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CI Futures Forum: Awareness of Cochlear Implantation

February 26, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am AEDT

In every country access to cochlear implantation (CI) for adults with severe or profound hearing loss is low. Globally, it is estimated that only one in twenty who could benefit  from cochlear implants have one. Most other health treatments have internationally accepted standards of care that inform patients and health care practitioners about when specialist referrals and treatment options should be considered. This is a gap in the field of adult cochlear implantation that is addressed by a new publication titled “International Consensus Paper on Adult Cochlear Implantation”. 

Lack of referral pathways to CI leads to a substantial unnecessary burden to the individual with hearing loss, with a poorer quality of life. We know that a lack of referral and awareness of the benefits of cochlear implantation are the major reasons for under-identification of the many who could benefit. Estimates suggest that in many countries only 5-10% of potential candidates are implanted . More awareness in primary health care and audiology of the benefits of CIs needs to be promoted to improve access. More knowledge among health professionals about Standards of Care and best practices in CI diagnosis, earlier referral, treatment and aftercare will help many people live healthier and more fulfilled lives. **

This webinar will explore the various barriers and facilitators to overcoming  awareness of CI from a diverse multi disciplinary panel of experts. The panel will present real world examples from their own perspective and experience as well as discussing potential solutions to increasing equity and access for adults.

Chair: Brian Kaplan (Maryland)

Brian Kaplan, M.D.  F.A.C.S., is Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, with his wife and three children.


Regina Presley (US)

Senior Cochlear Implant Audiologist at the Presbyterian Board of Governors Cochlear Implant Center of Excellence

Dr. Presley has served as an audiologist within a pediatric hospital, private ENT practice and for the last 19 years, has in the field of cochlear implantation. She is currently the Senior Cochlear Implant Audiologist at the Presbyterian Board of Governors Cochlear Implant Center of Excellence at GBMC. In addition to clinical responsibilities, she is responsible for consumer and professional outreach to help patients and colleagues remain current on the latest cochlear implant candidacy and technology. Research has been geared toward quality of life, effectiveness of new technology and the development of a new clinical model. In addition to national organizations, Dr. Presley is involved with The Audiology Project and Alstrom Syndrome International.

Howard Francis (US)

Chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences (HNS&CS), Duke University Medical Center

Dr. Howard W. Francis is the Richard Hall Chaney, Sr professor of Otolaryngology and chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences (HNS&CS) at Duke University Medical Center. As a neurotologist Dr. Francis’ clinical interests span the full scope of this subspecialty including the management of conditions of the ear, skull base and associated nervous system. His research interests include determination of best practices in the delivery of hearing health care, with a special interest in cochlear implantation in young children and older adults, and the study of best practices in surgical education. He serves on editorial boards of the Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Text, the World Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is a Director on the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, a member of the Otolaryngology Residency Review Committee of the ACGME, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He is the past president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists, and Education Director of the American Neurotology Society.

Barbara Kelley (US)

Executive Director, HLAA

Barbara Kelley became executive director in March 2016. Hired by Founder Rocky Stone in 1988, Barbara has been a part of the organization’s growth, serving as editor for the award-winning magazine for more than 28 years. Her position as editor allowed her to influence attitudes, establish lexicon, and give people credible, reliable and timely information, and support, through the printed word. She has also helped manage the office team, served as deputy executive director from 2008-2016, and worked on many of the HLAA programs.

Barbara said, “It has been my life’s work to contribute to the mission of the organization. It’s been exciting to be part of an organization that has had so much influence on public policy and people’s lives.”

Rene Gifford (US)

Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology and Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center & the Cochlear Implant Research Laboratory

René H. Gifford, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology. She is the Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as well as the Cochlear Implant Research Laboratory. Her research has been NIH funded since 2002 and investigates basic auditory function and spatial hearing abilities for individuals using combined electric and acoustic stimulation (EAS), hearing preservation with cochlear implantation and speech perception for adults and children with cochlear implants. She has published over 110 peer-reviewed papers and authored a book now in its 2nd edition entitled “Cochlear Implant Patient Assessment: Evaluation of Candidacy, Performance, and Outcomes.”

Matthew L. Carlson (US)

Mayo Clinic Consultant, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Matthew L. Carlson, M.D., is an ear surgeon who specializes in treating diseases of the middle ear, temporal bone and skull base. His primary research interests include clinical outcomes in cochlear implantation and acoustic neuroma tumors (vestibular schwannoma).

One area of particular interest is cochlear implantation surgery for patients with varying degrees of residual hearing. Traditionally, only patients with complete hearing loss in both ears were approved for cochlear implantation. Over the years, clinical outcomes with cochlear implantation have steadily improved, allowing more patients to benefit from this technology. As a result of ongoing clinical studies by Dr. Carlson and colleagues, additional indications such as hearing loss in only one ear and implantation in patients with less severe hearing loss will very likely become commonplace.

Dr. Carlson is also interested in quality of life outcome analysis for patients with vestibular schwannoma tumors. Treatment of these tumors is highly controversial. To date, most studies comparing treatment modalities including surgery, radiation and observation have compared measures such as hearing loss, facial nerve function and tumor control. In order to analyze outcomes beyond this narrow scope of data, Dr. Carlson uses quality-of-life measures to better understand patient-perceived outcomes in an effort to further refine treatment methods.

Allison Biever

Allison Biever (US)

Audiologist, Rocky Mountain Ear Center, Colorado

Dr. Allison Biever received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta in 1989 and her master’s degree in Audiology at the University of Colorado in 1992, after which time she worked as a fellow in the first cochlear implant program in Colorado. In 2005 she received her Au.D. from Central Michigan University, completing a doctoral thesis that examined the impact of residual hearing on cochlear implantation in children.

Her focus at the Rocky Mountain Ear Center has been helping people regain their hearing through the miraculous technology of cochlear implants. She was awarded the LaFawn Biddle Award and the Hands & Voices Families First Award for her outstanding service to the deaf and hard of hearing community. In addition to her work in the clinic, she is also a prominent researcher in the field of cochlear implants, an instructor for Institute for Cochlear Implant Training (ICIT) and is on the board for the Listen Foundation. Allison enjoys hiking and spending time with her husband and three daughters. She is also an avid runner and Boston Marathon participant.

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February 26, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am AEDT
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Global CI Collaborative