Speaker Abstracts

Thursday, January 24th

Perceptions: Determining our Future Part 1 (1 hour)

Michael Page, Au.D.

Speaker Bio:

Michael Page, Au.D., has served as a member of the Utah Cochlear Implant team, as president, Utah Speech-Language-Hearing Association, member of the Primary Children's Medical Center Bioethics Committee, and board chair for the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.  He has held adjunct faculty positions at Utah State University, Brigham Young University, University of Utah and University of the Pacific. He served as chair and committee member of the AAA Ethical Practices Committee, Manager of Audiology/Cochlear Implant Program at Primary Children’s Hospital (Salt Lake City), as well as various management and executive positions with industry. He is presently Chief of Clinical Operations for Numana Medical, functioning as a business consultant for audiology and healthcare practices specializing in aspects of ethical practice, professional boundaries, industry relationships, contract negotiations, employee relations, and strategic planning.


Perception is everything, right? How much does the perception of our patients influence our ability to serve and treat them? What difference will perceptions make in the OTC environment?  What do patients see that we don't see? What would they report to their friends, or online? How important is our relationship with our patients? Does it matter? Should it matter?


How will CMS (Medicare/Medicaid) reimbursement be influenced by patient satisfaction? How does the current CMS patient survey allow patients to provide feedback about their patient experience?


The relationships of trust we build with our patients have everything to do with their perception of us: how we speak, how we look, how we walk, what we wear, how we smell, and most of all, how we interact and respond to them in their hour(s) of need. Our personal values matter.  


How they interpret the signals we provide (both direct and indirect) makes every difference in whether they even grace our office door! How they perceive us makes all the difference in how they receive our counsel, advice, and eventually how successful they are in their quest for good outcomes.

Perceptions: Clarity and Ethical Practice- How They May See Us Part 2 (2 hours)

Michael Page, Au.D.


Though most clinicians are well aware of the details of ethical codes and practices, the practical nuances and application remain at large, as evidenced by some of the public shamings brought to the profession. Some issues perceived as ethical may be simple moral issues, but could also be legal issues.  How do we know the difference? Because the implications for each can differ significantly, it’s imperative that audiologists understand the difference.


While some issues are very routine, others require detailed context to determine its ethical, legal, or moral nature. Few issues allow disclaimers for ignorance.  Most issues have no allowance for ignorance.


Scenario-based discussion will increase understanding through the practical application of actions versus governing principles.

Reasons Given Why Verification is Not Performed in Adult Patients

Michael Valente, Ph.D.

Speaker Bio:

Current position: Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Adult Audiology, Washington University School of Medicine

Education: Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1975)

Interests: Family- beautiful wife Maureen who was the Director of Audiology Studies at Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; daughter Michelle who is a lactation consultant and counselor and has beautiful granddaughters Noa and Salem; daughter Anne who is an Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. Also travel, jogging, and reading (non-fiction).


This presentation will summarize the numerous reasons that have been provided when audiologists have been asked “Why don’t you use real ear measures to verify the performance of hearing aids?” For each reason, the speaker will provide information to refute the reason.

Level: Intermediate

The Great Debate: Resolution:

The Passage of the APCA Advances the Profession of Audiology Without Repercussions

Moderator: Mead Killion, Ph.D.


Mead Killion is the founder of Etymotic Research. He holds two degrees in mathematics and a PhD in audiology, plus a ScD(hon). He has published 21 book chapters in the fields of acoustics, psychoacoustics, transducers, and hearing aids. His scientific papers with colleagues have been cited 1826 times in the last five years. Dr. Killion is a member of the Vandercook College of Music Board of Trustees. He has been Adjunct Professor of Audiology at Northwestern University for 35 years. As a teacher, he is also proud of the fact that one-third of Etymotic Research's 105 patents do not have his name on them.  Aside from his work, Dr. Killion has been a dedicated choir director for 34 years, a violinist, an amateur jazz pianist, has run 32 marathons, enjoys sailing, and has recently taken up flying.

Affirmative: Kim Cavitt, Au.D. & Brian Urban, Au.D.


Kim Cavitt, AuD was a clinical audiologist and preceptor at The Ohio State University and Northwestern University for the first ten years of her career. Since 2001, Dr. Cavitt has operated her own Audiology consulting firm, Audiology Resources, Inc. Audiology Resources, Inc. provides comprehensive operational, compliance and reimbursement consulting services to hearing healthcare providers. She is a Past President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA). She currently serves as the Vice-President of Government Affairs for the Illinois Academy of Audiology and is the Chair of the State of Illinois Speech Pathology and Audiology Licensure Board. She also serves on committees through ADA and AAA and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Western Michigan University and an Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University.


Brian Urban, AuD, is the President of CounselEAR and former owner of Advanced Hearing and Balance Center in Evanston, IL. He is a Past President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, Adjunct Faculty member at Rush University, an Advisory Board Member for Salus; Osborne College of Audiology, and a Distinguished Fellow in the Audiology Academy of the National Academies of Practice.

Negative: Paul Pessis, Au.D. & Tracy Murphy, Au.D.


