Member-at-Large Nominee Video
Each nominee was asked the following question: Please comment on how the Academy’s objectives proactively position audiology for a successful future AND how will you personally contribute to achieving that vision.
Closed captioning is available.
Why are you interested in serving on the Academy board?
I have been practicing audiology for exactly 20 years. I took my first job as an audiologist in the United Kingdom in January 2002. I have practiced in different health-care systems (United Kingdom, Ecuador, and in the United States), and I have also practiced in different clinical settings (hospitals, hospital/academic, and private practice). Overall, I have experienced success and fulfillment in audiology. But in 2022, I started to consider leaving the field, or at least leaving clinical practice.
As an audiologist who has gone from loving and feeling energized by a fulfilling career to considering stepping away from it, I believe I bring an understating of the burn-out and pain-points many professionals experience today. I believe serving on the Academy Board of Directors will provide me with a unique opportunity to channel my current reflections into productive solutions.
Alejandra Ullauri, AuD, MPH, ABA Certified, CISC, CH-AP, is a bilingual audiologist practicing in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently the director of Chicago Hearing Care and the founder of Audiology En Español. She also participates as a subject-matter expert on pediatric hearing screening methods at the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety. Her professional interests include: improving audiological services and outcomes for the Hispanic/Latino community in the United States, improving the cochlear implant utilization rate by helping dispensing audiologists conduct cochlear implant assessments, and precepting AuD students and helping prepare the next generation of clinicians who will practice to the full scope of the profession.
Dr. Ullauri’s 20-year professional trajectory gives testimony to her commitment to improving access and quality of care for patients in need of audiological services.
Dr. Ullauri was born and raised in Ecuador, where she grew up spending many afternoons after school at her mother’s audiology practice. By eight years of age, she knew she wanted to be an audiologist. She completed her master’s degree in audiology at Flinders University of South Australia and her doctorate degree at the University of Florida. She has been fortunate to practice the profession in different countries, multiple clinical settings, and in different languages. Dr. Ullauri worked two years in the United Kingdom, seven years in Ecuador, and has worked the last eleven years in the United States. Throughout her career, she has practiced in hospital settings, academic hospitals, and private practices.
Dr. Ullauri also holds a master’s degree in public health that she obtained at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador as part of her pursuit to have a greater impact in hearing health in her own country. While working in Ecuador, Dr. Ullauri led the first national prevalence study of ear and hearing health using the WHO Ear and Hearing Survey. She later served on the taskforce that reviewed the WHO Hearing Survey version published in 2020. She also implemented a cochlear implant program that served almost 250 cochlear implant recipients, including adults and children.
In 2012, Dr. Ullauri moved to Chicago as a visiting instructor at the University of Illinois Chicago, and in 2013, she joined the University of Chicago Medicine team as the manager of the audiology department. In those first years working in Chicago, she noticed that there was a service gap for cochlear implant candidates and recipients outside hospital settings, which led her to open Chicago Hearing Care (CHC) in 2016. CHC is a private practice providing diagnostics and aural rehabilitation including hearing aids and cochlear implant services (candidacy assessments, counselling, and mapping). From the start, CHC has focused on patients’ outcomes, and that has proven to be the best marketing strategy. CHC’s growth is solely based on patients’ trust and satisfaction.
Dr. Ullauri also is committed to helping eliminate health-care disparities in the Hispanic/Latino population. In 2021, her book, Audiology Services in Diverse Communities: A Tool to Help Clinicians Working with Speaking Spanish Patients and their Families, was published by Plural Publishing. The book’s main goal was to provide clinicians (and interpreters) with assessment tools available in Spanish, as well as a language tool to assist with specific vocabulary, test descriptions and instructions for patients, as well as clinical history forms. To further support these efforts, the following year she founded Audiology En Español, an educational platform that teaches medical Spanish to bilingual audiologists so they can use Spanish safely and effectively in a clinical setting.
This year, Dr. Ullauri is working to expand those services and bring Medical Spanish for Audiologists to AuD programs. Dr. Ullauri is also a member of the National Association of Medical Spanish.
In her free time, Dr. Ullauri enjoys spending time with her husband riding their bikes along Lake Michigan or planning their next hiking excursion. She is also a proud and committed Big Sister at Big Brother Big Sister of Metropolitan Chicago.