AHAA Holds 10th Convention

Orlando, Fla—–About 500 associates and exhibitors attended the 10th annual American Hearing Aid Associates (AHAA) Convention in Orlando. Through­out the event, attendees celebrated a decade of the organization’s achievements in motivating and helping practitioners improve their communities’ hearing health care while running financially successful independent practices.

Nearly 50 program topics covered the aspects of managing a practice. New this year was a series of sessions that focused on Patient Concentric programs and methods to improve patient satisfaction. Included in the series were “23 Days to Better Hearing,” home telecoil looping systems, and the Kooser Program that provides education for both hearing-impaired individuals and their significant others. Other topics included strategies and tactics for CEOs; motivating employees; marketing; obtaining patient and physician referrals; credit sales, billing, and business systems; and exit strategies. Speakers included comedienne Kathy Buckley, who has a hearing impairment; Phonak Vice President David Fabry, PhD; AAA President Paul Pessis, AuD; Robert Sweetow, PhD; AHAA Founder and CEO Vince Russomagno; and AHAA President Tina Soika. All major manufacturers were exhibitors, with some providing program presentations.

AHAA rolled out several new initiatives at the convention, including the expansion of its Performance Network programs and the announcement that its Managed Care Department is now fully operational and is actively seeking contracts for associates nationwide. Over the past year, the  Performance Network has grown to 20 groups of noncompeting peers meeting regionally three times a year. The groups compare practice performance to benchmarks and discuss key practice-owner issues they have in common.

Each year at its convention, AHAA recognizes outstanding marketing efforts of its associates. This year, Mac Butts, PhD,  of Hearing Clinics of Virginia, Richmond, Va, received top honors for his practice’s local advertising programs. Paul Woodard, president/CEO of Woodard Hearing Centers, Des Moines, Iowa, and Annette Peppard, AuD, of Hearing Associates, Macon, Ga, received second and third honors, respectively.

Windmill & Foust Receive Mauldin Award

Minneapolis—-Terry E. Foust, AuD, and Ian Windmill, PhD, were presented with the Larry Mauldin Award during a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Con­vention, held in Min­neapolis (see p10 for news about the AAA convention and related events). The Mauldin Award was created to honor the accomplishments of the late Larry Mauldin, a well-respected audiologist who worked for Beltone Electronics and whose work and commitment to education in the field of audiology were exemplary. Presented since 1999, the award is given to an industry leader committed to continuing education and unselfishly giving back to the profession, the community, and hearing-impaired individuals. The recipient of this special honor is nominated and selected by industry peers, and Beltone sponsors the award.
Foust is an audiologist and health care administrator with expertise in newborn hearing screening and diagnostic assessment, teaching, and health care services. He has served as an auxiliary faculty member at the University of Utah’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department and as an instructor and mentor for the NCHAM/MCHB funded Infant Diagnostic and Assessment workshops, which focus on training pediatric audiologists. He also mentors students from several audiology-training programs and gives professional presentations at local, state, national and international conferences and professional meetings.
Windmill is an associate professor and the director of audiology at the Uni­versity of Louisville School of Medicine, where he educates Doctor of Audiology (AuD) students, as well as medical students and residents in otolaryngology. He is on the medical staff of five local hospitals, serves on numerous local, state, and national committees, and has published and presented extensively throughout the world, focusing on his two interest areas: the diagnosis of hearing loss and the education of audiologists. He is known as a dynamic teacher who has many devoted students, many of whom were at hand to cheer his award.
“I can’t think of two more deserving recipients of this award than Dr. Foust and Dr. Windmill,” says Beltone USA President Todd Murray. “Their extraordinary contributions to infant screening and audiology education in the hearing care industry are profound. We are grateful for their ongoing efforts to improve our industry by educating our future hearing care practitioners.”