New Facility for Beltone and GN ReSound Group

Glenview, Ill – Beltone and GN ReSound celebrated the groundbreaking of Beltone’s new corporate headquarters and GN ReSound’s R&D and global manufacturing & research headquarters in “The Glen,” also known as Prairie Glen Corporate Campus, on September 1st.

 Beltone and GN ReSound executives, employees, and local city officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the companies’ new corporate headquarters in Glenview, Ill.

Upon its completion in Summer 2005, the 49,000-square-foot, two-story building will serve as one of the key facilities for the GN ReSound Group. “Today, we are here to celebrate as GN ReSound Group takes another step forward in the area of hearing care research,” said Jesper Mailind, president and CEO of GN ReSound. “The discoveries made in this new facility will touch the lives of millions of people, and more importantly, mean a better, healthier life for the growing number of people who suffer from hearing loss.

“This new building will offer our current and future Beltone employees and Network members first-class corporate facilities in one of the area’s premier locations,” says Beltone President Todd Murray. “In addition, it represents this company’s commitment to playing a leadership role in the future of hearing health care. We’re proud to help make this vision a reality.” Following the ground-breaking ceremony, Beltone and GN ReSound employees were served lunch and taken on a bus tour of the area.

Beltone worked with Catellus Development Corp to develop the new North American headquarters at the Prairie Glen Corporate Campus. Prairie Glen is considered one of the premier locations in Chicago’s northern suburbs for major corporate relocations, according to Kevin Matzke, Catellus senior vice president.

Founded in 1940, Chicago-based Beltone Electronics Corporation, LLC. is part of the GN ReSound Group, with a reported hearing care network of more than 1,200 offices in North America.

ASHA Sets Sights for Philadelphia in November
Rockville, MD – The 2004 ASHA Convention will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, November 18-20. The convention features a comprehensive program for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech and hearing scientists, with more than 1,500 educational sessions highlighting the latest developments in research and clinical practices. Nearly 300 exhibitors, including hearing aid manufacturers and other companies in the speech and hearing industries, will be showcasing products and services in the convention exhibit hall.

Jane Seymour, award-winning television and movie actress, will receive the Annie Glenn Award during ASHA’s annual awards ceremony on Friday, November 19. A dedicated activist for children’s welfare around the world, Seymour will be presented with the award by Senator and Mrs. John Glenn. ASHA is a national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 114,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists.

California Hearing Aid Mandate Goes to Governor’s Desk
Sacramento, Calif – In late August, a California State Senate Bill (SB 1158) mandating insurance companies to maintain provisions in health care plans for the reimbursement of hearing aids for children went to enrollment on August 23rd, and it is scheduled to go to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signature or veto.

The good news is that the bill would require that, beginning January 1, 2005, all health service plans operating in the state would have to provide $1,000 for hearing aid coverage for all enrollees under 18, once every 3 years. The bad news is that insurance companies would have sole discretion as to which hearing aids would be available to program participants and how they would be purchased.

The Hearing Industries Assn (HIA) and several professional and consumer organizations are concerned about programs that could limit patient access to technology or provider choice, as well as those systems that have the potential to result in a “closed provider network” that could limit access to advanced hearing aid technologies. As a result, HIA recently drafted a White Paper entitled Addressing the Societal Costs of Hearing Loss and Issues in Third Party Reimbursement that has been endorsed by AAA, AG Bell, ASHA, DRF, IHS, and SHHH.

In related activity, HIA reports that there are now 54 co-sponsors to the Hearing Aid Tax Assistance Act (HR 3103) in the US House of Representatives. This bill would provide up to $500 per hearing aid every 5 years for hearing-impaired people over age 55 or dependents under age 18. For more information on HR 3103 and its companion Senate bill, SB 2055, see the April 2004 HR, p. 10 and March 2004 HR, p. 8.

 Audiologist Steven Myhre (shown here) has developed a fitness video for baby-boomers.

Audiologist Produces Fitness Video
Tampa, Fla– Audiologist Steven Myhre, who works for Oticon Inc, has recently released a video entitled Steven Myhre’s Fitness For Keeps, the Beginner’s Guide To An AGELESS Physique. Myhre, 53, an avid body builder who did not get into the hobby until later in life, developed the video to better meet the fitness demands of aging Baby Boomers like himself so they can recapture their youthful physiques.

The video teaches a deep relaxation and visualization system that Myhre uses to stay motivated, and has a unique Age Progression System designed to help those over age 40 work out and put less strain on their joints. For more information visit www.fitnessforkeeps.com, or email [email protected].

NASED Honors Del Bloem
Salt Lake City– At this year’s National Association of Special Equipment Dealers (NASED) annual meeting, held prior to the official start of the annual American Academy of Audiology (AAA) convention, the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Del Bloem. Bloem was previously president and co-founder of ICS Medical before becoming president of GN Otometrics North America when that company purchased ICS. He is now retired.

Founded in 1981, ICS Medical introduced the first commercial computer-based electronystagmography (ENG) in 1984. Since then, ICS has been a leader in computer-based ENG and videonystagmography (VNG) test equipment. Market research from Frost and Sullivan has attributed a 45% worldwide market share to ICS for these products. More recently ICS has introduced evoked potential (EP) technology that can be combined with ENG and videonystagmography products.

At the meeting, Past-President Sherman Lord of Midlantic Technologies Group, handed the reigns of NASED to new President Lance Brown, of Gordon Stowe & Associates. Brown will serve in this capacity for 2 years. He enthusiastically addressed the group and announced that his primary focus will be on service and training issues.

Two new board members were voted into position: Nate Hancock of Medical Technologies Group was elected as Chair of Communications, and Ron Macon of Health Care Instruments was elected as Chair of Public Relations. Paul Dinice of Tele-Acoustics, who formerly held the position of Public Relations, now chairs the Membership Committee.