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Oticon Pediatrics Gathers Pediatric Audiologists for Knowledge-Sharing and Advocacy on Capitol Hill

SOMERSET, NJ October 2 When Oticon Pediatrics scheduled a knowledge-sharing weekend focusing on More of What Children Need, the proximity to the nations capitol created an unanticipated bonus: A unique opportunity for pediatric audiologists from across the country to also reach out to members of Congress on hearing care issues important to them and the patients they serve.

Oticon Pediatrics shares a commitment with our valued partners in pediatric practice to optimize hearing care and solutions for the youngest and most vulnerable members of the hearing impaired population, stated Peer Lauritsen, President of Oticon, Inc. We wholeheartedly supported their voluntary efforts to take advantage of the conferences Washington, DC location to meet with members of Congress from their communities who make decisions that can have a profound impact on hearing health issues.

More than 120 pediatric audiologists participated in the office visits on Capitol Hill, providing information on legislation to reauthorize the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act and the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax credit legislation. This activity was consistent with the knowledge-sharing focus of the weekends conference which explored a wide range of advances in pediatric audiology counseling, technology and research. Throughout the weekend, approximately 200 pediatric audiologists in private, clinic and school settings participated in seminars and hands-on workshops.



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Audiologists attending the Oticon Pediatrics Conference in Washington DC gather at the Senate Office Building for meetings with members of Congress from their districts. (L-R, clockwise):Sheena D. Oliver, AuD, MBA; Alexandra M. Camacho-Luna Sc.D., CCC-A; Sergine Pascal, Sc.D., CCC-A, Elizabeth Patterson MS-CCC/A, Carol Ukstins MS CCC-A, Jennifer J. Czarnecki AuD, CCC-A, (front, L-R) Christine Labenski MS - CCC/A and Donna M. Goione-Merchant, AuD.

Among the expert presenters were Eileen Rall, AuD of Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia who provided insights into selecting pediatric technology that supports psychosocial development; Jane Madell, PhD of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary who spoke on using information from speech perception testing to strengthen planning technology, rehabilitation and educational management decisions: and Rebecca Kooper, AuD who offered guidelines on how best to support parents through the initial stages of a childs diagnosis.

Other highlights included an overview of the mission and work of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by AG Bell Executive Director and CEO Alexander T. Graham and a panel discussion on advocating for patients led by Phil Bongiorno, Senior Director of Government Relations for the American Academy of Audiology.

Oticon Pediatrics also used the conference setting to announce a special partnership with the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF). Through a gift-matching fund that will continue through October, Oticon Pediatrics aims to raise $10,000 to support AAAF pediatric audiology initiatives.

For more information, visit http://www.oticonusa.com/.

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