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OVER THE WIRE

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000285602.24829.d3
Over the Wire

Over the Wire, a monthly feature, reports the latest developments in the hearing healthcare profession, including the activities of state and national professional associations and other nonprofit organizations. Please submit information to David Kirkwood, Editor, The Hearing Journal, 108 E 96th St., Suite 16C, New York, NY 10128, fax 212/784-1149; or e-mail David.Kirkwood@wolterskluwer.com.

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LARRY MAULDIN AWARD GOES TO CAROLE JOHNSON

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DENVER—Beltone Electronics awarded the eighth annual Larry Mauldin Award for Excellence in Education to Carole E. Johnson, PhD, AuD, during AudiologyNOW! 2007, the annual convention of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) held here April 18–21.

The prestigious award honors the accomplishments of the late Larry Mauldin, especially his contributions to education in audiology. It is given to an industry leader who is committed to continuing education and unselfishly gives back to the profession, the community, and the hearing-impaired population. Recipients are nominated and selected by industry peers, and Beltone sponsors the award.

“I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award than Dr. Johnson,” said Todd Murray, president, Beltone USA. “Her extraordinary contributions to audiology education are profound. We are grateful for her ongoing efforts to improve our industry through continuing education and by mentoring our future hearing care practitioners.”

Carole Johnson is a professor and AuD program coordinator and chief adviser in the Department of Communication Disorders at Auburn University. She especially enjoys teaching, advising, and involving undergraduate and AuD students in the research process. She also directs the Auditory Rehabilitation Laboratory at Auburn and has received funding from the NIDCD-NIH for her work investigating developmental speech perception in reverberation and noise.

Johnson has published 45 articles and two textbooks (Guidebook for Support Programs in Aural Rehabilitation and Handbook of Outcomes Measurement in Audiology) and has given more than 75 presentations at professional meetings. She has supervised students in developing programs for elderly residents of east-central Alabama and designed continuing education (CE) activities for physicians and allied health professionals to help reach underserved populations.

The Mauldin Award recipient is active in AAA, having served on numerous committees and task forces. She is currently on the Public Relations and Education Committees. As chair of the CE subcommittee, she developed the academy's CE Algorithm. The subcommittee was instrumental in developing e-Audiology, an on-line CE program. Johnson was guest editor of a special issue of Seminars in Hearing on contemporary continuing education in audiology.

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BHI UNVEILS 2007 PRINT PSAs

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has launched a new print campaign to provide public service announcements (PSAs) to 7000 magazines and newspapers across America. The 2007 campaign is designed to further BHI's goal of elevating the importance of hearing through public and medical education.

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The seven new print ads all recommend that people with hearing loss visit a hearing health professional. One of the themes of the PSAs is “equal rights for ears.” The message is that people who have vision problems get their eyes tested, and that correcting hearing should be as commonplace as vision correction. In this way, BHI seeks to position itself as “advocates for America's ears.”

One PSA asks, “Do your ears need glasses?” It adds, “When our vision becomes blurry we get it checked; when your ears need help, listen.”

Another focus of the campaign is that hearing loss can cost people much more than they think. Four relationships are shown with the message that poor hearing can impact that relationship. The four ads show a grandmother and her grandchild on a carousel, a baby boomer couple in a café, grandparents cut off from their grandchild, and a male baby boomer cut off from the people at his own birthday party. BHI's byline is, “Give yourself the best ears of your life.”

The seven PSAs are online at www.betterhearing.org/press/PSA.

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NOMINEES SOUGHT FOR TENTH ANNUAL FOCUS ON PEOPLE AWARDS

SOMERSET, NJ—Oticon, Inc., is asking for nominations of outstanding individuals with any degree of hearing loss for its 10th annual Focus on People Awards. The national awards program honors hearing-impaired students, adults, and advocacy volunteers whose accomplishments demonstrate that hearing loss need not limit a person's ability to make a difference in their families, their communities, or the world. Since 1998, the program has awarded more than $150,000 to deserving individuals and the not-for-profit causes of their choice.

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Peer Lauritsen, president of Oticon, Inc., said, “We believe that hurtful stereotypes influence the majority of individuals who hesitate to seek help for their hearing loss. Through this program, we hope to motivate people to speak with hearing care professionals about the new technologies that can enable them to live the lives they want with the hearing they have.”

Awards will be given in five categories: Student, for young people with hearing loss, age 6–21, who are full-time students; Adults, for people with hearing loss, 21 and above; Advocacy, for adults with hearing loss, 21 and above who volunteer their time in advocacy or support efforts for the hearing-impaired and deaf community; Practitioner, for hearing care professionals currently in practice; and Pediatric Practitioner, for hearing professionals in school or clinical settings.

Award winners will be announced at the Oticon Human Link Conference in September. First-place category winners will receive a $1000 award and a $1000 donation by Oticon to a not-for-profit cause of their choice. Second-place winners will receive $500 and third-place winners $250. All nominees will receive a certificate of recognition.

People may nominate themselves or others with a hearing loss for a Focus on People Award by completing a simple form that asks for a brief description of the accomplishments that distinguish a nominee as a role model for all, but especially for those struggling to overcome the stigma of hearing loss. For an application form, go to oticonusa.com. The deadline for nominations is June 30.

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AG BELL CONFERENCE

WASHINGTON, DC—How does neurodevelopmental research relate to spoken language, auditory brain development, and readiness to learn in infants as well as older children? That and related topics will be discussed during the “Talk for a Lifetime Summer Conference” being held here July 27–28 by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell).

