Widex Pediatric Hearing Assistance Program
Widex, Lisle, Ill, recently hosted its 2004 Pediatric Hearing Assistance Program partners at its Office of Research in Clinical Amplification in Lisle. The program helps provide digital hearing aids to children whose families have limited finances.

 This year, Widex contributed $120,000 in funds to six groups of pediatric hearing professionals. The hearing, speech, and language development of the children are monitored and managed by Widex, which hopes it will further the understanding of pediatric hearing aid fittings, as well as improve hearing aid reimbursement procedures for children.

The 2004 Pediatric Hearing Assistance Site Managers are: Cheryl Lang, MA, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Lynn Spivak, PhD, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY; Annelle Hodges, PhD, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla; Toni Maxon, PhD, New England Center for Hearing Rehabilitation, Hampton, Conn; Nannette Nicholson, PhD, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, Ark; and Jace Wolfe, PhD, Integris Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.

The 2004 Program Partners are Lisa Gibbs, Mary Martha Henry, Francis Kuk, Lisa Christensen, Jane Auriemmo, Megan Kessler, Heather Kasulis, Marcy Piatt, and Erin Anderson.

 AFA Board of Directors
The Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) has elected Christine Lomey Ulinski, AuD, to join its Board of Directors. Ulinski began her term in January 2004. Ulinski is a member of Illinois Academy of Audiology and has served on ILAA’s program and auction committees, as well as the Indiana Speech Language Hearing Association’s Audiology committee.

 The Hearing Review
Arati Murti has joined The Hearing Review (HR) as associate editor. Murti earned her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has worked in the health care publishing field on various titles.

 Peter C. Werth
The international hearing aid industry recently lost Peter Claude Werth, also known as "Mr. Hearing Aid" in England. Werth, 81, the founder of PC Werth Ltd in London, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor 3 months before his death on December 10, 2003.

Werth is widely credited as being the father of the independent dispensing profession in the United Kingdom (UK). Before Werth, most hearing aid dispensers in the UK were employed by large retail companies who manufactured their own instruments and employed sales staff at offices in major cities. Werth established the first independent source of supply for UK dispensing practices through access to high quality products from US and European manufacturers.

Werth’s career in the hearing industry began in 1939 at the Ardente Company in Central London, where he assembled carbon hearing aids. By the end of WWII, he started his own business and became one of the first independent hearing aid dealers. Werth began importing Beltone Inc’s Mono-Pac vacuum tube hearing aids and gained a surplus stock to his own dispensing requirements. Werth supplied the aids to other dispensers, marking the advent of the PC Werth Ltd wholesale business. Since that time, Werth represented several international hearing aid manufacturers, and he is credited with helping introduce many manufacturers and distributors throughout the world which eventually blossomed into strong partnerships.

In 1954, Werth cofounded the Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists of Great Britain (SHAA, now BSHAA), served as its president, and was awarded a BSHAA Honorary Life Fellowship in recognition of his unprecedented service to both associations. Today, Werth’s business continues to thrive under the ownership and day-to-day management of his son, Lawrence, who serves as managing director.

– Submitted by Lawrence Werth, PC Werth Ltd.

 Gunnar Liden
Upon first meeting Dr. Gunnar Liden, one would see a serious, reserved Swede, but would soon learn he as a jovial guy with a great sense of humor. Gunnar passed away December 29. He had retired to his childhood community of Sparsor, Sweden, in 1982, but remained active professionally until only a few years ago.

Gunnar started his career as a pediatrician in the late 1940s, but soon abandoned it for otology because, as he claimed, “I did not like the smell of dirty diapers.” In 1950, he attended the first International Course in Audiology in Stockholm, and he developed an interest in audiology. He went on to earn a PhD in audiology at the Karlinska Institute and was soon appointed director of the Dept of Oto-Audiology at Sahlgrenska Hospital in 1954. Gunnar was the only staff member at the time, but it grew to become the largest audiology clinic in Scandinavia. Ultimately, he became professor of Audiology at the Univ of Gothenburg Medical School.

Dr. Liden had a profound influence on the development of audiology in Scandinavia and was an important link to America. He served on many committees, published in journals, lectured and presented papers. He was the first to introduce speech audiometry to Sweden in the mid-50s, and was one of the early pioneers of impedance measurements, having published on the significance of the stapedial reflex for the understanding of speech in 1963. He also published the first article on the clinical application of tympanometry to appear in American literature in 1970.

He held two visiting professorships in the US as colleagues of Raymond Carhart and Earl Harford at Northwestern Univ and the Univ of Minnesota. He gave the Carhart Memorial Lecture in 1984.

Dr. Liden is survived by his wife, Nina, a daughter, three grandchildren, and eight grandchildren. All who had the great fortune to know Gunnar Liden will remember him as an energetic, good-natured man with a marvelous sense of humor. We will miss him.

– Submitted by Earl Harford, PhD.