Ida Institute, Naerum, Denmark, recently convened two gatherings of hearing care opinion leaders representing audiology departments of leading US and UK universities.

The first Ida Institute UK Academic Panel was held at University College London, where representatives of 10 UK universities explored opportunities to integrate Ida Institute’s  education materials into undergraduate and graduate curriculums.

Educators from 23 US universities participated in the second US Academic Panel, held at City University of New York. The group continued work on several projects begun in 2009 at the first US Academic Panel, including a curriculum for a full three-credit course built around Ida Institute tools and the development of a preceptor program.

“Ida Institute is seeking to affect a paradigm shift in audiology that will strengthen and expand patient-centered hearing care in private practices, clinics, medical settings, and national and international health care organizations,” said Lise Lotte Bundesen, the Institute’s director. “We are grateful for the willingness of so many outstanding educators to partner with us in reaching the newest generation of hearing care professionals with Ida Institute learnings and patient-centered tools.

"Their generous investment in this process will enable us to affect positive growth for students and the profession and ultimately, to deliver an improved quality of care to people with hearing loss,” she added.

Participating in the panels was Ida Institute’s first visiting scholar, Deborah Von Hapsburg, PhD, associate professor, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Tennessee. Van Hapsburg commented on the collective responses of educators to discussion of the potential challenges and benefits of curriculum change. “It is clear that change requires an investment in time to adapt curriculums and to find resources needed to infuse courses with the new material appropriately and successfully," she said. "A new approach will also necessitate that educators learn new techniques for teaching in groups and leading discussions.”

“On the other hand, panel participants acknowledge that the potential benefits are considerable," she added. "These include an improved standard of care for patients, an opportunity to get back to the patient-centered ‘roots’ of our profession, and positive growth for both the profession and students.”

Among the US universities represented were: University of Florida, James Madison University, University of Texas – Dallas, University of Arizona, University of Pittsburgh, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Ohio State University, University of Mississippi, Columbia University, University of Louisville, University of Cincinnati, Cornell Medical School, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Akron, Purdue University – West Lafayette, Rush University, Gallaudet University, University of Iowa, Wayne State University, and the Veterans Administration.

Among the UK universities represented were: Bristol University, Queen Margaret University, University College London, Aston University, De Montfort University, University of Manchester, University of Swansea, Anglia-Ruskin University, and University of Southhampton.

A number of Ida Institute fellows–hearing care professionals who have completed one of the Institute’s seminar sessions–have already successfully integrated the Institute’s patient-centered tools into curriculums for undergradute, graduate, and post-graduate students. In addition, Ida Institute is developing modules that will contain a variety of education materials to enable educators, clinicians, and other hearing care professionals to conduct training sessions for students, staff members, and hearing-impaired individuals.

Established in 2007 with a grant from the Oticon Foundation, the Institute is a nonprofit independent educational institute that seeks to foster a better understanding of the human dynamics associated with hearing loss. By serving as a catalyst for knowledge sharing and the development of innovative and practical tools, the Institute assists hearing care professionals in helping hearing-impaired people address the physical, psychological, and social challenges of hearing loss.

[Source: Ida Institute]