The Hearing Industries Association (HIA) held its 2018 annual meeting in Washington DC on March 19-20, the trade association for hearing device manufacturers announced. HIA addressed patient safety and education, delivery care, innovation, and public policy at the meeting “Hearing Forward 2020.” According to the announcement, HIA members, partners, and guests received insights and updates on topics including collaborating with government rule-making agencies, digital health technologies, advances in telemedicine, and aging in America.
“HIA is committed to collaborating with the hearing aid industry, medical research, and patient advocacy groups to ensure patients are always put first,” said Brandon Sawalich, HIA board chair. “This week’s annual meeting illustrated the HIA Board and its members are aligned and focused on fulfilling our vision to improve the hearing healthcare of Americans through medical device innovation. Thank you to the many guests, presenters, elected officials, and HIA members who contributed to an impactful meeting and for their efforts to help improve the hearing healthcare industry.”
Highlights of the meeting included a welcome to the nation’s capital from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Tom Emmer (R-MN). Speakers at the annual meeting included Srinivas “Nandu” Nandkumar, PhD, of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association; James Firman, CEO of the National Council on Aging; Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch; Tim Muris, former chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC, 2001-2004), as well as representatives from HIA’s member companies and over 30 guests from organizations within the hearing industry.
HIA also honored former executive director Carole Rogin for her 38 years of service. Rogin, who will continue as a strategic advisor, was a pivotal force in HIA and the hearing healthcare field throughout her tenure. Starting in 1980, Rogin and the many executives who made up the HIA board, helped guide the association through some extremely rough waters—from the 1990 FDA Hearing Aid Rule hearings to today’s impending OTC regulations—and transformed the organization from a collection of small companies often with disparate objectives to an influential and more legislatively focused organization. Jane Reese-Coulbourne became the organization’s new executive director in February, succeeding Andy Bopp who left in late-2017 to pursue other interests.