Let Me Hear From You
The Audiologists Are Coming!
By Therese Walden, AuD
No truer words were spoken by the 2012 AudiologyNOW! Program Chair, Karen Jacobs, when she and an equally crazy film crew ran (or shall I say galloped) through the great city of Boston to provide convention attendees with a fun-filled, fact-filled, and hilarious video travelogue to open General Assembly on March 29, 2012. Dr. Jacobs and the film crew from Convention News TV worked as a team to achieve a common goal: to inform audiologists about the many opportunities at AudiologyNOW! and to do it in a highly amusing way! Equally engaging were the audiologists who gave selflessly of their time to address, extemporaneously, the hot topic issues of the day and acted as the most 'unexpected' keynote speakers of all time. Many thanks to all of those thoughtful, articulate, and fun-loving colleagues who participated in the video-taping to make General Assembly a truly memorable time. If you weren't able to be there in Boston or you missed the General Assembly, you can check out the videos on the AudiologyNOW! Web site.
AudiologyNOW! 2012 was a raging success on so many levels and the primary driver behind all of it was teamwork. Many people pulling together toward a common goal: to assure a top-notch and broad-reaching educational opportunity for audiologists and to provide awesome social and networking events. From the unparalleled educational program that spanned four full days from morning to night to the Boston-specific opening Celebrate Audiology to the always engaging Trivia Bowl, audiologists were bombarded with myriad opportunities to engage, experience, and excel. Additionally, the expansive and high-tech exhibit hall provided ample possibilities to learn about new products, services and publications necessary for audiologists to employ contemporary practice. And let me not forget the dynamic Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) presence throughout the meeting. This student-led academy continues to exceed all expectations. Working alongside the Program Committee, the SAA pulled in concert toward a common goal: to bring students together for education and engagement.
Following AudiologyNOW! in Boston, regular life goes on but even more opportunities to engage and participate in collegial activities presented themselves. For example, the Academy participated in the annual CAPCSD (Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders) in Newport Beach, CA. Academy leadership met with the CAPCSD Board to discuss the state of audiology education and to find common areas for partnering. The Academy also presented to the nearly 400 attendees during the Global Summit on Education. We were able to present information to the attendees about the efforts within the Academy and the interdependent organizations, the A4: AAA Foundation, ACAE, ABA, and SAA, on the state of global education in audiology. The Academy is looking forward to continued collegial discussions with the CAPCSD and related entities.
And lastly, what would an e-newsletter update be without mention of the hi Health Innovations online hearing test/hearing aid delivery model? Late in April, the Academy and the allied organizations with whom the Academy has forged collegial relationships in regards to this issue, received news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter to hi Health Innovations to cease marketing of the online hearing test as it was in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in terms of lack of pre-market approval for use as implemented. All concerned groups have been petitioning the FDA to review this new delivery model since its introduction in October 2011. Now, at the hi Health Innovations Web site, a consumer is instructed to obtain a hearing test from a physician (using the hearing test 'kit' distributed by the company) or through an audiologist. This information can then be uploaded to the hi Health Innovations Web site, whereby the consumer can then still purchase a 'programmed' hearing aid online. The FDA letter indicated this was fine as long as the FDA rules regulating hearing aid dispensing were followed.
Clearly, we have not heard the last of this delivery model and the Academy would still like to hear about any interactions members have and any solutions you may develop to help patients you see who have participated in this online delivery model. The bottom line is that we need to do what we do well: deliver state-of-the-art hearing health care to those who need the professional and highly beneficial care we provide. We need to be clear with patients about the services we provide and the value of those services and we need to ensure that our patients are cared for as they walk through the office or clinic door. That's our job.