Let Me Hear From You: AudiologyNOW! 2015—A Raging Success
AudiologyNOW 2015! (AN15) provided ground-breaking educational sessions, cutting-edge research, opportunities to evaluate innovative products, and some of the most fun-filled networking activities that will allow attendees to continue to "Steer with Success," as they return home to their practices! The AN15 Program Chair, Dr. Helena Solodar, led her program committee team from the planning phase, which began in May 2014, to the finish line on Saturday March 28 with the style of a runway model and the grace of a ballerina dancer! Many thanks to Helena and her team for creating an unforgettable event for our members and attendees.
Our 7th annual Academy Research Conference, chaired by Dr. Devin McCaslin, attracted more than 250 attendees who had the chance to learn from experts from around the world. This one-day translational research conference focused on the areas of vestibular assessment and rehabilitation. The speakers reviewed vestibular dysfunctions and what research is being done and how practice will be changing in the evaluation and treatment of vestibular disorders. We're pleased that this research conference will continue next year at AudiologyNOW! 2016 with Dr. Frank Musiek, chairing the conference focused on CAPD Evaluation and Treatment.
Learning labs also filled the day on Wednesday with opportunities to learn about cerumen management, unique tools to build your practice, and trends in insurance reimbursement to name just a few. There were also many featured sessions and learning modules available for attendees. The learning opportunities didn't end in the meeting rooms but extended to the exhibit hall with Celebrate Audiology being extended to 2 ½ hours of fun and learning with our industry partners. Attendees were able to learn about new products and even try them out on the exhibit floor! I don't want to forget the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) conference that also took place on Wednesday and the many activities they planned for their members to be engaged throughout AN15. The day ended with an option to support the American Academy of Audiology Foundation at their annual Happy Hour and the students Cheers for Ears event.
Thursday morning's General Assembly was truly an inspirational event. The keynote speaker, Staff Sargent (retired) Shiloh Harris, told his story of resilience after his Humvee was struck by an IED, killing three of his soldiers and leaving him with catastrophic injuries. He spent nearly three years in the burn unit at the Brooke Army Medical Center. While there wasn't a dry eye in the audience after Shilo told his story, he also left each of us inspired by the role we play in the lives of individuals with hearing loss. Shilo described how his hearing loss has significantly impacted his life and he recognized the value of the work we do as audiologists to improve the lives of individuals with hearing loss. If you want to learn more about Shilo and his story, check out his book Steel Will.
After a second day filled with an outstanding educational program, we honored the most accomplished hearing scientists and audiologists in the world at the Honors and Awards Banquet. Joseph W. Hall, PhD; James M Kate, EE; Harvey Dillon, PhD; David Moore, PhD; Gary Jacobson, PhD; and Brad Stach, PhD, were all honored for their significant contributions to the fields of audiology and/or hearing science. Those attending left the banquet optimistic about our profession, with a renewed respect for our colleagues and with a greater degree of enthusiasm for our work. A new award was also announced at the banquet, the Marion Downs Award for Excellence in Pediatric Audiology, which will honor audiologists for their exceptional work in pediatric audiology. We closed out the evening with our colleagues from around the work at the International Reception.
On Friday evening, an event with local flare was planned so attendees could gather together, network and have some fun. NIOSITA: Fiesta Audiology a night in Old San Antonio took place in the historic "original" downtown village of La Villita along the banks of the renowned San Antonio River Walk. Authentic and outstanding food and drinks were available and as the sun set the music inspired many to get on the dance floor and have some fun!
With each event at AN15 this year, we engaged with the local community and all they had to offer. The DiscovEARy Zone made its presence known in the community throughout the week at the Witte Museum. Sharon Sandridge, PhD, and her cadre of volunteers were able to educate thousands of children about how to prevent noise induced hearing loss.
It's hard to believe that all the work and fun is over for another year. If you weren't able to be in San Antonio, check out a few of the highlights on Audiology TV.
Mark your calendars for AudiologyNOW! 2016, April 13–16, in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Jocelyn Martin, program chair, and her team are already planning how to combine education and fun for you, our members. You won't want to miss it!
Until next time…