Update: Also see, Blog: ADA and IHS’s Joint Unison Convention Hits Roadbump
The Hearing Healthcare Education Coalition (HHEC), Washington, DC, has announced the creation of the Unison Hearing Health Global Summit (Unison), an innovative forum and educational experience that will bring together audiologists, hearing aid specialists, physicians and other providers, as well as industry and consumer representatives. The HHEC reports that the inaugural Unison Hearing Health Global Summit will be held September 8-11, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Beginning in 2016, both IHS and ADA have committed to forgo their individual annual conventions, and will instead hold their respective membership meetings and networking activities in conjunction with the Unison Summit.
The purpose of Unison, according to the HHEC, is to foster transformative educational experiences for providers and ensure best practices in the delivery of optimal, outcome-based hearing health solutions that lead to better outcomes for patients. The HHEC says that Unison is designed for multi-organizational collaboration and participation, and encourages representation from all stakeholders. To date, Unison’s founding partners include the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) and the International Hearing Society (IHS). The Hearing Industries Association (HIA) has signed on as an endorsing sponsor.
“The genesis for the Unison Hearing Health Global Summit is the recognition that the entire healthcare landscape is shifting and yesterday’s models of care will not effectively serve the patients of tomorrow,” said ADA President Kim Cavitt, AuD. “There are 40 million people in the United States right now suffering from hearing loss, and only 25,000 audiologists and hearing aid specialists combined. It is time to create a learning and networking environment that brings together all stakeholders and providers—only then will we be able to cultivate sustainable solutions that optimize patient outcomes and advance our professional goals.”
The 2016 Unison Hearing Health Global Summit is expected to draw in excess of 1,000 attendees, including the leading dispensing audiologists and hearing aid specialists from across the country and around the world. The preliminary agenda is scheduled for release in fall 2015, and course proposals will also be accepted at that time.
“Unison provides an unprecedented opportunity to change the footprint of hearing healthcare education by engaging in deeper conversations and learning opportunities across providers, across the globe and across the continuum of care,” said IHS President Scott Beall, AuD, CCC-A, ACA, BC-HIS. “Leveraging our resources towards that great end will help achieve true innovations in care and ensure the excellent coordination of care.”
HIA Chair Todd Murray provided the manufacturing sector’s endorsement of the Hearing Healthcare Education Coalition and the “Unison” initiative. “HIA and its manufacturing members support programs that enhance the continued excellence of our dispensing customers and efficiently focus our collective resources to expand consumer benefit,” said Murray. “We believe this effort meets those criteria, we applaud ADA and IHS for their work, and collectively, we support them and expect success.”
The Hearing Review recently published a blog and an editorial in its February 2015 edition about why a joint meeting would be “one of the revolutionary moves our industry needs.”