Featured speakers will include Janet Werker, PhD, a leading authority on developmental, cross-language, and speech; Anu Sharma, PhD, a University of Colorado professor who researches cortical re-organization and development in children who are deaf and hard of hearing; and Maria Mody, PhD, a specialist in cognitive neuro-imaging of reading and language.

The conference will offer learning labs designed to foster discussion and enhance best practices in listening and spoken language development. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Auditory-Verbal CEUs will be available.

Further information and instructions on registering are available at www.agbell.org or by e-mailing Alicia Dimaio at adimaio@agbell.org.

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OUTSTANDING STUDENTS NOMINATED

LAFAYETTE, IN—The Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) has announced that 31 second-year students in residential doctor of audiology programs have been nominated for its 2007–2008 Outstanding AuD Student scholarship awards. One student from each of 31 universities was nominated. Two winners, to be announced in mid-June, will each receive $4500 awards.

The scholarships are funded through a grant from the Oticon Foundation, also known as the William Demant and Wife Ida Emilie Foundation.

This year's nominees are:

Dionna Prow, A.T. Still University/Arizona School of Health Sciences; Michelle Harker, Ball State University; Kristin Ciongoli, Bloomsburg University; Camie Wheeler, Central Michigan University; Melissa McNichol, James Madison University; Tasha Edwards, Lamar University; Brittany Day, Missouri State University; Kelli Wright, Northeast Ohio AuD Consortium; Claire Yeargers, Ohio State University; Felicia Stallings, Pennsylvania College of Optometry; Andrea Edgerton, Purdue University; Jacqueline Busen, Rush University; Irina Shterenberg, the Graduate Center at CUNY; Mary Carson, Towson University; Christina Dambra, University at Buffalo; Ryan Whitaker, University of Arizona; Stephanie Godelfer, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Elizabeth Willig, University of Cincinnati; Samantha Glover, University of Connecticut; Kelli Murphy, University of Kansas; Caitlin Rawn, University of North Carolina; Gregory Genna, University of Pittsburgh; Benjamin Russell, University of South Florida; Erin Castioni, University of Texas-Dallas; Jared Meyers, University of Utah; Heather Zingler, University of Wisconsin; Lindsay Rentmeester, Vanderbilt University; Alison Mensi Brockmeyer, Washington University in St. Louis; Hillary Swain, University of North Texas; Holly Anne Morlas, University of South Alabama; and Suzie Ip, Long Island AuD Consortium.

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KANSAS hearing SOCIETY MEETS

TOPEKA, KS—Well over 100 people attended the Kansas Hearing Society's 2007 Convention here March 8–10. The educational program, which some hearing professionals described as the best ever, was chaired by Kenneth Smith, PhD, a former president of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and included presentations by a dozen or so distinguished audiologists and otolaryngologists.

During the 45th annual meeting, members elected Haris Zafar, PhD, as president, Mark Kind, BC-HIS, as vice-president, and Tammy Miller, BC-HIS, as secretary-treasurer. Brad Hilderman and Alan Grigsby were elected directors.

Thirteen companies exhibited at the meeting, and 13 new members were welcomed into the society.

The 2008 convention will be held March 6–8 in Wichita.

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Preben Brunved

Preben Brunved, the longest serving employee of Oticon, Inc., died March 1 at his home in Somerset, NJ, at the age of 65. Brunved was one of the original employees of the U.S. headquarters of Oticon A/S, which he joined when it opened in 1967, following service as a sergeant in the Danish Royal Army. He held a degree in electrical engineering with a specialty in telecommunications from Frederiksberg Technical School.

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Although quiet and modest by nature, Brunved nonetheless became a widely recognized figure in the hearing industry, known especially for his expertise in hearing instrument connectivity. Over the years, he conducted numerous training sessions and workshops for hearing care professionals. Following a 2006 Human Link Conference workshop, participating practitioners praised both his extensive knowledge of his subject and his “genuine and caring style.”

He represented Oticon on a number of industry and association boards, including several technical committees of the Hearing Industries Association. Generous with this time and talents, he devoted both professional and personal time to furthering the work of the AG Bell organization.

Brunved was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of hearing instruments, which made him a valuable resource for hearing care professionals and the news media. The display case of classic hearing devices that he created for Oticon's 100th anniversary celebration in 2004 was featured in many newspaper and television reports chronicling the history of hearing solutions.

“Preben was a dedicated professional who contributed immensely to the success and growth of Oticon, Inc., and to the industry over the past 40 years,” said Peer Lauritsen, president of the company. “It is with great sadness that I learned of Preben's passing. I knew him to be a kind-hearted man whose combination of modest demeanor and generosity is as rare as it is commendable. There are few people who can claim to live their lives without pretense or egocentrism. Preben was such a person, although he would never credit himself with such virtues.”

Cynthia Compton-Conley, PhD, professor of audiology at Gallaudet University and director of its Assistive Devices Center, worked with Brunved for almost 30 years. She praised him as “a kind and generous person, always willing to share his knowledge about hearing aid and assistive technology, not only with me and my colleagues, but also with our AuD students.” She recalled that every year students in her assistive technology course took on projects requiring communication with industry personnel. Compton-Conley said, “Preben always took the time to provide my students with the information they sought.” In fact, she said, “We depended on him so much that ‘e-mail Preben’ became a departmental mantra.” One year, she said, her entire class sent him a hand-written thank you card, which he hung on the wall in his office

Although he lived in the U.S. for some 40 years, Brunved never lost his love for his native Denmark, where he returned each summer to his cottage in North Zeeland.

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