Let Me Hear From You

Let Me Hear From You

A Month to Celebrate

Happy New Year!

The start of the New Year signals the end of a festive holiday season and a new start for 2013. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Health and fitness typically top the list for many of us, along with more time with family and friends, a little time to yourself, and perhaps planning for some special events.

The Academy will commemorate a historic event in 2013. January 30 is our official Founders' Day and will mark 25 years since the Academy was formed. Our hats are off to Dr. James Jerger and the 31 other founders, who had the wisdom and forward thinking to create an organization of, by, and for audiologists.

Take a look back at how the practice of audiology has progressed over the past 25 years. We are in the information age, and enjoy the impact that digital technology has on the instrumentation we use, the evolution of wireless technology in amplification, the advancement of cochlear implants and processing strategies, and methods for assessing the central auditory nervous system and balance. The identification of hearing loss begins at birth and the diagnosis of hearing loss can be confirmed within the first few months of life. Our knowledge of how our hearing and balance systems work, and the options for (re)habilitation of hearing and balance continue to evolve.

The advancement in our practice does not come without need and challenge. Promoting and disseminating research is critical to the advancement of audiology. At the same time, practicing audiologists must have mechanisms to learn about new diagnostic techniques and technologies. We must demonstrate to other health-care providers and patients the enhanced outcomes we can deliver. Providing services requires procedural codes, valuation of these codes, and recognition by payers of the necessity and impact of these procedures on hearing health and wellness. As the profession continues to advance, our visibility and influence with policymakers and regulatory agencies must grow.

Sound familiar? How do we ensure this happens?

The mission of our Academy is to promote quality hearing and balance care through our focus in leadership, advocacy, education, public awareness, and research. We accomplish this via the dedication and efforts of several hundred volunteers on the board of directors, committees and task forces, individual representatives to outside organizations, Academy volunteer partners in philanthropy, certification, accreditation, and student development, and contributors to JAAA and AT. These many volunteers work in concert with our Academy staff in the advancement of our profession.

As I reflect on the past 25 years, my gratitude goes out to each and every one of the thousands of volunteers who have made the Academy what it is today. In this New Year, I hope that each of you will consider how you will be involved in our profession, perhaps making room for your own volunteer efforts with the Academy. Finally, I hope you’ll join me as one of many audiologists who will take time on January 30, to express gratitude to our founders, reflect on how far we’ve come, and imagine the potential for the audiology profession over the next 25 years.

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Academy!