ROCKVILLE, MD–Neil J. DiSarno, PhD, CCC-A, began work this week as chief staff officer for audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the organization announced on August 20.
DiSarno, who for the past 14 years chaired the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Missouri State University, succeeds Vic Gladstone, PhD, who retired in April after more than 15 years in the position.
As he assumed his new post, DiSarno said, “The value and critical importance of the audiology profession need to be communicated and understood more than ever.” That, he explained, is because of societal developments such as widespread untreated hearing loss among aging baby boomers and reports of increased hearing loss among the young.
DiSarno, who started his own audiology practice in 1993, added, “Audiology practice is at a crossroads. Factors are in play that could change the current landscape. Were we to ignore them, it could be at our professional peril. It would be much better if we addressed them and actively shaped the future of practice while we still can.”
LONG ACTIVE IN ASHA
ASHA’s new chief staff officer for audiology has long worked as a volunteer with the 150,000-member organization. He has served on the Council for Clinical Certification, the Academic Affairs Board, and the board of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, among other posts.
In his new job, he will work with and on behalf of ASHA’s 14,000 audiology members, as well as liaisoning with ASHA’s accreditation, certification, and ethics programs. One of the most important tasks facing him will be to help ASHA members meet challenging issues in audiology practice. These include the demand for greater transparency in fees; the growing sale of hearing aids on the Internet, and finding ways to make hearing aids more affordable.
Before going to Missouri State University, DiSarno practiced in a variety of clinical settings, including a school district and treatment center in Alaska, the National Acoustics Center in New Zealand, and health care settings in New York State and Canada.
“Neil has a wonderfully diverse array of clinical and academic experiences and an excellent track record of leading and managing change,” said Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, chief executive officer of ASHA. “We are very pleased to welcome him to the ASHA National Office team.”