Amy Donahue, PhD

Amy Donahue, PhD

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced that Amy Donahue, PhD, deputy director of the NIDCD’s Division of Scientific Programs, received the James B. Snow, Jr, MD, Award at the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)’s annual convention in Washington, DC, on June 26, 2016.

The award was created by the HLAA in 1997 to honor the contributions of Dr Snow—the first director of the NIDCD—toward furthering scientific research in the field of hearing loss. The award is given annually to a recipient who exemplifies this spirit.

According to the HLAA, Donahue was selected for “her commitment to research on hearing loss and healthy aging, [and] furthering scientific research in the field of hearing loss, especially as it relates to the promotion of accessible and affordable hearing health care.” The HLAA noted that Donahue “has been instrumental in promoting scientific research in this critical area, as well as facilitating a greater focus on the cost of care and behavioral aspects of dealing with hearing loss within the NIDCD.”

Donahue’s many career achievements include spearheading the development of the 2009 NIDCD-sponsored Working Group on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss. Together with co-chairs Judy R. Dubno, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina, and Lucille Beck, PhD, Department of Veterans Affairs, Donahue led the working group to develop a research agenda to increase the accessibility and affordability of hearing healthcare—including accessible and low-cost hearing aids—for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The working group articulated the opportunities, barriers, and research needs for promoting accessible and affordable hearing healthcare. Since that time, Donahue has led several NIDCD funding initiatives leading to the development of a research portfolio informing this public health area.

Based in large part on the outcomes of that workshop, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee of experts to study the accessibility and affordability of hearing healthcare. On June 2, the committee released its consensus study report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability, which describes 12 recommendations for advancing hearing healthcare in the US.

Source: NIH, NIDCD