GN ReSound Thanked by Kiwanis International

d02a.jpg (8226 bytes)Bloomington, Minn— GN ReSound was the recent recipient of an honorary plaque given by the Kiwanis International Foundation. The plaque was presented in appreciation for joining with them to serve the children who were truly the most innocent victims of the 9/11 Tragedy. GN ReSound contributed a holiday donation in the name of all their customers to the “911 Victims Children’s Fund.” The Kiwanis International Foundation established the fund to aid the children of the victims of the horrific events in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. The Kiwanis International Foundation is working with the Capital, New Jersey, and New York Districts and the clubs in the affected areas to ensure that contributions are being directed to the highest and best uses possible. Above (l to r), GN ReSound (US) Vice President of Marketing Henrik Nielsen, Vice President of Sales Richard Jackson, and President Carsten Trads receive the plaque from the Kiwanis International Foundation.

AFA survey finds benefits for AuD degree recipients
West Lafayette, Ind — The Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) reports that audiologists who have an AuD degree say that the degree has helped them to increase their knowledge, earn more money, and increase their status with patients and colleagues.

These findings were the result of the organization’s second annual AuD survey of about 400 audiologists. The majority (42%) of survey respondents worked in a private practice, followed by those working in an ENT office (21%), hospital (9%), educational audiology (7%), medical clinic (6%), or a university (2%). Most of the audiologists who responded worked full-time, and the majority (78%) of survey participants had 10 years of experience or more.

Average salary: The average annual income of the respondents was $67,150, with AuD graduates reporting an average annual income of $84,317. Audiologists who did not have an AuD degree had an average annual income of $63,533.

Reasons for obtaining AuD: Those audiologists who were enrolled in an AuD program or who planned to enroll were queried about their primary reason for pursuing the degree. Personal satisfaction, a desire to increase their knowledge, and increased status with patients were the top-three reasons cited. Audiologists who were enrolled in an AuD program or planning to enroll listed increased knowledge, increased status with patients, and increased marketability as key motivators in obtaining the degree.

Reported benefits: Ninety-five percent of those who had an AuD degree reported an increase in knowledge. Other reported benefits included: increased status with patients (81%); increased status with colleagues (73%); increased self-image (67%); increased marketability (46%); expanded services (44%); increased referrals (40%); and increased salary (35%).

Reasons for not obtaining AuD: Approximately 10% of the audiologists surveyed saw no personal/professional benefit in obtaining the degree. Others chose not to pursue the degree because they were near retirement, had family or other time commitments, and/or already had a PhD degree.

Duracell and Phonak announce strategic partnership
Boston — Duracell and Phonak Hearing Systems, Warrenville, Ill., have announced an exclusive North American distribution agreement for Phonak to sell Duracell® Activair® hearing aid batteries with the new EasyTab™ feature. Under the agreement, Phonak will become the sole distributor for Duracell Activair to hearing care professionals in the US and Canada. According to Duracell, this will broaden the distribution and reach of Activair batteries for dispensing professionals and improve service levels via Phonak’s distribution network.

Duracell views the agreement as an opportunity for hearing care professionals to increase consumer battery purchases in the professional channel. The company reports that up to 50% of patients who initially purchase batteries from dispensing offices switch to buying the batteries at retail outlets for subsequent purchases. A key reason for this, says Duracell, is that, unlike retail stores, many dispensing professionals carry only one brand of batteries so patients don’t get to choose their battery brand of choice.

Warehoused and shipped from Phonak’s US manufacturing facility in Warrenville, Ill, the new Activair EasyTab hearing aid batteries are in stock and ready for immediate shipment according to the companies. “With Phonak’s established distribution network within the hearing industry, this agreement will broaden the distribution and reach of Duracell Activair batteries to hearing health care professionals and improve service levels,” says Becky Bruce, vice president-sales, of Duracell Professional Products.

“We’ve built a complete new infrastructure to support Duracell’s battery business,” says Mike Jones, CEO of Phonak North America, “adding staff and implementing systems and processes designed to provide our professional customers with both outstanding products and service.”

The batteries feature a patent-pending, long, custom-shaped durable tab that adheres to each battery, replacing the tiny tabs that often frustrate hearing aid wearers. This is designed to provide a simple and easy solution to changing hearing aid batteries, which is a daunting task for millions of older hearing aid wearers. Additionally, improved technologies in the new battery cells reportedly deliver up to 30% longer life than previous Activair batteries. The product will be available in Sizes 5, 10, 13, 312, and 675.

