D_Davies.jpg (8219 bytes)The events of September 11, 2001 have forever changed our world as we once knew it. This life changing event has shown us all how very fragile our world really is. It has changed the course of many individuals’ lives. It has shown us all how very important it is that we communicate with one another, that we tell one another how very much we care.

The value placed on our ability to communicate is without a doubt a vital element to one’s general physical well-being. The NCOA study documents what we all really knew, but did not have the statistical validation of the effects of hearing impairment on one’s general well-being.

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is introducing a new program for educating physicians on the importance of hearing. It deserves everyone’s support. This new video and multimedia CD-ROM BHI Physician Referral Development Program has been designed to spur nationwide physician referral and pair hearing care professionals with primary care doctors.

Primary care physicians are regarded as the “gatekeepers” of health care. For whatever reason, it has been determined that, in general, they do not discuss hearing care with their patients. BHI has developed a CD that offers health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and related medical staff, the opportunity to acquire full Continuing Medical Education (CME) accreditation for finishing the course. As an industry, we are indebted to BHI for having this honor bestowed upon us by the American College of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

The training program is underwritten by the manufacturers and suppliers to the hearing industry. For a one-time cost of $100.00, a hearing care professional will receive a package of materials with which to do outreach and referral development for 10 practices. This includes the first CD and test, and the second CD with which doctors can obtain CME credits, 10 reprints of the NCOA study, 10 reprints of the JAMA study, and 10 posters. BHI also includes referral pads, certificates for free hearing screenings and other materials. For more information, read the article by HR associate editor Ben Van Houten on page 26.

This program is exciting and deserves everyone’s support. Whatever your professional affiliation may be, get behind this effort and help make it happen. As an industry, we have so much to be proud of. We have research facilities that are second to none. We have technology that just three years ago was unheard of. We have highly educated, trained, caring professionals. We have the products that will help so many people. Be proud!

Call the Better Hearing Institute and tell them you want to be a part of this effort. Send your check for $100.00. You are the key. In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from the late Ralph Campagna, who said in 1963: "Let us create an industry-sponsored advertising campaign to sell good hearing (as the Better Vision Institute sells better sight). Let every dealer contribute $100.00 and every manufacturer and supplier contribute $100.00. We could amass more than half a million dollars each year to sell our industry to the public." Ralph Campagna was elected first president of the newly formed Better Hearing Institute in 1973, and he understood the need for industry-wide advertising and education programs. Get involved and renew your hearing awareness efforts by contacting BHI at 703-684-3391; www.betterhearing.org.

  Pauline Davies