Oticon Alta

Better Hearing Institute Elects Leaders

Alexandria, Va. (January 2004) -- The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) today announced the election of 2004 officers and directors in conjunction with the December 2003 BHI Board of Directors Meeting in Chicago, IL.

BHI elected four directors to its 6-person Board. The directors elected for three-year terms are: Cathy Jones, President, Phonak, Inc.; William Lankenau, President, Siemens Hearing Instruments and Jerry Ruzicka, President, Starkey Labs, Inc. Stephan Sagolla, General Manager, Interton, Inc. was elected for a two-year term on the Board.

Continuing to serve BHI in a leadership capacity are newly re-elected BHI President, Michael Worning, President, Oticon, Inc.; and Secretary/Treasurer, Randy Raymond, Vice President, Rayovac Corporation. Stephan Sagolla was elected as BHI Vice President.

In making this announcement, newly-appointed BHI Executive Director, Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D. stated, We are currently in the process of rebuilding and reinvigorating the Better Hearing Institute to fulfill its mission of educating the public and medical profession on hearing loss, its prevention and treatment. We have the formidable task of publicly leveraging our knowledge on the impact of untreated hearing loss on quality of life, breaking down barriers which prevent the hearing-impaired from seeking help with their hearing loss, building BHI into a comprehensive resource for individuals with hearing loss as well as for hearing heath providers, and finally in educating more than 300,000 medical and healthcare professionals. Certainly the expertise and guidance of this Board will be critical to our success.

At the December meeting, BHI also recognized the 2003 outgoing directors for the time and expertise that they devoted to the organization during their service on the board. The outgoing directors are: Michael Jones, Phonak, Inc.; Dale Thorstad, Marcon and Don Worthington, IHC Hearing & Balance Center.

BHI is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit corporation that was created in 1973 to promote hearing healthcare across the United States. The manufacturers and suppliers who comprise the hearing aid industry in the U.S jointly support the organization. BHI currently focuses primarily on physician initiatives designed to educate the medical practice on the impact of untreated hearing loss on quality of life; in addition it operates an information helpline and distributes consumer information.

BHI is headquartered in Alexandria, VA.

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