American Academy of Audiology Opens Capitol Hill Office
The American Academy of Audiology recently expanded its advocacy efforts in Washington by purchasing an office townhouse that will house its government relations staff, strategically located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. “This is a monumental event for both our membership and the patients we serve,” stated Academy President Alison Grimes, AuD. “We are proud to be taking a more active role in both the political process as well as the community of Capitol Hill and the District of Columbia. We diagnose and treat patients with hearing disorders all over the world and it is imperative that we help Congress understand the important part we play in health care delivery,” said Grimes.
As audiology’s “advocacy home on the Hill,” the Academy is expected to use this facility to reach out to the Capitol Hill community and to offer assistance in identifying children, seniors and others with possible hearing disorders. “What better place than our nation’s capital to renew our efforts to educate the public on the importance of hearing health care,” said Grimes. The Academy will also utilize this new office to strengthen its relationships with lawmakers and patients alike through its commitment to the legislative process and the community.
The Academy also intends to make the public more aware of their public policy initiatives. They are currently working to have Congress consider the Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act of 2007 introduced by Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR) that would allow much needed access to audiological services under Medicare. “When Congress is searching for ways in which to provide more cost effective quality care measures, it is important they consider this legislation (H.R. 1665),” stated Grimes.
Endorsed by virtually all of the nation’s consumer hearing health care organizations including the National Association of the Deaf (www.nad.org), the Hearing Loss Association of America (www.hearingloss.org), the American Tinnitus Association (www.ata.org), and the American Association of People with Disabilities (www.aapd-dc.org), it is easy to view this as a patient issue. “We are working to have Congress better understand the health care needs of patients as they approach their later years and require more access to quality care,” concluded Grimes. The Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 1665) currently has 54 co-sponsors and is awaiting Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) to introduce the Senate companion bill in the near future. Having a specific understanding of the health care delivery system, Senator Johnson is resolute in again leading the introduction of this important legislation in the Senate.
For more information contact Phil Bongiorno, Senior Director of Government Relations at the American Academy of Audiology at 703-226-1032.
The American Academy of Audiology is the world's largest professional organization of, by and for audiologists. The active membership of more than 10,000 audiologists join together to provide the highest quality of hearing healthcare service to children and adults described by our national slogan "Caring for America's Hearing." The Academy promotes quality hearing and balance care by advancing the profession of audiology through leadership, advocacy, education, public awareness and support of research.
For more information about the American Academy of Audiology, go to www.audiology.org