By Bopanna Ballachanda

This article is a part of the January/February 2024, Volume 36, Number 1, Audiology Today issue.

In the realm of professional advancement, the notion of unity consciousness is a guiding light that beckons us to embrace interconnectedness. It reminds us that we can no longer “go it alone” as we strive to build our professional lives and transcend the limitations of our past.

Bopanna Ballachanda, PhD, ABA Certified
President | American Academy of Audiology

The phrase, “power of unity,” is first attributed to Founding Father John Dickinson in his pre-Revolutionary War song, “The Liberty Song,” first published on July 7, 1768, in the Pennsylvania Journal and Pennsylvania Gazette newspapers.

The power of unity holds for audiology and audiologists. The American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology jointly introduced the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act (MAAIA) bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate. This legislation would improve outcomes for beneficiaries by allowing direct access to audiological services and streamlining Medicare coverage policies so that audiologists can provide the full range of Medicare-covered diagnostic and treatment services that correspond to their scope of practice. The legislation would also reclassify audiologists as practitioners, which is consistent with other Medicare-recognized nonphysician providers, and it would permanently make audiologists eligible to provide services through telehealth.

What do we need to do to pass this bill? I would like all audiologists to contact their elected officials to support this bill. There are many hurdles to getting a bill of this significance passed. However, we can pass the bill if we unite and stand together. It is easy to have good intentions, but what we need is the action to drive the powerful statement that we are united.

Unity is a state of being that calls upon each one of us to recognize the interconnected web of life in all its forms. It encourages us to extend a hand to our fellow audiologists, embrace diversity, and cultivate compassion and empathy within ourselves and our patient population. Let us awaken to the power of unity consciousness, for together we shall transcend the limitations of the past and usher in the futurebrimming with opportunities for audiologists. 

Most of all, let us continue to see where our divisions are within our communities and where we can place our differences aside to have a unified voice. We all must start somewhere to add the cooperative strengths needed to create the professional life we wish to live and pass on to the next generation. The American Academy of Audiology is committed to serving all audiologists. We are constantly working toward addressing the needs of audiologists.

We want to see unity in our members to support peace and tranquility in our professional lives. Please join me in ensuring that the cause of audiology and audiologists is more significant than ever by joining hands and being united. If we can send a bill with the utmost agreement, we can work on other important issues that need to be addressed.

The year 2023 was a great year for all; it was a new beginning for me and an assurance from the membership to lead the organization to success. Let all audiologists not “go it alone” but build a better future for audiology by the power of unity.

We are at the beginning of the new year; let us be thankful for all the great things to come in 2024. 

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