By Brenna Carroll This article is a part of the January/February 2018, Volume 30, Number 1, Audiology Today issue. An Interview with Dana Suskind, MD The Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology is one of the highlights of the annual American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Conference. The 2018 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, will feature Dana Suskind, MD, as the presenter for this year’s lecture on the morning of Friday, April 20. Dr. Suskind is a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago and director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. She is also the founder and director of Thirty Million Words™ (TMW). Rooted in scientific research focused on the importance of early language exposure and the developing child, TMW assists parents and caregivers in enhancing the home language environment to optimize their children’s brain development. This has downstream impact enhancing a child’s ability to learn, and long-term impact on behavior and self-regulation. This program is for all children, though children with hearing loss can be particularly vulnerable to the 30-million-word gap if early intervention is not provided. Dr. Suskind’s work relies on many health-care disciplines to interface with families. The audiologist plays an important role in this network with universal newborn hearing screening. Early intervention means that the audiologist may be one of the first points of contact as parents enter the health-care arena and learn their vital role in the development of their young children. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Suskind, and discussing TMW and how the audiologist fits into this program. This discussion provides a preview of what is sure to be an engaging presentation at the AAA Annual Conference 2018. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!