Listen to Sarah Sydlowski, Co-Chair of the HHC describe the Collaborative’s mission.

Why is this initiative important?

Listen to HHC members explain why they joined and why professionals should get involved.



The Hearing Health Collaborative is a passionate group spanning multiple professional, provider and consumer organizations, dedicated to overcoming the challenges to advance good healthcare practices and public policy on hearing care in connection with healthy aging.

Mission: The mission of the Hearing Health Collaborative is to prevent and appropriately manage hearing loss in adults.

The Problem

In the US, approximately 29M out of 38M adults with hearing loss (HL) are untreated or undertreated; frequently with a delay of 10 years or more to addressing HL.

It is important to close the gap because HL has been associated with communication difficulties, lower health-related quality of life, and decreased physical and cognitive function.

The Current Situation

  • The number of adults in the US with audiometric HL in both ears is estimated to be 38.2M 1,4
  • The prevalence of HL in at least one ear is estimated to be 22.7% and 14.3% are estimated to have HL in both ears 4. Most HLs are mild to moderate while an estimated 2.5% are severe to profound in at least one ear 4.
  • Although individuals could benefit from intervention with hearing aids (HA) and cochlear implants (CI), many delay seeking timely treatment frequently by more than 10 years 6.The utilization rate of HA is estimated between 14-20% leaving an estimated 29M Americans untreated 1,3,5.
  • HA utilization is lowest among those with mild to moderate HL at 10% and 30% respectively and highest among those with severe to profound HL at 70% and 90% respectively 3. Despite demonstrable evidence of the value of CI for those with severe to profound HL, utilization is extremely low for adults at an estimated 12.7% for severe to profound hearing loss and only 2.1% with expanded indications for unilateral or asymmetrical losses 7.


Matthew Carlson

Matthew Carlson, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery Division Chair, Otology & Neurotology, Medical Director, Cochlear Implant Program, Program Director, Neurotology Fellowship, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Sarah A. Sydlowski, Au.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
Associate Chief Improvement Officer Audiology Director, Hearing Implant Program Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio


Meagan Lewis

Meagan Bachmann, AuD
Wake Forest Baptist Health

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown, MD, PhD
University of North Carolina

Frank Lin

Frank Lin, MD
Johns Hopkins University

Maura Cosetti, MD
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

Erin Miller

Erin Miller, AuD
The University of Akron

René Gifford

René Gifford, MS, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Stephanie Moody Antonio

Stephanie Moody Antonio, MD
Eastern Virginia Medical School


Samuel Gubbels, MD, FACS
University of Colorado

Tracy Murphy

Tracy Murphy, AuD
North Shore Audio‐Vestibular Lab

Richard Gurgel, MD, MSCI
University of Utah School of Medicine

Ashley Nassiri

Ashley Nassiri, MD, MBA
Mayo Clinic

Marlan Hansen

Marlan Hansen, MD
University of Iowa

Regina Presley

Regina Presley, AuD
Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Heidi Hill

Heidi Hill, AuD
Hearing Health Clinic

Nicholas Reed

Nicholas Reed, AuD
Johns Hopkins University

Meredith Holcomb

Meredith Holcomb, AuD, CCC‐A
University of Miami

Doug Sladen

Doug Sladen, PhD
Western Washington University

Jacob Hunter

Jacob Hunter, MD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Donna Sorkin

Donna Sorkin, MA
American Cochlear Implant Alliance

Ben Balough

Ben Balough, MD, Neurotologist
Kaiser Permanente

Christopher Spankovich

Christopher Spankovich, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center

Anna Jilla

Anna Jilla, AuD, PhD
Lamar University

Alex Sweeney

Alex Sweeney, MD
Baylor College of Medicine; Texas Children’s Hospital

Barbara Kelley

Barbara Kelley
Hearing Loss Association of America

Matt Bush, MD
University of Kentucky

Daniel Zeitler, MD, FACS
UW Medicine – University of Washington Medical Center

Bevan Yueh, MD, MPH
CEO, University of Minnesota Physicians

Zhen Wang, PhD
Mayo Clinic Evidence-Based Practice Research Program, Mayo Clinic

Camille Dunn, PhD
The University of Iowa

Ian Windmill, PhD
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Ardeshir Hashmi, MD
Center for Geriatric Medicine, Cleveland Clinic

Jake Jentzer, MD
Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Christine Lohse, MS
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic

John Marinelli, MD
Otolaryngology, Brooke Army Medical Center

Michael McKee, MD MPH
Family Medicine, University of Michigan

M. Hassan Murad, MD
Mayo Clinic Evidence-Based Practice Research Program, Mayo Clinic

John Tieben, MD
Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Heather Foote

Heather Foote
Cleveland Clinic


  • Put people with hearing loss first
  • We prioritize the needs of people with hearing loss before any personal or organizational agendas
  • Act with integrity
  • We treat others with respect and kindness
  • Value diversity and inclusion
  • We seek to the thoughts, opinions, and perspectives from people of all backgrounds
  • Dedicated to results
  • We are committed to showing up, following up and working together to transform hearing healthcare


The Hearing Health Collaborative completed an A3 process to identify the Problem, Root Causes and Counter Measures to address in a set of short- and long-term actions to address. Specifically, the HHC will focus on three measures:

  1. Develop and embed a simple metric as a vital sign for hearing health.
  2. Develop and embed simple and consistent reporting for sensorineural hearing loss that defines appropriate treatment pathways as standards of care
  3. Secure evidenced-based procedural change to timely referrals for clinical evaluation of hearing loss treatments per guidelines on standards of care


Collaboration is an essential component to implementing health promotion and disease prevention/management. Today’s complex healthcare environment has made it difficult for patients to access care, especially those with chronic conditions such as hearing loss where people have a greater reliance on technology and innovation provided by variable delivery models.   

Many have discussed the issues and even tried different solutions. Yet, despite prior significant efforts, the results have fallen short of improving patient care. This has been attributed to a plethora of reasons including bureaucracy, lack of coordination, and limited resources. Thus, a different approach is needed.


  • Sponsorships
  • Grants
  • Pledges
  • Donations
  • In kind support