Dr. Pessis is the owner and founder of North Shore Audio-Vestibular Lab in Highland Park, IL. He lectures nationwide addressing coding, reimbursement and business management protocols.  He is an instructor at Northwestern and Rush Universities in Chicago. He is a Past President of the American Academy of Audiology and currently serves as a Board member for ACAE. He is the AAA representative at the AMA RUC which is the forum that values procedural codes.  He is serving his third term as the US audiology representative to the Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Software Association (HIMSA). He has received the Presidential Award from AAA three times and has been granted the Honors of the Association Award and the Presidential Award from the Illinois Academy of Audiology.


Dr. Murphy has practiced Audiology since 1993 at North Shore Audio-Vestibular Lab in Highland Park, IL. She was a member of the Coding and Reimbursement committee for the American Academy of Audiology and now serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy. Dr. Murphy also instructs courses for Audiology doctoral students at Northwestern University and is adjunct faculty at Rush University. She has participated on Technical Expert Panels for Quality Measures 130 and 134 for several years and was recently appointed to serve on a Clinical Subcommittee for MACRA Episode-based cost measure development for Neuropsychiatric Disease Management. Dr. Murphy received Honors of the Illinois Academy of Audiology in 2017.

Friday, January 25th

Noise Reduction: Issues and Outcomes

Douglas L. Beck, Au.D.

Speaker Bio: 

Dr. Beck earned his master's degree at the University of Buffalo (1984) and his doctorate from the University of Florida.  His career began in Los Angeles at the House Ear Institute in cochlear implant research and intraoperative cranial nerve monitoring. By 1988, he was Director of Audiology at Saint Louis University. Eight years later he co-founded a multi-office dispensing practice in St Louis. In 1999, he became President and Editor-In-Chief of AudiologyOnline.com, SpeechPathology.com and HealthyHearing.com. Dr. Beck joined Oticon in 2005. From 2008 through 2015 he served as Web Content Editor for the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). In 2016 he became Senior Editor for Clinical Research at the Hearing Review and was appointed adjunct Clinical Professor of Communication Disorders & Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2017, he became Executive Director of Academic Sciences for Oticon.  Dr. Beck is among the most prolific authors in audiology with 173 published articles and more than 1240 abstracts, interviews and op-eds written for the AAA (2008-2015), Audiology Online (1999-2005) and the Hearing Review, addressing a wide variety of audiology and professional topics.

Learner Outcomes

  1. Participants will be able to recite the common problem shared by people with hearing loss and hearing aids.

  2. Participants will be able to define noise.

  3. Participants will be able to name three protocols designed to reduce noise.

  4. Participants will be able to define OMNI versus DIRECTIONAL.

  5. Participants will be able to name two types of polar plots.

  6. Participants will be able to define “AI-DI.”

  7. Participants will be able to name two DNR protocols.

  8. Participants will be able to name the two primary acoustic cues for spatial hearing.

  9. Participants will be able to state why MSAT was developed.

  10. Participants will be able to state which technology demonstrated the highest satisfaction rates.

  11. Participants will be able to recite situations in which SIN results were similar for Beam Formers and MSAT.

  12. Participants will be able to recite situations in which SIN results were significantly better using MSAT.

Misophonia, Decreased Sound Tolerance and Hyperacusis:

The Audiologist’s Role Including Challenges and Tips in Tinnitus Treatment

Megan Bradshaw, Au.D.

Speaker Bio: 

Megan Bradshaw has been an audiologist for 28 years specializing in tinnitus treatment for about 15 years and misophonia and decreased sound tolerance for the last 5 years at Presence Resurrection Medical Center. She received her Master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1991 and completed 2 years of PhD classes in Audiology in 1994. In 2005, she completed her AuD from A.T. Still University. She attended a TRT national training in the fall of 2014. She has been a national speaker and run workshops for the Misophonia Association in 2017 and 2018, been a guest lecturer for Northern Illinois University in 2018 and provided a poster presentation on decreased sound tolerance and tinnitus this past November at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society annual conference. Over the years, she has enjoyed doing volunteer junior high Christian youth ministry and medical mission trips and loves serving the Lord in her work and ministries. She is blessed with her husband, Doug, for the last 25 years and two high schoolers, Abigail and Andrew.

This course will provide:

  1. An understanding of misophonia/abnormal auditory perception including what it is and the audiologists role in treating and assisting these patients.

  2. The treatment of decreased sound tolerance and hyperacusis will be discussed and some good tips for evaluating and managing patients with tinnitus.

  3. The basis for the treatment/evaluation is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). Tthis will be expanded upon including the value of a multi-disciplinary approach with these patients as well as other briefly touch on other treatment options for tinnitus including notch filtering.

  4. Case studies will highlight some treatment outcomes.

Cognition in the Clinic: Should Cognitive Screening be Part of the Clinical Battery?

Pamela Souza, Ph.D. & Varsha Rallapalli, Au.D., Ph.D.

