A Message from the President – 2023 Recap

Dear Colleagues,

It is difficult to believe that we are already in December 2023 and that my term as President of the Florida Academy of Audiology is coming to an end.  I want to thank the Board and membership for selecting me to serve as your President this year and for supporting me throughout my term.  This is an amazing organization made up of incredible, intelligent, dedicated professionals, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have served it.

At the beginning of the year, my number one goal was to strengthen Florida Academy of Audiology’s presence as the state voice for our profession.  The board and you, the membership, certainly accomplished this. The academy communications expanded and improved, thanks to our VP of Communications, Dr. Nicole Smith, and the FLAA Communications Committee.  Part of the expansion was increasing social media visibility, rebranding with a new logo, and working to update the website.  Keep an eye out for the new look of our website in 2024.

The new logo was unveiled at this year’s Annual Convention.  The convention was a huge success providing ample opportunities to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, network with other members of the audiology community, and further your knowledge with high-quality educational sessions.  Earlier this year, Dr. Lisa Hansel, Past-President, also created an online ethics course that was free to any FLAA member.

An opportunity for people to pledge money toward legislative efforts in case of an emergency was undertaken at the Convention this year, and the response of our membership was beyond incredible. Thank you to those who have already pledged!  If you are interested in pledging and/or learning more about this opportunity, please reach out to Dr. Tina Stern, VP of Professional Affairs, at profaffairs@floridaaudiology.org. Dr. Stern, along with the FLAA Legislative Task Force, was at the helm for all things audiology at the state level this year.  Some of the highlights from the Legislative Session and beyond include:

    • – Implementing more favorable language and ultimately defeating a bill that would have restricted the use of the term “doctor” by audiologists in Florida;
      – Creating The Children’s Hearing Aid Program (CHAP), a five million dollar annually recurring fund that provides hearing aids, cochlear implant processors, and bone conduction processors to Florida children under age 18 who do not have coverage under their insurance, as well as ensuring audiologists are paid for their services to provide these devices;
      If you are interested in becoming a provider for CHAP, visit https://www.familyhearinghelp.org/chap/providers
      – Passing of a bill requiring newborn screening for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) in Florida; and,
      – Increasing funding for auditory-oral programs in the state.
    • Dr. Liz White, VP of membership, developed a certificate of membership for members to proudly display in their offices. By being a member of our state association, you help build a stronger voice for audiology, especially when it comes to state laws and regulations that impact how we practice audiology in Florida. Thank you for being a FLAA Member!  If you have not renewed your membership yet, it is not too late.  Log in to renew today – https://faa.memberclicks.net/login#/login

All the accomplishments achieved this year were made possible because of our strong community of audiologists passionate enough to volunteer their time to this effort—people who present at Convention, support legislative efforts, serve on committees, support community outreach, and serve as leaders on the FLAA Board. Thank you all!

I cannot thank the FLAA Board enough for their hard work in handling all the challenges we faced throughout this year and for making our profession a priority.  It has been an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure working alongside these hardworking, dedicated, and talented members of the 2023 FLAA Board:

President-Elect
Sergio Guerrero, Au.D., F-AAA, CH-AP

Treasurer
Al Turri, Au.D.

Secretary
Kristen Decelles, Au.D.

Vice President – Communications
Nicole Lynch, Au.D.

Vice President – Membership
Liz White, Au.D.

Vice President – Professional Affairs
Tina Stern, Au.D.

Vice President – Education
Kayce Bramble, Au.D.

Past President
Lisa Hansel, Au.D., CCC-A

I am in awe at what this village has achieved and am honored to have had the opportunity to serve our profession alongside each of you.  You all made my job easy!

As we head into the new year, I will hand over the reins of President to President-Elect, Dr. Sergio Guerriero.  Dr. Guerriero has already begun organizing and planning for 2024, including working with Dr. Stern and the FLAA Board to host a successful FLAA Day on the Hill, January 10, 2024.  If you are interested in participating, please sign up using this link:  https://forms.gle/Tj1THXQjkq2uuzQs6

On behalf of the FLAA Board, we wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.