue to propel its membership more
powerfully into the future has never
been greater.
The original purpose of ADA was to
support audiologists who were or wanted
to dispense hearing aids during a time
when it was considered “illegal” to do so.
Once dispensing became part of audiologist’s accepted practice in the early 1980’s,
there was concern that ADA was no longer
needed. Fortunately, after much soul
searching, the ADA board of directors, at
the time,recognized the need for an organization to represent the business practitioners in the profession.ADA reorganized
and sponsored the first ever “business of
hearing” health forum in 1984. Later, in
1988, ADA went on to serve as a catalyst
for transforming audiology to the doctoral level profession we all know and value
today. I claim that the need is just as great
today for ADA to help members make
sense of the continuously unfolding threats
and opportunities facing the practicing
One of the great strengths of ADA lies
in the organization’s ability to continuously reinvent itself to best serve the needs
of the membership. In a rapidly changing
marketplace, ADA fills an important void
by offering like minded colleagues the
opportunity to join together, reflect and
invent new ways of helping each other and
their patients. As in those early years, the
ADA board of directors must continue to
conduct the same soul searching, but for
the purpose of serving as a catalyst for
change in what is clearly a new time, with
new concerns.
How My Experience Can Help
• Provide continuity for the values, mission
and vision of the current board through my
history as ADA Staff Audiologist and nonvoting member of the ADA board from
2001 - 2005.
• As a gerontologist, help the board and
membership look ahead into the future to
better understand the impact of demographics on the profession.The first of the
“baby boomers,” or those born between
1946 and 1965,enter their 60’s this year.All
told, there’s 78 million of them, with half
already over age 50 and 4 million more
being added to that category each year.
They think,act and feel differently than any
previous generation. I speculate that in the
next 10 – 20 years, these unprecedented
demographics will reshape the audiology
profession the same way boomers have
impacted all other age-related industries.
ADA will again have an opportunity to
provide leadership and serve as a catalyst for
exploiting these trends as opportunities for
members who are open to new thinking
and new practices.
• Support the concerns of the private practice business owner and those who practice autonomously through my nearly 20year history and exper ience as
owner/founder of a private practice.
• Assist ADA with strategic fundraising
efforts via industry relationships forged by
serving as editor of Feedback magazine
2001-2002 and industry liaison for convention sales in 2005.
• Work collegially with other professional
organizations to build the public identity
of the Doctor of Audiology. Support collaborative efforts to promote the passage of
current and future ADA sponsored legislation.
• Work cooperatively and respectfully
acknowledge other’s opinions as valid in
order to reach consensus.Willing to express
an opinion and engage in debate for the
sake of constructive discussion.
• Perform the duties of secretary per job
description as well as assist board members
in advance of meetings by research and
distribution of background information
on issues to be discussed.
New Initiatives
• Form regional networks of help via for the purpose of
enabling members to most effectively
assist each other with issues of reimbursement and state licensure.Variations
of this topic constituted most member
Election 2006 ADA
Industry Innovations Feature
inquir ies dur ing my role as Staff
time hearing aid wearers, Ion is powerful
enough to fit a wide range of highfrequency hearing loss. It is the result of
extensive research with hearing care professionals and hearing impaired consumers.
It offers an option to hearing impaired individuals who have not previously pursued
amplification because they are discreet in
appearance, comfortable to wear and
described as more natural sounding than
conventional hearing aids.
• Provide value to members by being an
organization with a heart and soul that
reflects the concerns of the membership
during times of prosperity as well as provide support during times when great
and unpredictable events, such as
Hurricane Katrina, result in financial
downturn. Have an existing structure
already in place to provide assistance
when needed.
• Develop models of best practices for all
aspects of patient care consistent with
ADA’s mission to advance practitioner
ADA is in a good place today with a
world-class management company and a
strong board working as a team to fulfill the
mission of the organization.Yet, an organization is only as strong as the members
make it.The late management guru, Peter
Drucker, stated: “The non-profit institution is not merely delivering a service. It
wants the end user to be not a user but a
doer. It uses a service to bring about a
change in human beings. It attempts to
become a part of the recipient rather than
merely a supplier.” I encourage all members to get involved, write an article for
Feedback, serve as a committee chair, volunteer at conventions, run for office, etc.
