Let Me Hear from You

Let Me Hear from You

2012—Imagine the Possibilities

When I stop to think about all the potential the year 2012 holds in store for me personally and professionally, I am just thrilled!  Personally: Brian and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary; our daughter Kelly will graduate from high school; I plan on playing enough golf to rack up a second hole-in-one; I look forward to voting in the 2012 national and local elections; I look forward to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; and with my new Kindle Fire, I will catch up on reading the classics and the NY Times best-sellers.  Professionally, I am looking forward to many things in 2012: AN! 2012 in Boston at the end of March; the Academy elections in February; the JAAA editorship under Gary Jacobson and co-editor Devin McCaslin; support (and passage!) of H.R. 2140 (Direct Access legislation); and working with the Academy’s Committees, our A4 partners (AAAF, ABA, ACAE, SAA) and our allied associations to advance the profession so we can be there to care for our patients.

So, as we move into 2012, a few select areas of note: 

Our legislative initiative (Direct Access – H.R. 2140) has 47 bipartisan co-sponsors which indicates widespread support for this common-sense legislation.  Take a few minutes to go to the Academy’s Legislative Action Center now, and look at the "Key Bills in Congress" page, and then contact your representative to engage him or her in a discussion to support these key bills. You can also use the resources on our Web site  to learn how best to advocate for the profession and your patients. While you are in discussions with your representative, also encourage him or her to find a permanent and fair solution to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula so that reimbursement to healthcare providers (under Medicare) is reasonable for services provided.

As we have since the announcement by UHC of their "hearing benefit" for subscribers, the Academy has worked diligently behind (and in front of) the scenes to educate, participate and engage Academy members and the patients they serve to ensure that proper hearing healthcare is provided. The Academy has also been in contact with staff at UHC and we have a meeting scheduled in early 2012 to discuss all the issues.

The Academy elections for your board of directors and president-elect will take place this year in February. Just like the upcoming national and local elections, it is your responsibility to learn about the candidates, understand their platform and then make a decision and vote the issues. The people we place into leadership roles (within the Academy and nationally) will be there for the next three years, so be sure you are voting in an informed and educated manner!

Within our A4 partners, there is new leadership, and I’d like to welcome Lisa Hunter, PhD as the new chair of the ACAE, Gail Whitelaw, PhD, as the new chair of the ABA, and Dick Danielson, PhD, as the chair of the AAA Foundation. Along with the new board/governors membership of these respective groups, I think we are all well positioned to continue great things into 2012 under the tutelage of these seasoned professionals.

Also, as I indicated above, JAAA will also be under new editorship with Gary Jacobson, PhD, as editor-in-chief, and Devin McCaslin, PhD, as deputy editor-in-chief. Under Jim Jerger, PhD, JAAA matured and flourished. Under Gary and Devin and with the numerous volunteers and staff who work on this elite publication, JAAA will exceed all expectations and will continue to be a critical tool we all use to expand and strengthen the profession’s knowledge base. I’m sure this will be “the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

By the way: 2012 is a leap year – so we all have one more day this year to take advantage of the opportunities afforded us, personally and professionally.  I am reminded of the last several lines of the famous poem by the great American poet, Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken: “…Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”  I look forward to working with you in 2012 to make a difference.