Letter from the President
I am thankful and privileged to have the opportunity to serve as the president of the Massachusetts Academy of Audiology (MAA) for the 2018-2020 term. I have been a member of MAA since 2014 and have been on the board since 2017. I am in my 18th year practicing as an audiologist…. wow, where did the time go?! Lucky for me, I absolutely love my job. I have been fortunate to work with so many fantastic patients as I’ve helped them navigate their journey to better hearing. And now in my newest role, I want to help make sure the journey as audiologists continues on the course we decide and to make sure our voices are heard.
As we all know, our profession is facing many challenges. From low or no insurance reimbursement, OTC hearing aids, and Third-Party Administrators (TPA) to online hearing tests and hearing aid sales. Those are just a few of the disruptions occurring in our profession. The only thing certain is that these are uncertain times. This academy is your best way to make your voice heard. The MAA is positioned to help keep audiologists up to date on all things happening in our profession, both nationally and locally, and it enables us to have a say in everything that may affect our profession. We have a great lobbyist who is keeping an eye on things and will work with us to ensure our position on all potential legislation is heard.
As a profession, we are our biggest and only advocates. We need to come together in order to move audiology forward in the direction we want. When the OTC act was introduced, MAA reached out to our members to see what stance we should take on this. After hearing a resounding, “Nay”, the board came together to protest it. We wrote letters and even had conference calls with Elizabeth Warren’s staff to discuss the MAA’s stance against OTC. As we all know, the law passed, but we were there to speak our minds on behalf of our members. The more support we have, the more space we take up and the more potential we have for change in our direction!
We won’t stop speaking our minds, but we need do more help. Regardless of the setting you work in, we want you to feel that you are heard and represented by MAA. Get involved with MAA!!! We need to know what issues you are facing and how MAA can help you. If we don’t hear from you, we do not know all the issues our organization needs to work on. If you don’t speak up, your voices will not be heard.
I hope we can see an increase in membership over the next two years. If you find yourselves complaining about new laws, changing reimbursement, decreased enjoyment of the field, it is time to join us and find a way to take back our profession. The academy also gives us the ability to get to know other audiologists in the area. I know working in a private practice, I was a somewhat isolated from other audiologists. Just in the past two years on the board, I have met so many wonderful audiologists in Massachusetts that I never knew before. MAA can give you the opportunity to spread your wings and help keep our profession on the track you want to see.
Join MAA and make your voice heard! This is OUR profession, let’s keep it that way!!
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Melonie Marple, Au.D.
President of the Massachusetts Academy of Audiology 2018-2020