ADA is your professional home.
The expression,“the whole is the sum of
the parts, so be a good part,” is an appropriate analogy for those on the current
board. Having had the opportunity to
observe their dedication and diligence first
hand, I appreciate the “good part” they all
are and thank them for the good work
they have done.
If given the opportunity to make even a
small difference by serving as secretary for
the organization that has been my welcoming professional home since 1989, it
would be worthwhile. I’ll work enthusiastically on behalf of each and every
member to ensure that your voice is heard
and that your current and future needs are
met by committing to ADA’s high
standards of leadership, accountability,
performance and results. ■
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ADA Election 2006
Jewell Baggett-Strehlau,Au.D.
Position Statement (continued)
1) Promoting the recognition of the Au.D.
with consumers,legislators,insurance companies and other medical professionals.
2) Continuing efforts to promote direct
access to audiology care.
Tabitha Parent-Buck,Au.D.
Professional Activities (continued)
• Audiology Foundation of America
Examination Committee member and test
item writer (1999)
• Audiology Foundation of America
Alliance Fellowship Awards Committee
member and application rater (1998-1999)
• Teacher of the Year Award, University of
New Mexico,Department of Speech and
Hearing Sciences (1998)
• Student Research Forum Award,
American Academy of Audiology (1996)
• Outstanding Student Clinician Award,
Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing
Association (1992)
As I think about my involvement with
the ADA since the early 90’s, I can see
what the driving force of this Academy
has done for the profession and for the
careers of so many audiologists. I would be
pleased to serve as the treasurer for the
ADA board. I previously served as a section editor for ADA Feedback, and I am
cur rently on the ADA Convention
Committee. My experience working with
other associations spans from local involvement to the national level including: 1)
Ar izona Speech Language Heair ng
Association Committee Member for
Arizona Licensure Revision; 2) National
Association of Future Doctors of
Audiology Alumni Member and Local
Chapter Faculty Advisor; 3) Fellow
Member of the American Academy of
Audiology, 2003 Convention Special
Events Subcommittee, 2006 Taskforce
Member on Issues Related to 4th Year
3) Pursuing limited license practitioner
status that will take us out of the realm of
the therapist, and into the role of the health
care provider.
4) Recruiting students into our profession, especially those with high achievement in the areas of science and math.
5) Bolstering support for Ph.D.programs
that encourage research an the areas of hear-
ing and balance.
6) Fostering a sense of unity for all audiologists, regardless of their specialties.
I look forward to the opportunity, if elected to the ADA Board, to create as many
opportunities to energetically serve those
who have served me so well, and to further
the advancement of audiology care on a
national level. ■
Au.D. Students; 4) and Audiology
Foundation of America Board Member
1996-2003 and Past Treasurer.
As my education and career path
demonstrate, the Au.D. as the entry level
degree for the profession of audiology is an
issue that is a passion for me. As the
Chairperson for A. T. Still University’s
Audiology Program through the Arizona
School of Health Sciences, I am faced daily with issues that affect audiology students and clinical preceptors. As a member
of the ADA board I would work for continued progress in these areas which coincide with the ADA mission. My goals for
ADA, as a board member, would be to
maintain advocacy efforts for direct access
and increased autonomy, to work on
mechanisms to assist members at the state
level who are working with licensure revisions, and to continue collaboration that
supports excellence in Au.D. education for
the future of our profession.
Key components of the academy’s continued success will be solidifying the financial stability of the ADA and in-depth, long
range planning. These key components
will help to ensure that the wonderful
work of so many bold practitioners over
the years can continue to move our profession forward, and that the new bold and
bright Au.D.s will have private practices as
a viable options for their futures. ■
John Voss, Au.D.