Speaker Bios: 

Pamela Souza is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University. She received her MS and PhD in Audiology from Syracuse University. Throughout her career she has combined academic teaching and research with clinical practice, in clinical settings including the Veterans’ Administration, a children’s hospital, an otolaryngology private practice, and most recently at the Northwestern Center for Audiology, Speech, Language and Learning. She directs a research program in effects of hearing loss and hearing aids on communication, particularly for older listeners. Her interests include how hearing aid signal processing affects acoustic speech cues, customizing hearing aids to the listener’s auditory and cognitive abilities, and how research findings can direct clinical practice. Dr. Souza is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Varsha Rallapalli is a research associate in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University. She received her AuD and PhD in Audiology from Purdue University. Her research interests include understanding the effects of cognition and aging on speech perception outcomes with advanced hearing aid technologies, understanding the underlying mechanisms that result in individual differences in these outcomes, and developing methods to optimize hearing aid settings.


Our current professional guidelines for adult hearing aid fitting endorse cognitive screening to identify age-related changes that may affect auditory management decisions. However, many audiologists report that they lack formal training in this area. Screening for cognitive impairment is a dynamic process that includes both formal tools and informal procedures. This presentation will discuss recent research on hearing and cognition and review cognitive screening tools that are suitable for use in audiology practice. The presentation will end with a discussion of the pros and cons of including cognitive screening in the audiology appointment.

Pediatric Grand Rounds

Learner Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify and solve unique pediatric patient case studies involving hearing loss.

  2. Participants will be able to summarize the role of an audiologist on a multi-disciplinary team.

  3. Participants will be able to discuss amplification options and considerations for patients with a variety of audiological and medical diagnosis and describe the impact on the patient's outcomes.

Vestibular Sessions

An Update on HINTS plus Pitfalls and Pearls

Jorge C. Kattah, M.D., FAAN

Speaker Bio: Jorge C Kattah, M.D., FAAN is currently Professor and Head of Neurology, University of Illinois College of Medicine. Throughout his career he has focused his research on Vestibular and Ocular Motor manifestations of Acute Vestibular Syndrome. He has been Director of the Vertigo Clinic and Balance Center at St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria with training/residency in Neurology at Georgetown University. He has a Fellowship at Neuro-Ophthalmology Eye and Ear Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To define HINTS plus use in the diagnosis of the "Acute Vestibular Syndrome"

  2. To describe common diagnostic pitfalls

  3. To provider "pearls" that enable correction of common diagnostic misconceptions

Assessment and Management of Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

Devin McCaslin, Ph.D.

Speaker Bio: 

Devin McCaslin  has authored and coauthored publications that cover the areas of tinnitus, dizziness, auditory function, and outcome measures development. He is also the author of the textbook VNG/ENG (Plural).  Dr. McCaslin’s major academic, clinical and research interests relate to clinical electrophysiology, tinnitus and vestibular assessment and management.  He is currently a co-principal investigator on a National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders funded grant investigating the high frequency aspects of vestibular function. Dr. McCaslin has served on the American Balance Society Board of Directors, American Academy of Audiology Board of Directors, and is the past president of the American Balance Society. He currently serves as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, sits on the American Auditory Society Board of Directors.


Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD) is a relatively new term for a disorder that has been described as far back as the 1800s.  The International Classification of Vestibular Disorders (ICVD) group of the Barany society recently worked to come to come to a  consensus on the presentation and symptoms of this disorder which was formally referred to as Chronic Subjective Dizziness (CSD). New research on brain function using fMRI and personality types as well as the postural stability and gait performance of patients with PPPD is assisting clinicians and researchers alike to better understand this disorder.  Based on emerging data it has been possible to develop a neurophysiological model proposing that there is an association between the threat assessment of the patient and anxiety which is important to understanding the development of PPPD. This presentation will review these concepts as well as discuss how chronic co-morbid disorders such as migraine and Meniere’s disease should be factored into the treatment of this disorder.

How to Beef Up Your Battery, and News in Current Vestibular Research

Heather Rudisill Kamath, Au.D.

Speaker Bio: 

Heather Rudisill Kamath, Au.D.  developed and leads the vestibular program at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) in North Chicago, IL. She has coauthored publications in the area of Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials and co-authored a chapter in the Balance Function Assessment and Management textbook (Plural First Edition). Dr. Kamath was involved in research earlier in her career and in more recent years has focused on the diagnosis and treatment of vestibular disorders and provision on hearing aid services to Veterans, Active Duty and their dependents at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Dr. Kamath serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Academy of Audiology. 


With the ever expanding vestibular test battery available to clinicians, it is becoming increasingly important to get the most bang for your buck, time-wise speaking. Learn specialized tests that provide valuable information to supplement your vestibular testing, do not require expensive equipment and are limited in the amount of time they take to administer.  In addition, this talk will provide information on some of the research that is currently being conducted and/or recently published of the field of vestibular diagnostics and treatment to aid clinicians in utilizing evidence based practice and awareness of emerging research.

ILAA is approved by the American Academy of Audiology to offer Academy CEUs for this activity. The program is worth a maximum of  1.35 CEUs. Academy approval of this continuing education activity is based on course content only and does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedure, or adherence of the event to the Academy's Code of Ethics. Any views that are presented are those of the presenter/CE Provider and not necessarily of the American Academy of Audiology.



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