Rise to the Challenge

Author: Eric Hagberg, Au.D.

ADA is experiencing unprecedented levels of member engagement and I am absolutely proud to begin my term as ADA president surrounded by a membership body with so much passion, ability and enthusiasm. ADA members have never accepted the status quo and I challenge each of you to continue this tradition by becoming involved, so that we can overcome all challenges and capitalize on all opportunities for the betterment of audiology and the patients we care for.

As 2011 winds down and 2012 unfolds, the emergence, advancement and promotion of unsafe hearing healthcare delivery models poses great concerns for ADA, its membership and most of all the safety of the public we serve. I was extremely heartened to hear the dialogue around this issue at the ADA convention—thoughtful, meaningful discussions that united our members in purposeful action that is affecting positive change.

With your support and collaboration, ADA has established a webpage dedicated to providing information and resources to help audiologists, allied organizations and other healthcare professionals educate patients, consumers and key constituents about the risks of self-serve hearing healthcare. Your response to ADA’s call to action on this issue has resulted in increased scrutiny by governmental bodies and the general public regarding unsound initiatives by insurers and retailers that undermine best practices in hearing healthcare. If you have a passion for advocacy, I challenge you to get involved.

ADA’s year-round and convention mentoring programs achieved phenomenal success this year. This was a direct result of the ADA Mentoring Committee’s leadership, the commitment by ADA student members and ADA mentors to actively participate and share their knowledge with one another. Today, ADA’s student membership stands at 240 (up from 100 in 2010). In response to growing participation and involvement by students, and to ensure that student interests are represented effectively, ADA has for the first time established an ex-officio position on its board of directors to be filled by a student member. ADA will also launch new programs and services for students in 2012, including a student listserv and a virtual student chapter. If you have a passion for student issues, I challenge you to get involved.

Through the leadership of the Education Committee, ADA creates and coordinates practical programming for the convention and beyond. The ADA Business Management Training Program’s first module, Financial Management, was introduced at the ADA convention, and will be available online in the near future. ADA is seeking additional expertise for the development of a continuum of modules that will introduce best business practices in practice management. If you have a passion for developing exceptional learning experiences for audiologists and future audiologists, I challenge you to get involved.

No matter what your passion, there are opportunities to get involved. If you have a passion for enhancing the ADA membership experience, for celebrating the best in our profession, for developing great products and services that your peers will rely on, or for establishing and promoting best practices, then I challenge you to get involved. If you have a passion for advancing your profession, I challenge you to get involved in ADA. How? Visit the volunteer section of the ADA website at www.audiologist.org/ada-2012-volunteer-sign-up and commit to serve your peers and your profession. There are a variety of volunteer openings with varying levels of required commitment that meet a wide-range of interests.

ADA is unique among professional audiology organizations in that it is wholly dedicated to serving the interests of autonomous professionals. In keeping with the ADA spirit and philosophy, ADA initiatives have always been, and will continue to be, member owned and driven. I look forward to working with all of you to make ADA and audiology even better in 2012!