The Earmold Company celebrates its 10th anniversary
Salem, Va — The Earmold Company, Ltd., recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as a manufacturer of custom earmolds and custom linear, programmable and digital ITE hearing instruments. The company also offers an all-make repair and reshelling service for ITEs.

H. James Gear, president/CEO, reports that The Earmold Company recently moved into a new facility that provides more manufacturing and customer service space. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [email protected].

GSI signs licensing agreement for Everest OAE/ABR system
Madison, Wis — Viasys Healthcare Inc, Conshohocken, Pa, announced today that its Grason-Stadler (GSI) division has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Everest Biomedical Instruments Co, St Louis, to manufacture and sell Everest’s AUDIOscreener. The testing device, which will be marketed and sold as the GSI AUDIOscreener, is reportedly the first portable, computer-independent, hand-held instrument to combine evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and auditory brainstem response (ABR) tests for newborn hearing screening.

Hearing loss is the #1 birth defect in the US, affecting three of every 1,000 babies born. Universal newborn hearing screening is now recommended by the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and 36 states have now passed legislation mandating such practices.

“With the AUDIOscreener, we will further penetrate the newborn hearing screening market, both in the US and abroad,” says Gerry Brew, president of GSI and Viasys Neurocare.

“We are thrilled about this partnership through which GSI—an industry leader—is aligned with the forefront of technology,” says Everest Biomedical Instruments CEO Eldar Causevic. “We are confident that, with GSI and Viasys’ history, name recognition, and resources, the AUDIOscreener will soon emerge as the leader in newborn hearing screening.”

2002 Winter Symposium hosted by Siemens Hearing Solutions
Piscataway, NJ — Siemens Hearing Solutions hosted its 2002 Winter Symposium on the latest developments in hearing instrument technology in Los Cabos, Mexico during January. Held on an annual basis, the Winter Symposium offers hearing care professionals the chance to learn new techniques in the hearing care industry and foster their abilities to achieve professional success and personal growth.

The Winter Symposium’s general lectures included updates on the latest hearing instrument advancements and fitting case histories, plus hands-on sessions with the newest hearing instruments, audiological software and professional products. Workshop sessions offered attendees hands-on experience with programmable hearing instrument software, audiometric diagnostic and testing equipment, assistive listening devices (ALDs), and other related equipment for hearing health care solutions.

Cochlear Corp renews $100,000 NCHH sponsorship
Washington, DC — The Deafness Research Foundation (DRF) announced that Cochlear Corp, Englewood, Co, has renewed its sponsorship of the National Campaign for Hearing Health (NCHH), a public outreach and advocacy initiative sponsored by DRF. Cochlear’s $100,000 donation will support programs designed to heighten awareness of cochlear implant technology among legislators and policy-makers, and address the lack of access to the technology due to insufficient insurance coverage.

Hearing loss is the number one birth defect in the United States, affecting more than 12,000 newborns each year. Through legislation for universal newborn hearing screening passed in 34 states, more children than ever are being diagnosed with hearing loss at an early age. In addition, technological advances have made it possible for infants as young as 12 months of age and adults with more residual hearing to benefit from cochlear implant technology, increasing the number of people eligible for implantation.

However, individuals are often unable to take advantage of cochlear implant technology because it is not covered by their insurance policies. The Campaign and Cochlear Corp. report that they recognize the need for educational efforts leading to increased coverage from insurance companies and are working together to provide it. “We are so grateful for Cochlear Corp.’s continued support of our efforts, as we advocate for insurance reimbursement for all assistive hearing technology,” says Elizabeth E. Thorp, director of the NCHH.

“One of the goals of the NCHH is to increase accessibility to cochlear implants for all those who can benefit from the technology,” says Jim Miller, president of Cochlear Corp. “The development of legislation that provides universal insurance coverage of the technology and follow up therapy required is essential to this cause. Cochlear is pleased to partner with The Campaign in their advocacy efforts to increase awareness of the need for improved reimbursement levels.”

Half of all Americans now use the Internet
Washington, DC — According to the United States Commerce Dept., more than half of all Americans now use the Internet. In September, 54% of Americans—or 143 million people—used the Internet, up from 33% 3 years earlier. Additionally, over 2 million people each month become first-time users of the Internet, and 9-in-10 children have access to computers at school or at home. Half of all households subscribe to an Internet service.

The report states that 45% of the US population uses email, and 39% of Internet users make online purchases. Additionally, 35% of individuals are looking for health-related information on the net.

Send news, calendar, product, personnel, and other announcements to:
Ben Van Houten, associate editor
Hearing Review
6701 Center Drive West, Suite 450
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Tel: 310-642-4400 ext 269
Email: [email protected]