VA AUDIT REVEALS BIG DELAYS
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has lagged in issuing and repairing hearing aids for veterans, an audit of the VA's hearing aid services showed.
During the six-month period ending September 2012, 30 percent of hearing aids were issued to veterans more than 30 days after the estimated date of their receipt at the facility. Staff attributed the delays to understaffing.
In addition, the Denver Acquisition and Logistics Center (DALC) did not meet its five-day timeliness goal for completing hearing aid repair services, instead taking 17 to 24 days. During this period, five of 21 repair technician positions were vacant.
Also, the inspectors observed an estimated 19,500 sealed packages of hearing aids that had arrived for repair but had not yet been recorded in DALC's production system. Without that record, staff members cannot identify whether a hearing aid has been received and what its repair status is.
The Under Secretary for Health should develop a plan to implement productivity and staffing standards for audiology clinics, and the principal executive director of the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction should ensure that DALC establishes appropriate staffing levels for its repair lab and controls for timely tracking of hearing aid repairs, the inspectors recommended.
AG BELL WELCOMES NEW CEO
Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, JD, was named CEO of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell).
Most recently, Mr. Alonso-Mendoza served as president and CEO of the nonprofit Take Stock in Children, a Florida organization that provides students with college scholarships and adult mentors.
Before that, he spent six years as president of the Catholic Community Foundation and four years with the Children's Home Society of Florida, where he was president of its foundation and chief development officer. From 1991 to 2000, Mr. Alonso-Mendoza was CEO of the National Parkinson Foundation.
CAA AWARDED MAX RENEWAL
The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech–Language Pathology (CAA) received the maximum 10-year renewal of recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The CAA has approved 243 master's programs in speech–language pathology and 73 clinical doctoral programs in audiology, with an additional 15 new programs in speech–language pathology and one in audiology holding pre-accreditation status.
CAA is part of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association but operates autonomously when conducting accreditation tasks.
GALLAUDET TURNS 150
Gallaudet University, the only four-year liberal arts university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, celebrated its 150th anniversary with a Charter Day Festival April 8. The festival commemorated President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Enabling Act on that day in 1864, which gave the school the authority to confer college degrees.
The celebration featured a commemorative wreath laying, exhibits and presentations by campus departments and student groups, university tours, tree planting, and an evening light up of Chapel Hall.
Also included was the grand opening of the “Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond” exhibition at Gallaudet University Museum, which traces the history of the university.
HEAR THE WORLD EXPANDS BOARD
The Hear the World Foundation added three new members to its Advisory Board, which evaluates applicant projects for funding. Their expertise will help the foundation expand its activities in Latin America, as noted in a news release.
* Beatriz Novaes, PhD, MBA, is professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo and cofounder of the Brazilian Academy of Audiology. Her work centers on intervention programs for children with hearing loss, especially those from low-income families.
* Orozimbo Alves Costa, MD, is senior professor of otolaryngology at the University of São Paulo–Bauru Campus's Audiological Research Center. There, he established a cochlear implant program within the Brazilian National Health System. His main areas of expertise are otologic surgery, cochlear implants, inner-ear pathology, and pediatric audiology.
* Senior medical technician Andrea Bohnert holds a teaching position at the Mainz University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany; studies child and newborn hearing screening; and lectures internationally on hearing loss in infants.
The Hear the World Foundation is a nonprofit organization set up by the Sonova Group.
NHCA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
The National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA)’s 2014 Executive Council is comprised of members from various professional backgrounds, such as academia, the military, and industry:
* President Beth Cooper, PE (professional engineer), is an acoustical engineer and hearing conservationist who provides technical support and training in occupational health and engineering at NASA's field centers.
* President-Elect Kristen (Kristy) Casto, PhD, is an active-duty Army audiologist who currently serves as deputy audiology and hearing conservation consultant to the Army Surgeon General.
* Immediate Past President Jennifer Tufts, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Connecticut.
* Secretary/Treasurer Nancy Wojcik, MS, is an epidemiologist in the Occupational and Public Health Division of ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences.
* Director of Education Marjorie McCullagh, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC (public/community health clinical nurse specialist–board certified), COHN-S (certified occupational health nurse–specialist), is a nurse–educator and researcher at the University of Michigan who studies the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss in farm operators.
* Director of Marketing and Public Relations Marvin “Joel” Jennings, MS, is on active duty in the U.S. Army and is pursuing a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is president of the Military Audiology Association.
* Director of Membership Cheryl Nadeau, MEd, is senior occupational audiologist for Workplace Integra and is in the process of earning a Doctor of Audiology degree from A.T. Still University at the Arizona School of Health Sciences.
* Director of Communication Cory Portnuff, AuD, PhD, is a clinical audiologist in Denver whose research focuses on noise-induced hearing loss in children.
* Member Delegate Marilyn Morgan, RN, is a hearing conservationist with Take Care Health Systems.
* Member Delegate Kara Cave, PhD, is chief of the Fort Campbell, KY, Hearing Program.
* PSP Member Delegate Sandra MacLean-Uberuaga, MA, is president of Alaska Occupational Audiology & Health Services and of Washington Audiology Services.
* Commercial Member Delegate Scott Lake, MSE, is engineering projects manager at Westone Laboratories, responsible for definition, design, and development of Westone's hearing protection products.
* Associate Member Delegate David Stern works for Boeing as health services administrator in the Pre-Employment Medical Department.