Candidate: Member at Large
Position Statement (continued)
Stay updated
on pressing
topics by
visiting the
“On The Hill”
pages on the
web at www.
the funds donated to our organization by
AuDNet that will promote branding the
Au.D. in the most effective way.
I will work to maintain a relationship
with other audiology associations that promote similar goals and objectives.
Governmental affairs will need to be monitored and promoted to keep our profession
moving toward autonomy and direct access
by the consumer. I would also like to work
to keep our conventions active and practical.It is critical that the board communicate
with the membership to keep them
informed and involved.We can do this by
gathering information from the membership as well as working together to develop
new ideas or modifying existing plans.
As a member of the ADA board I will
work toward these objectives.Thank you for
this opportunity to serve you and the ADA
organization. ■
ADA Convention 2006 at The
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Resort • Scottsdale, AZ
October 11-14
Election 2006 ADA
Gail B. Brenner, Au.D.
Candidate, Board Member at Large
Professional Activities (continued)
Gretchen Adams Syfert, Au.D.
Candidate, Board Member at Large
Professional Activities (continued)
• ADA member, Academy of Dispensing
Audiologists (1983 - present)
• Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology(1990- present)
• American Tinnitus Association - Development Committee (2002-present)
• ASHA,The American Speech-LanguageHearing Association (1980 - present)
• Board of Directors, Delaware Valley
Audiology Discussion Group (1983 - 1990)
• LISHA,Long Island Speech and Hearing
Association (1979 - 1983)
• NJSHA, New Jersey Speech and
Hearing Association Professional Affairs
(1980 - 1983)
• PISHA, Pennsylvania Speech and
Hearing Association (1983 - 1988)
• SHHH telephone compatibility committee with phone manufacturers
• DVR traineeship in graduate school
• ADA fellow (1977 - present)
• ADA Board of Directors (1987/8 - 1990)
• AAA fellow 1989 - present
• AAA Board of Representatives (19921993)
• AAA Board of Directors (1993-96)
• AAA Chair,Public Relations Committee
• Co-Chair,Audiology Awareness
Committee (1997-1998/9)
• Auditory Society (1974-2005)
• ASHA (1969 - present)
• SHAV of Virginia (1983-1998)
• SHAV- (VA Speech and Hearing ) Board
of Directors,VP of Audiology (1988)
• Feedback contributing writer, “Audiology
in Nursing Homes” (1989)
• Over 10 professional presentations at
national and state Audiology meetings
In 1993, after only one month in private
practice, a colleague introduced me to ADA
and encouraged me to attend the annual
meeting in Clearwater, Florida. Given that
I started from “scratch,”and was in great debt
from the “leap of faith”I took for independence,I asked myself,how could I afford to go
and what was so special about this organization? I attended the meeting and it proved to
be a whole new world! I saw different breed
of audiologists,people who were driven and
trailblazing the road to autonomy, just like
me! It was a home for entrepreneurs. I was
awe struck by the camaraderie and openness
of this group of professionals and met my
mentor.I then learned that the dramatic and
positive changes that had affected our profession were the direct result of the hard
work and “grass roots” efforts of the membership and leaders of ADA.
I am most pleased and honored to be
nominated for a seat on the Board of ADA
as a Member at Large. I believe in direct
access to our services,supporting high standards for accreditation of Au.D. programs,
the student mentoring program, and professional development, just to name a few.
If elected I will serve and represent you
to the best of my abilities and promote the
advancement and true autonomy of audiologists in the 21st century. ■
It has been exciting to watch our profession mature over my nearly four decades in
audiology. The recent issue of Feedback (vol.
17, number 1) so clearly reminds us of the
many historical meetings and movements
that have brought us from the days of being
unable to ethically dispense hearing aids to a
doctoring profession with a large number of
successful private practices. We could only
have accomplished this as a far-sighted and
dedicated group that was willing to risk much
to lay a strong foundation for bringing our
profession from infancy to adulthood.
