President's Message 2018

A Message from CAA President Christine Throm, Au.D.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to welcome you to the California Academy of Audiology (CAA)!  I am so thankful and privileged to have the opportunity to serve this wonderful state organization as President in 2018.  I have been an active member of CAA since 2005 and have served as Northern California Representative, Conference Chair, Silent Auction/PAC raffle organizer, and President-Elect.  It has been wonderful to see how far CAA has come over the years, and to see where we are going. The support and friendships from CAA have helped me serve my community and become a better audiologist.

I have been an audiologist for 21 years, and for most of my career, I worked in ENT practices, but also dabbled in a few other areas, including intraoperative monitoring and working for a hearing aid manufacturer. Four years ago, I took the leap into private practice and have found my true passion, strength, and confidence from interacting with patients on a daily basis and helping them hear better and communicate with others more confidently.

The scope of our practice has expanded over the decades and, with that in mind, it is my goal to make sure every audiologist, no matter what the specialty or work setting, feels heard and represented by CAA. We are now in a period of transformation and are being bombarded with negativity; but as leaders in our communities, we have the opportunity to create change with optimism to explore new relationships and learn new or revised models of service. And, we can support each other by growing our membership. Every CAA member has a place to turn when help is needed and a place to celebrate successes. With that said, my goals for 2018 include:

  1. Celebrate Every Au.D.
  2. Get involved
  3. Grow with the flow

How are we going to do achieve these goals? The Board of Directors has already started. You will see more regional meetings this year, as well as socials sponsored by CAA.  We already had one social in San Diego, with many of our intraoperative monitoring audiologists coming together (17 audiologists joined CAA as new members!), and we have a northern/central California regional seminar scheduled in May on tinnitus.

We also created an ad-hoc committee – Business Practices and Development Committee – that will help support private practices with issues like Third Party Administrators (3PAs/TPAs), audiology awareness campaigns, unbundling, etc. You should have already received a survey via email to help us address your concerns.

In addition, we are in the process of collecting testimonials from audiologists in each discipline and work setting, which we plan to highlight throughout the year on the CAA Facebook page and in slides at our annual conference. If you are interested in sharing your passion and success stories, please contact our CAA Conference Chair, Amber Powner.

A highly important objective of involvement this year is to attract and support all of the valuable students we have in our current Au.D. programs and the new programs that will be starting up over the next few years throughout the state. As these new programs develop, there will be an ever-increasing need for externships and clinical internships. Every type of audiology practice is needed to step up, take on a student, and share with them how wonderful it is to be an audiologist!

Last, and certainly not least, I‘d like to continue one of our Immediate Past President Amber Powner‘s goals to grow with the flow.  As our industry transforms, from the elimination of PQRS as a requirement in billing, to involvement of third party administrators, increase in Big-Box competition, and figuring out how to co-exist or work with over-the-counter hearing aid options in the near future, we need to be prepared to build bigger boats and see where they take us. I challenge you to be optimistic, to find opportunities for growth, and to allow the changes that will inevitably come to you as a vessel for helping more people in new ways.  Let CAA know how we can help you grow with the flow.

In summary, we need your involvement! I realize that you have many organizations that you may wish to support, but please consider the important work CAA does on your behalf as an audiologist in California. Unfortunately, most licensed audiologists in California are not members of CAA – your representative organization of audiologists in the state.  If you become involved, your voice will be heard. (Remember, abstaining is silent agreement.)  If you have needs, want your voice heard, and expect changes to be made, please GET INVOLVED!

To learn even more about CAA and to take advantage of the best educational offerings in the state, please join us for our annual conference in Anaheim, September 14th-15th, 2018, where magic and celebration happen every day. Let‘s celebrate our passion for audiology!

See you in Anaheim!

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