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New ASHA Audiology Chief Assumes Post

Cites Need to "Shape The Future" of Audiology Practice

(Rockville, MD - August 20, 2012)  

Neil J. DiSarno, PhD, CCC-A, is the new Chief Staff Officer for Audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Since 1998, Dr. DiSarno chaired the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Missouri State University, where his duties included overseeing an on-campus speech-language-hearing clinic. In addition, he has long been an ASHA volunteer leader, having served on the Council for Clinical Certification, the Academic Affairs Board, and the board of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, among others.

"I am excited to join the ASHA staff, especially at such an opportune time," Dr. DiSarno says. He notes that "the value and critical importance of the audiology profession needs to be communicated and understood more than ever" given societal developments such as widespread untreated hearing loss among aging Baby Boomers, and reports of increased hearing loss among the young.

Besides serving as ASHA's chief staff officer for audiology and working closely with and on behalf of ASHA's 14,000 audiology members, Dr. DiSarno will liaison with ASHA's accreditation, certification, and ethics programs. None of his new tasks will be timelier than helping ASHA members face challenging issues in audiology practice. Those include the demand for greater transparency in fees; the growing popularity of marketing hearing aids on the Internet; and, finding ways to make hearing aids more affordable.

"Audiology practice is at a crossroads," according to Dr. DiSarno, who started his own practice in 1993. "Factors are in play that could change the current landscape. Were we to ignore them, it could be at our professional peril. It would be much better if we addressed them and actively shaped the future of practice while we still can."

Prior to his Missouri State career, Dr. DiSarno practiced in a variety of clinical settings including a school district and treatment center in Alaska, the National Acoustics Center in New Zealand, and health care settings in New York State and Canada. Also, he has developed and taught classes in practice management, pediatric audiology, auditory electrophysiology, and sign language, among other subjects.

"Neil has a wonderfully diverse array of clinical and academic experiences and an excellent track record of leading and managing change," ASHA CEO Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, CAE observes. "We are very pleased to welcome him to the ASHA National Office team."

Dr. DiSarno succeeds Dr. Vic Gladstone, who retired in April.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 150,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.

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