There is still more to do. We need to be
autonomous, independent providers of
hearing care who are well reimbursed and
well recognized for all of our services. All
audiologists should have an understanding
of where we were,how we got here,where
we are going and the costs and efforts
required to continue to move ahead.This
means that we all need to be involved in
efforts to help pass pending legislation be
it by visiting your legislators or simply contributing financially to our PAC, or both.
More practicing audiologists need to obtain
the Au.D. and those who have completed
the degree need to encourage existing practitioners to enroll in distance learning programs before the approaching deadlines.
These deadlines need to be observed, as
was the original intent of the distance learning programs. We need to have a strong
recruitment program for our residential
Au.D. programs.
Ethics discussions always generate heated
debates. We should recognize that with our
growth and development as a profession
comes responsibility. All audiologists need to
maintain a high level of ethical behavior. Just
because it “feels right”does not make it right.
Audiologists need to be aware that there are
specific legal guidelines for developing contracts with physicians and for reimbursement
contracts for employees. For example, a
lawyer at the recent Audiology Now conference stated that a commission structure
was not appropriate for our profession. While
ADA cannot be a legal resource for individuals, we need to help our members educate
themselves on these issues.
We must continue to work for these
changes from within the profession so no
outside forces have the incentive or ability
to force changes upon us. ADA has been
and should continue to be a venue for
addressing many issues,including autonomy,
ethics,the distance learning programs for the
Au.D., and state licensure at the doctoral
level.I also feel that ADA is in a unique position to provide support and a network for
experienced private practitioners who are
nearing retirement age and want to connect
with able doctoral level audiologists who
want to enter private practice.
We need to keep our profession strong
and continue with efforts to upgrade our
profession and services!
I believe that my previous experience on
the ADA Board of Directors, the AAA
Board of Directors, co-chair of Audiology
Awareness, Better Hearing and Speech
Month Steering Committee, in private
practice and on other committees and task
forces, places me in a unique and strong
position to know what more needs to be
accomplished and how to best complete
the tasks. I would appreciate your vote for
Member at Large for the ADA Board of
Directors. ■
ADA Election 2006
John T. Zeigler, Au.D.
Candidate: Member at Large
Position Statement (continued)
It would be an honor and a privilege to
serve the ADA membership as a Board
member. I have an appreciation for the talent and quality of the individuals with
whom I would serve over the next few years.
I believe ADA will be instrumental in taking the profession of Audiology to the next
level.The time is right for significant change.
I am motivated to serve on the ADA
Board to help provide leadership focused on
creating a demand for audiology care.The
profession of audiology can attain universal
recognition in the next few years and I will
do everything I can to brand audiology care
in the minds of consumers, legislators and
all health care practioners.
ADA has successfully positioned itself to
fulfill its mission statement of “advancing
practitioner excellence, high ethical standards,professional autonomy,hearing technology and sound business practices in the
provision of quality audiological care.” The
dedication and effort to champion these
causes have been Herculean and every
ADA president, officer and board member
deserves our gratitude and appreciation.
During the last 30 years, I have owned
and managed a thriving private practice.
Our staff has grown into a well-trained
force of five audiologists.Three have earned
their Au.D. degrees, one is in an Au.D.
externship and another is near completion of an Au.D. distance learning program. We also employ three hearing aid
specialists and an audiology assistant who
function as they are trained; to service and
maintain hearing instruments.They do not
assess the auditory system and work under
As a board member, I will encourage
ADA to continue to focus on creating tools
for branding audiology care. Marketing
materials that brand audiology care do not
feature products but rather the unique and
essential services that only an audiologist is
trained and licensed to provide for both
hearing and balance assessment. Such marketing materials should convey to the consumer, legislator or health professional that
they or their patient will always be evaluated by a licensed audiologist and outline
the educational standards and services only
an audiologist can maintain. In my practice
we have grown the business over 30 percent year over year strictly by advertising
and educating our consumers to “Ask for
an Audiologist!” Our bottom-line return
on the increased advertising investment
has averaged above 350 percent. We provide a written check list qualifying the
unique assets of a licensed audiologist in
our newspaper and direct mail ads.We never refer to ourselves as the likely, lesser
trained “hearing health care professional”
often referred to in manufacturer’s literature, but rather private label our products
and services as being provided by an audiologist. We explain and demonstrate
uniqueness in everything we do and great
success has been the result.
