HIA participated for the first time in the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmens Caucus annual Shoot Out in Glenn Dale, MD, May 13-14. The event featured a competition between Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives in trap, skeet, and sporting clay contests. As an event sponsor, several HIA members and staff attended and reinforced the HIA slogan for the day Firearm Safety means Hearing Safely. HIA Chairman Jerry Ruzicka, Starkey Labs, brought a team from Starkey to fit participants with Magnum Ears, electronic hearing protection manufactured by the company. Nearly 50 participants borrowed the Magnum Ears, including 10 Representatives. Wearing Magnum Ears himself, HIA Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Taylor of Sonion US represented HIA as a member of Rep. Charlie Melancons (D-LA) shooting team.
Jerry Ruzicka and his Starkey team of Dan Thomas and Becky Miller fit Shoot Out participants with Magnum Ears. Top row from left: Jerry and Becky fit Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Dan fits Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-OH). Jeff Taylor takes aim during the event. Second row: Democratic and Republican members of the Congressional Sportsmens Caucus pose for a bi-partisan group shot after the event.
Hearing Health Coalition Meets with U.S. Surgeon General
Members of the hearing health community gather after meeting with U.S. Surgeon General Steven Galson. From left: Karen Sealander, for Intl Hearing Society; Barbara Raimondo, Natl Assn. of the Deaf; Alex Graham, A.G. Bell Assn. for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Surgeon General Steven Galson; Andy Bopp, Hearing Industries Assn.; Brenda Battat, Hearing Loss Assn. of America; Pam Mason, American Speech Hearing Language Assn.; Phil Bongiorno, American Academy of Audiology; Joy Trimmer, American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery; and Deputy Surgeon General Robert Williams.
Brenda Battat, Executive Director of Hearing Loss Assn. of America, arranged a meeting with the U.S. Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Steven Galson, and Vice Surgeon General Rear Admiral Robert Williams, to discuss the importance of hearing health and urge the Surgeon General to focus attention on hearing loss prevention and treatment issues. A coalition of organizations representing the hearing health community attended the meeting to emphasize the broad support for focusing on these issues. Among other things, the group urged the Surgeon General to expand a health status survey of people who use sign language to include people with hearing loss, and to focus on health literacy challenges for people with communication disorders. The group also discussed the financial barriers to treatment and emphasized the importance of assisting children with hearing loss as soon as possible.