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Cochlear Americas Announces First Ever Cochlear Implant Consumer Advisory Board

DENVER - December 2003 - Cochlear Americas recently announced the launch of the Cochlear Consumer Advisory Board, the industry's first consumer advisory board for cochlear implant recipients. Members of the Cochlear Consumer Advisory Board will facilitate Cochlear in meeting the needs of its recipient base.

"Cochlear is focused on ensuring the needs of its recipients are met as well as providing them with the most advanced and reliable technology and services available," said Jim Miller, President, Cochlear Americas. "Creation of the Cochlear Consumer Advisory Board marks another first for Cochlear and demonstrates its continuing commitment to provide lifetime support to all of its recipients."

The primary goal of the Cochlear Consumer Advisory Board is centered on increasing Cochlear's knowledge about the needs of Nucleus recipients and cochlear implant candidates and to funnel this information into product development. Board members also work on initiatives to increase awareness about the benefits of cochlear implants within the community.

"The creation of the consumer advisory panel compliments our current range of advisory panels including the Medical Advisory Panel launched in 1994, the Audiology Advisory Panel introduced in 1999 and the Surgeon's Advisory Panel introduced in 2001. Our new advisory panel will help us balance the needs and requirements of our professional customer with the needs of our recipient base," said Christine Writer, Director of Consumer Marketing, Cochlear Americas.

The board consists of 20 members who are representative of Cochlear's implant base. Board members include Nucleus 22 and Nucleus 24 recipients as well as parents of Nucleus recipients. Members are selected based on their involvement in the cochlear implant community, support groups and schools/programs for children with hearing loss.

About Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear, providing useful hearing and improved communication to those who receive little or no benefit from hearing aids. The Nucleus 3 system is the latest development in cochlear implant technology. The Nucleus 3 system is designed to be customized to meet the particular needs of recipients' lifestyles and to provide the best hearing in all environments. It is approved for use in profoundly deaf infants as young as 12 months of age and in adults with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.

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