Appreciation and a Call to Action

Appreciation and a Call to Action

Kristin Davis, Au.D.

As I sit down with my laptop this Thanksgiving weekend searching my thoughts for what is appropriate for my last message as your ADA President, I have to admit my mind wanders through many moments over the past year. Overwhelmingly what I want to express is gratitude for the trust you all placed in me to serve at this unprecedented time of change in our profession and for the personal growth and development it has provided me. But more significant is the appreciation I feel for all of you, the members of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, for being willing to take on the more difficult path when it is needed and appropriate.

All of ADA members are leaders in our profession by virtue of being willing to do the work and lead by example. The perfect embodiment of this was Dr. Eric Hagberg. I am thankful that about ten years ago I met Eric and had the opportunity to know him. While I did not know him as well as many, I am confident in stating this year’s AuDacity conference and what was achieved in Dallas would make him extremely proud. This year at AuDacity over $120,000 was raised for the Eric N. Hagberg Au.D. Advocacy Fund because ADA members in attendance forked over their money for the future of audiology.

Those of you who were not able to join us at AuDacity in October missed an amazing conference that took a bold new direction to stay ahead of the curve. Throughout the meeting, sessions were designed to improve audiology businesses and provide the tools to accomplish members’ professional goals. In my AuDacity President’s address, I asked those present to reflect on the premise of role alignment as discussed in our keynote speaker, Kasey Compton’s book Fix This Next for Healthcare Providers. Now I ask all ADA members, how does role alignment apply to your engagement in the improvement of the profession of Audiology for the present and the future. A role alignment analysis can be applied to our time, talent and treasure.

What are your personal/professional strengths and how can YOU most effectively utilize them to meet your goals for professional engagement. What ARE your goals for professional engagement and what should they be? The time has passed for status quo and leaving the mission to a few. I submit that we should all ---no matter our number of years in the Audiology profession or our practice setting---take ownership for the destiny of the profession of Audiology…if we care about having a say in it.

AuDacity was all about THIS!

Are you short on time but can contribute financially? Do you have anxiety about public speaking, then perhaps donate your time “behind the scenes” OR push yourself out of your comfort zone and strive for personal growth and development while contributing to the work of sound hearing healthcare policy. Each of us has personal and professional strengths that can be employed as resources for our profession. If each of us give a little the work will be much less for all.

I would also like to take this opportunity to ask you all……Do you still stand behind the mission and beliefs of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology? Do you want autonomy, meaning you, the professional, are in charge of yourself? Do you want to be a full doctoring, profession? Will you do what it takes to get there?

The ADA members at AuDacity this year answered the call to action speaking with their wallets to send a definitive message: We are mobilized to pass the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act and advocate for autonomy!

What can all of us do?

    • Be an active/engaged member of our state professional organization.
    • Our national organizations have their strengths and weaknesses as well. I would argue that one of ADA’s strengths is ADVOCACY. Choose who you contribute your limited time and resources to, based on their alignment with your goals.
    • DO SOMETHING-pick one thing and start there…it can be as little as one phone call or email to a legislative office, a $10 donation to the ADA Eric N. Hagberg, Au.D. Advocacy Fund, or signing up for a committee with your state or national organization. When you volunteer you have greater input into the direction of your profession.

This matters! While We are on our way to seeing the passage of MAASA, our work is far from over. We need to view ourselves and our profession through the lens of “what doctors do” and rise to that level of professionalism.

Speaking of which, there is still time to “Fork it Over for Audiology” and if you hurry, you can also have one of the super cool tuning fork trophies created by Stephanie Czuhajewski and crew!

The Academy of Doctors of Audiology leaders will keep working toward what those before us, like Dr. Hagberg, started -- to move Audiology to a full doctoring profession. My year as your President is coming to a close but I will continue to use my time, talent, and treasure to ensure the future of an autonomous audiology profession. I reflect on 2022, full of hope because of all of you! ■