I will encourage a wide choice of
nationwide networks to build national
buying power and reduce the cost of goods
for independent audiologists. Independent
audiologists should organize their purchasing power to compete with organized
corporate delivery companies. Several
independent buying groups and networks
should be organized to serve independent
audiologists and to allow for competition
and freedom of choice and each should
limit membership to 100 percent licensed
audiologists. These independent buying
groups and networks, while maintaining a
direct and professional relationship with
any willing manufacturer, would support
ADA’s efforts to maintain independent
Audiology practices and their viability.
I would encourage ADA to develop a
program to give a “good housekeeping seal
of approval” to any buyer’s group that is
willing to promote ADA’s best practice
guidelines.This would allow ADA to give a
“seal of approval”to each group that requires
every member to be an audiologist.These
practices will deliver the highest standard of
care to each and every patient following
the mission statement guidelines. ADA
would demand good business practices and
ethical delivery of audiology care. I would
support a process, designed with complete
ADA Board review. This would position
ADA as the leader in branding and promoting audiology care.
I will actively support legislative efforts
to attain limited licensure practioner status.
Direct access to audiology by the consumer would give millions of hearing
impaired individuals the opportunity to
receive cost effective and quality audiology care.
Ethical issues exist that could impact
limited licensure practioner status. I will
always support ethical standards developed
and supported by ADA.
I will support efforts to lower practice
operating costs and raise office staff efficiencies by encouraging training programs
for support staff at every convention.
I will promote programs to ensure there
will always be opportunity for independent audiologists to own and maintain their
own private practice.
I will encourage several mechanisms to
ethically finance practice transitions.
New Au.D. professionals must be able to
step into the competitive market place
and succeed in building a stable and profitable private practice.My 30 years of experience in growing my own successful
practice in a very competitive market
enables me to actively advise in the development of sound practical business practice
I will make every effort to stop our profession from being homogenized and
branded as being the same as lesser trained
hearing aid providers.
I will work hard to insure that audiology is an attractive and lucrative career
choice not only for those active today, but
for those who follow in the future as doctors of audiology.
I will make every effort to make being
a member of ADA essential and fun.That
supporting ADA is critical to the future of
Audiology and a pleasure to participate. I
have been in many committees, chaired a
licensure board and participated in fund
raisers. I have always enjoyed the company of those who were working with me to
achieve a common goal.
I will be available to ADA members by
phone. I will make sure I have time to
answer questions and assure you that I am
open to discussion about any relevant topic concerning the profession of audiology.
Thank you for your kind consideration
and thank you for your vote. ■
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ADA President’s Message
successful resolution will be found this year.
This is a critical objective for the profession
since Medicare rates are reflected in all other insurance carrier fees.
The recent episode with Medicare points
out a glaring dependency the profession has
on rates established by a governmental
agency. The dilemma is that the governmental agencies are not responsive to true
market costs, but rather react in a reflexive
manner based on federal budget concerns.
Therefore, Medicare rates have little to due
with the valuation of a particular service,but
rather reflect the current national political
agenda.Budgets are dependent on priorities
as proposed by the president subject to
modification by the majority party in
Congress. War takes priority over health
care. Prescription drug plans take priority
over medical services.There is little doubt
that audiology services are well down on the
priority ladder.
So what does the profession do to protect
patient audiology services? Legislators and
government regulators need to hear the
audiology message in a coordinated manner.
Every member of Congress should know
that hearing loss is the third most common
disorder in adults! Carrying this message is
the professions’ responsibility. How do you
help? Get involved in your local academy.
Support our national advocacy efforts by
contributing to ADA’s Political Action
Committee (
How does a practice guard against the
continual deterioration of fee reimbursement? Audiologists must continually update
their best practice models to be consistent
with technology and patient care standards.
