Catherine Palmer, PhD, is an eminent leader in the field of audiology, whose contributions in clinical practice, research, education, and advocacy for the profession clearly warrant her selection for the 2023 Honors of the Academy.
As a clinician and researcher, Dr. Palmer is recognized internationally as a passionate, yet approachable, advocate for evidence-based audiological care. Her research productivity in amplification and interventional audiology continues while she maintains her own patient load and expertly manages 26 audiology office locations.
Since 1991, her innovative contributions in teaching and mentoring at the University of Pittsburgh have inspired dozens of doctoral students and she has earned the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Dr. Palmer’s advocacy for audiology was demonstrated when she became the face of our profession during uncertainties related to the impact of over-the counter (OTC) hearing aids. She led the Academy’s task force in responding to the FDA ruling for OTCs and she tirelessly interacted with policymakers and audiologists to bring clarity to this new and nebulous area.
Her service to the profession of audiology will be most remembered and appreciated for her extraordinary efforts as the Academy’s president during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her keen leadership, the Academy produced a wealth of resources for audiologists who sought to keep their offices open by implementing safe practices and alternate care models such as tele-audiology. Dr. Palmer’s calm and instructive communications, and her heroic guidance, were truly critical for guiding the profession of audiology during that historic and disruptive period.