Let Me Hear From You: Rejoicing in New Beginnings

Let Me Hear From You: Rejoicing in New Beginnings

The month of May is a time to rejoice in new beginnings and to celebrate May as "Better Hearing Month." Hopefully you have planned events for your practice that promote hearing health in your community. Whether you will be attending a health fair, speaking with young people about safe listening levels, or providing information to a local church or synagogue about the benefits of looping their environment there are so many ways to promote better hearing. For more ideas and materials check out the Academy resources on our Web site.

While you're out promoting better hearing, don't forget to mention that Career Cast (Forbes) has ranked audiology as the 2nd best job in 2015. Career Cast reports that with an aging population and more access to preventative health care the field of audiology has one of the highest outlooks of all careers tracked in the 2015 Jobs Rated Report. More importantly they note that audiologists provide an invaluable service that benefits young and old alike! This should be good news for the hundreds of new graduates that will be entering the profession in May and throughout the summer. I'm confident you will find your professional life gratifying as you begin serving individuals with hearing, tinnitus and balance impairments. 

The Academy continues to be actively involved in recruiting the best and brightest to the profession of audiology. I want to thank our colleagues who have agreed to attend regional meetings of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) over the next few months. This NAAHP is a resource for university advisors and our colleagues will assist in educating the advisors about the profession and the opportunities that await a new audiology graduate.

The discussion of new beginnings was also at the forefront of the Academy Board of Director's quarterly meeting in late March. The board discussed the Academy's strategic plan and determined the need for updating and prioritization. They agreed that the July face-to-face board meeting agenda would focus on a review and necessary revisions to the Academy's strategic plan. The board also approved changes/updates to the Policies and Procedures Manual, a recommitment to participation in the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) "Get in the Hearing Loop" campaign, and a new Practice Guideline for Adult Patients with Severe-to-Profound Unilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

While you are promoting May Is Better Hearing month, the Academy volunteer members were also tasked with developing new materials to assist state academies in promoting National Audiology Awareness Month (NAAM). Additionally, the board received an update regarding the Leadership Development Taskforce, which will begin their work to develop new materials for our volunteer leaders and a newly formed Private Practice Taskforce, which will evaluate resources and needs of our colleagues in private practice.

Finally, just last week the Academy sent representatives to attend the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) committee meeting on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults. The IOM recognizes hearing loss as a public health issue and have established a consensus study to address a number of issues related to accessible and affordable hearing health care. They will specifically address the current federal regulations for hearing aid dispensing and evaluate accessibility and affordability of products and related services. The study will culminate with recommendations that may help guide policy and research.  The Academy will provide comments to the committee and will remain engaged as the study moves forward.  Stay tuned for additional details in the coming months.

In closing, I hope May becomes another prime opportunity for our members to promote the significant difference we make in the lives of individuals with hearing, tinnitus and balance disorders. Congratulations to our new colleagues who have or will be graduating from AuD programs across the country. Don't forget that your membership status will change from student to fellow. For more information on how to upgrade your membership please visit the Academy Web site.

Until next time…