Thirty years ago when I began my practice,
a patient presenting with hearing loss would
be evaluated with an audiologic evaluation,
middle ear impedance and acoustic reflexes. Reimbursement for these services has
decreased with inflation.In the early 1980s,
my practice added auditory electrodiagnositic and electronystagmography services.This provided the opportunity to broaden
our referral base. It also assisted our marketing efforts since physicians would be initially more receptive to a message focused
on balance than hearing.On average,40-60
percent of a practice’s revenue is derived
from diagnostic services.This would place
any business in a precarious position if
research did not support updating patient
care standards.Current best practices dictates
that in addition to the protocols used 30
years ago, we now evaluate outer hair cell
performance, measure subjective tinnitus
and offer a wide range of vestibular rehabilitation services. In addition to these protocols, audiologists are now expected by
insurance carriers to manage hearing and
balance complaints.This allows audiologists
to bill for appropriate “evaluation and management”codes for non-Medicare patients.
Private insurance carriers recognize the
cost-effectiveness of audiology-based patient
management.This history illustrates that a
clinical profession depends upon research to
continue to provide patient care. Even
though we may not reflect on this relationship on a daily basis, the bond between
research and practice is reinforced with the
professional doctorate.
Technologies to Enhance Patient Care
Two developments that may help shape
future patient management is a recently
introduced mechanical device to inflate
Eustachian tubes ( and
a unique computer generated hearing
aid rehabilitation program to enhance communication performance (neurotone .com).
First, the inflation device, made by
Micromedics, incorporates the benefits of
the Politzer (1909) maneuver in an automated device. Silman and Arick (1999)
introduced the feasibility of a modern selfcontained device that would be appropriate for patient use. The Micromedics unit
has the potential benefit of treating otitis
media with effusion without medication or
surgery. Arick and Silman (2005) reported
on a home treatment protocol for children
who presented with effusion for 2 months
who were treated with a modified Politzer
apparatus (coined as the “earpopper”).
Over 73 percent of children experienced
resolution of otitis media, whereas, only 27
percent of the control group were asymptomatic. Silman, Arick and Emmer (2005)
observed similar outcomes in a follow-up
study. As further clinical trials verify these
encouraging results, this may prove to be a
marketing and treatment opportunity for
audiologists. It will allow audiologists to
carry another message to pediatricians con-
cerning advances in otitis media treatment.
The Academy of Pediatrics (2004) reported that in 2000,there were 16 million physician visits for treatment of otitis media.The
modified Politzer procedure has the potential for successfully reducing 1,920,000
annual visits. Eliminating unnecessary ear,
nose, and throat visits and surgery will be a
benefit to society and to the health care
industry.The role of the audiologist in this
new treatment paradigm will be dependent
on our creativity.
Secondly, patients who are treated for
sensorineural hearing loss by audiologists
oftentimes may benefit from formalized
communication skills training. Developing
and documenting these skills in an efficient
manner is the promise of a computer-based
program called Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE). Robert
Sweetow and Jennifer Henderson Sabes
developed this self-guided training program
that is marketed by
may prove to be an additional service that
will enhance our patient care and increase
hearing aid satisfaction.
I look forward to greeting you at the
ADA convention in Scottsdale, Ariz., Oct.
11-14 for our 30th Anniversary. ■
Arick D.S. & Silman S. (2005). Nonsurgical
home treatment of middle ear effusion and
associated hearing loss in children. Part I:
clinical trial. Ear Nose Throat J.:84(9):567
Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis
Media (2004) — Subcommittee on
Management of Acute Otitis Media
Pediatrics: 113 (5): 1451 — AAP Policy
Politzer A. (1909). Diseases of the Ear.
Phidelphia: Lea & Febiger
Silman S. & Arick D. (1999). Efficacy of a
Modified Politzer Apparatus in Management of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction in
Adults. J.A.Academy of Aud.: 10(9): 496
Silman S.,Arick D.S.& Emmer M.B.(2005).
Nonsurgical home treatment of middle ear
effusion and associated hearing loss in children. Part II: Validation study. Ear Nose
Throat J.: 84(10):646
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