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Oticon announces 2013 "Focus on People" Recipients

Oticon, Inc. announced the 2013 recipients of the Oticon Focus on People Awards, twelve outstanding individuals who prove that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to live a full, productive and even inspiring life. This is the second year that Oticon, Inc., sponsor of the national awards program, has invited the public to cast their votes to help determine who among the 12 finalists would be first, second and third place winners in the Adult, Student, Practitioner and Advocacy categories. More than 10,000 votes were cast by people from across the country and around the world.

oticon, focus on people, hearing aids, hearing loss“By empowering people to add their voices to selection of the winners, we aim to expand awareness of the program and its mission and inspire people with the remarkable stories of our finalists,” said Oticon President Peer Lauritsen.  “Our goal is to show that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to achieve and contribute to their families, their communities and the world and to motivate people to seek professional care to address their own hearing health.”

The 2013 award winners will be honored in May at a special awards ceremony at Oticon, Inc.’s US headquarters that will be attended by hearing care professionals from across the US. This year’s first place winners are:

  • Joseph Molinari of Nashua, NH (Adult Category) – This veteran police officer is determined to show that addressing his hearing loss strengthens his ability to serve the community and his fellow officers. His renewed confidence on the job and willingness to stand up to hearing loss is already changing perceptions.
  • Kristin Lee Inman of Pierre, SD (Student Category) - Seventeen-year-old Kristin reports that her hearing loss has opened doors to new experiences and created numerous opportunities for her to contribute.The high school senior is ranked first in her class, plays six instruments and varsity tennis, dances, holds a part-time job and is a youth board member for the United Way. 
  • Tina Childress, MA, CCC-A (Practitioner Category) – Tine is a respected educational audiologist and a cochlear implant outreach specialist and trainer. She uses her internet savvy to expand access to the considerable online support available to people with hearing loss through  her blog, Getting from There to Hear and her popular App List for Kids (and Adults) with Hearing Loss. 
  • David Myers, PhD of Holland, MI (Advocacy Category) - A Hope College social psychologist and author of A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss, David is the creator of www.hearingloop.org, an invaluable resource on induction-loop systems that broadcast sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants. He is quick to share the credit for the rapid acceleration of the national hearing loop movement with the entire community of hearing advocates.

In addition to a $1000 prize, first place winners received a $1000 donation from Oticon, Inc. to the non-profit organization of their choice. First place winners in the Adult, Student and Advocacy categories also received a pair of advanced technology Oticon hearing instruments. 

There are also eight second and third place winners in the program’s four categories:


  • Mallory Chua of West Lafayette, IIN
  • Rocky Bernard of Beavercreek, OH


  • Ellie Guiliani of Plymouth, MA
  • Darius Toney of Baltimore, MD


  • Tabitha Parent-Buck, AuD of Mesa, AZ
  • Saleem Assaf of Austin, TX


  • Patrick Holkins of Tucson, AZ
  • Nicholas Fina of Newark, DE

“The remarkable people who are honored with this year’s Oticon Focus on People Awards have taken their unique circumstances and transformed their lives with a positive outlook that has enabled them to overcome challenges and accomplish goals well beyond what many thought possible,” said Lauritsen. 

To read the stories of all 12 of the 2013 Oticon Focus on People Awards winners, visit www.oticonusa.com.


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