Brad Stach, PhD

Brad Stach, PhD

Head, Division of Audiology, Henry Ford Hospital

BA: Communication Disorders, New Mexico State University, 1977
MA: Audiology, Vanderbilt University, 1979
PhD: Audiology and Bioacoustics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1986

Why are you interested in serving on the Academy board?
The profession of audiology has made tremendous progress over the past decades as a result of the stewardship of the Academy. I am interested in helping in any way that I can to ensure continued progress in the future. I am particularly interested in working with the board and Academy staff to continue to refine the clinical education component of our academic model. I am also interested in promoting the message that our treatment services provide the highest standard of quality hearing care. The profession has made great strides in its relationship with the AMA’s coding and valuing processes. I would like to work with the board to continue to build this relationship and to find ways to enhance the profession’s standing with the CMS.

What challenges or key issues do you see for the audiology profession in the next five years? What would you hope to accomplish about these challenges during your term on the board?
Like all professions, audiology faces the challenges relating to the ever-shifting landscape of healthcare reimbursement. At the federal level, we are being asked to be more involved in evaluation and management of patients with no opportunity for being reimbursed for those services. At the more local level, we are faced with increasing third-party coverage for hearing-aid-related services that can sometimes be quite disadvantageous to the patients we serve. Along with our colleagues in other health-related professions, we need to provide leadership in ensuring our financial viability in the face of these challenges.

I also think we need leadership in finding ways to maintain high-quality care in this time of enterprise. At the national level, we have seen efforts to deregulate hearing-aid devices and seemingly disparage the patient-provider relationship. We also see increased pressure at the local level to promote services in a manner that emphasizes them as retail rather than care-related. I believe we need to change the narrative. The majority of our patients have chronic, age-related hearing loss. The cost for treating this chronic condition is considerably less than that for other age-related chronic disorders. We need to enhance our efforts to promote the care component of our treatment efforts.

Audiology education has evolved in a very meaningful way over the last two decades. Our ability to provide clinical education within the purview of our academic programs has led to great strides in educational outcomes. The lack of coordination of clinical education sites and programs remains a bottleneck that threatens to limit our capacity for training more students and training them consistently. We need to develop more streamlined processes and standards for the clinical education of our students.

These three areas, reimbursement, public awareness, and clinical education, are among the most important areas that need to be addressed over the next five years.

What experience do you have in the planning, evaluation, and implementation of a strategic plan?
I have been involved in strategic planning in various capacities during my two terms on the Board and at several of the institutions where I have worked.

List any experience in Financial Management. Describe your experience in developing and implementing a budget for practice, business, department, or organization?
I have directed clinical programs throughout my career and served as president and CEO of a company. I was also the original secretary-treasurer of the Academy and later served as chair of the Bboard’s finance committee. In all of these roles, I have been responsible for the development and implementation of the budgeting process.

Select three competencies you feel best to represent your leadership strengths.
Governance Experience, Leadership Skills, Organizational Knowledge

Based on the three competencies you selected that best represent your leadership strengths, comment on how these qualities would positively affect your ability to serve on the Academy board.
Governance experience: I have served on some non-profit voluntary boards and for-profit advisory boards. I have also served as a CEO, reporting to a voluntary board. Through these opportunities, I have learned to understand the importance of defining and maintaining roles relating to the successful management and governance of these various organizations. I think my knowledge and experience in this area would serve me well in an organization as multifaceted as the Academy and its partner organizations.

Leadership Skills: Membership on any board brings with it the responsibility of effective communication and representation of that board and organization. I have been the leader of some organizations and programs over the years, and I understand the gravity of stewardship. I think the Academy’s relationship with its members, other member organizations, and industry is of paramount importance and is strengthened by its leadership and the leadership skills of its board members.

Organizational knowledge: If the past is the prelude, then understanding it should help shape the vision of the future. My understanding of organizational structure in general and the evolution of the Academy and its partners should serve me well in contributing to the success of the Board and the organization.