What’s New at the Florida Academy of Audiology: Interview with Noel Crosby, AuD
Douglas L. Beck, AuD, speaks with Dr. Crosby, about her role as president, state audiology, and more.
Academy: Good Morning, Noel. Congratulations on your presidency, I guess your term started in January 2009?
Crosby: Thanks, Doug. Yes, we take office in January. This is actually my second time as president of the FLAA. I held this office for the first time back in 2000.
Academy: What are some of the differences you’ve experienced as president, over the last nine years?
Crosby: Well, there are a lot of things that have changed. One thing that’s really so much better is that we have a management company now. And, so, for those of us on the Board, we can spend more time brainstorming and strategizing, and less time licking stamps and stuffing envelopes. So back in 2000, being president was a 24/7/365 obligation, and we spent a lot of time on trivial administrative things. Whereas this time, I can delegate, and the Board can delegate, and there are people in the management company that attend to the day-to-day details, leaving us far more time for “big-picture” items. So the bottom line is, I don’t have to micromanage everything.
Academy: That really is fabulous. I think many of the states affiliates have matured to the point where the revenue stream can support professional management, and as soon as you get there, particularly with a good management company—there ain’t no turning back! What about your membership? How many Florida audiologists are members?
Crosby: I think we have about 280 members, which is a lot when compared to most states. However, I should point out that some 70 or so of those members are students, and we do offer free membership for students.
Academy: Very good. To me, both the students and the professionals benefit from having the students involved, that’s a win-win. The FLAA benefits from their ideas and voluntary efforts such as at the convention, and then FLAA is able to prepare the students to be strong members and leaders of the FLAA in years to come. How many audiologists are there in the whole state?
Crosby: Well, I think there are actually some 800 or so, and so although we do work to get the others involved, it’s always been an issue.
Academy: Unfortunately, non-members don’t get the multitude of benefits offered by the FLAA. For example, the FLAA annual convention is consistently one of the best audiology state meetings. Between your organizational structure and the extraordinary speakers, and of course, the location (The PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, Florida) this really is a showcase for the profession. And I heard the meeting will be at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando next year?
Crosby: Yes, we do have lots of premier meeting spaces here in Florida, and we do try to move the meeting around geographically.
Academy: What other member benefits do you offer beyond the annual meeting?
Crosby: Well, there are quite a few. For instance our newsletter is excellent, it’s called “The Advocate” and it’s only available to the FLAA membership. Additionally, we offer a “Find an Audiologist” service through the FLAA Web site, too. This is so important because the public sees us as the official Florida professional audiology organization, and so of course, we refer the public to our members based on zip code, through the Web site.
Academy: That’s a great opportunity for the local audiologist because when the consumer turns to the FLAA to find an audiologist or to acquire hearing aids or for other amplification, diagnostic, tinnitus or vestibular services, getting the recommendation from the FLAA is far more powerful in the consumer’s eyes, than the yellow pages or Google.
Crosby: Of course. And the FLAA is very active in political circles, too. We’re often able to anticipate and impact state legislation in a very positive manner. In fact, without going into detail, we have sometimes urged change with respect to licensure, audiology and hearing aid rules and regulations, and sometimes, depending on the issue, we’ve prevented things from changing; like when one manufacturer wanted to sneak in with “over-the-counter” hearing aids.
Another wonderful aspect of FLAA is that we nurture audiology students and professionals to be our professional leaders for tomorrow. We have so much experience within the FLAA leadership and organization that we can really help students and professionals with their professional development and help them attain their goals. One other thing I might mention, when legislation comes up that needs our attention, the FLAA is fabulous about disseminating information to the members and FLAA gives very specific instructions on how the members can help—and this is so important when we need to have fast and efficient letter writing campaigns and contacts with our state leaders and representatives.
Academy: What’s the worst thing about being the FLAA president?
Crosby: There’s no worst thing! Being the president is a joy and I feel like I’m really helping and contributing to the profession, right here in my backyard.
Academy: Great answer! What about the relationship between FLAA and FLASHA?
Crosby: That’s an interesting question, and I’m really glad you brought that up. You know, there were some annoyances and differences that kept us from working together years ago, but the relationship has evolved, and we’re much more collaborative these days. We allow each other to advertise in each other’s publications, and we announce each other’s convention on our Web sites and we offer FLASHA members a reduced fee to attend our convention. So the relationship is very good, and we enjoy a collegial and collaborative relationship between the two organizations.
Academy: What’s the Web site address for the FLAA?
Academy: Okay, Noel, thanks so much for taking a little time to chat.
Crosby: My pleasure, Doug.
Noel Crosby, AuD, is president of the Florida Academy of Audiology.
Douglas L. Beck, AuD, Board Certified in Audiology, is the Web content editor for the American Academy of Audiology.