Marion Downs, acclaimed as “mother of pediatric audiology,” dies at 100

By David H. Kirkwood Marion Downs, the beloved and revered audiologist who largely invented the field of pediatric audiology, died on November 13 in Dana Point, California, 10 months after her 100th birthday. Dr. Downs’s trailblazing work, begun in the early 1960s at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UC School of Medicine), showed the…

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CMS backs down; will preserve Medicare coverage of bone-anchored hearing systems

By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC—Responding to a broad-based national campaign by manufacturers, hearing care providers, and consumer advocates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on October 31 that it had reversed its position and would not end Medicare coverage of auditory osseointegrated implants (AOIs). As previously reported on this blog, CMS…

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Audiologists, dispensers, and consumers all have a stake in bills before Congress

By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC—After taking two months off to campaign for re-election, the 113rd Congress will finally return to Washington sometime in November for a brief lame duck session. There it will find a slew of bills related to hearing care waiting for them. Barring a miracle, this Congress, which has enacted less…

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Angela Loavenbruck and Lolly Wigall take over as co-editors of Hearing Views

By David H. Kirkwood TUCSON—Two accomplished audiologists, with a combined experience of more than 60 years in private practice, have joined the editorial team at HearingHealthMatters.org. On October 6, Angela Loavenbruck, EdD, and Loleata “Lolly” Wigall, MS, became co-editors of Hearing Views, which every week offers a fresh and original opinion, perspective, or commentary on…

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Childhood hearing loss increasing in the U.S., study in Pediatrics finds

The incidence of hearing impairment among children rose by 15% between 2001 and 2011, according to a study published last week in Pediatrics, an online publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The article, “Changing Trends of Childhood Disability,” reported an overall increase of 15.6% in childhood disabilities of all types over that period…

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Starkey, Widex help fund ACAE’s mission to raise the bar in audiology education

WASHINGTON, DC–The Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) got a much-needed boost earlier this month when Starkey Hearing Technologies, in conjunction with Widex USA, Inc., announced that they would provide $160,000 to the commission over the next three years, 2014-2016. ACAE is an independent non-profit organization that accredits university graduate programs in audiology. It was…

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At hearing, VA opposes IHS-backed bill allowing it to hire hearing aid specialists to serve vets

By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC—A bill to advance the goal of Fit to Serve, an International Hearing Society campaign to give hearing aid specialists a greater role in caring for veterans with hearing problems, was debated during a March 27 hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health.   BILL’S SPONSOR SEES “UNACCEPTABLE” DELAYS…

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Surprise at AudiologyNOW! Mueller and Northern announce it’s their final Trivia Bowl

By David H. Kirkwood ORLANDO, FL—The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) had advised convention-goers that Gus Mueller and Jerry Northern were “sure to have some tricks up their sleeves” for the 25th annual Audiology Trivia Bowl, which was held here today (Saturday, March 29) at AudiologyNOW! 2014. However, until a few days ago not even the Academy…

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Lawrence Eng to be AAA’s next president-elect, following six women in that role

RESTON, VA—When Lawrence Eng, AuD, becomes president of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) on July 1, 2015, he will be the first man to lead the organization since 2009, when Patrick Feeney, PhD, completed his term. As reported this week on the AAA web site, Eng was elected by the membership to serve as…

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FDA’s proposed new PSAP policy draws mixed response, but mostly opposed

  By David H. Kirkwood SILVER SPRING, MD–The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has  more than 100, highly diverse, public comments to consider in deciding if it should implement or rethink a proposed new guidance document that it issued on November 7. The document, drafted by the Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices Branch of…

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