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Nova Southeastern University
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Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences Audiology Students Travels to Capitol Hill


From left are Lisa Grovenstein, B.S., Rachel Kansky, B.S., Jonathon Lawrence, B.S., Ali Silverman, B.S., and Brianna Milke, B.A.

On Friday, May 11, 2018, five Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Au.D. students and three faculty members, Erica Friedland, Au.D., chair and associate professor, Patricia Gaffney, Au.D., associate professor, and Alyssa Needleman, Ph.D., clinic director and associate professor, traveled to Capitol Hill to voice their effectiveness to healthcare.

Each year, the NSU’s Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) helps send students to Washington, D.C. to advocate for the profession of audiology and raise awareness for current legislation affecting the field. This is the fourth consecutive year NSU’s SAA has contributed to student advocacy.

This year’s small group of dedicated students represented Florida, New Jersey, and Nevada. It was their first time attending. The SAA chapter at NSU strongly believes that promoting hearing health, spreading healthcare awareness, and participating in advocacy opportunities are necessary to become more involved. The doctoral students had a great time expressing their voices for their future profession.

To ensure NSU would have a strong voice on the Hill, NSU’s SAA Government Relations Chair, Rachel Kansky, coordinated with Adam Finkel and Becky West, members of the American Academy of Audiology’s Government Relations department. Finkel and West helped with the planning of the trip and by participating in meetings with legislative representatives.

Representatives from the home-state districts of each NSU student advocate attended the meetings. Those in attendance were from the offices of Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), and Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04). NSU student advocates attended meetings individually or with a partner, which allowed each participant to bring their personal stories to the table and voice their independent thoughts.

The Prosper Act (H.R. 4508), The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017, and the Access to Frontline Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 2042) were emphasized during each meeting. Each student had the opportunity to share how these critical issues are contributing positively and/or negatively to the audiology profession.

This trip greatly impacted the students’ awareness of legislation and the positive and negative impacts that legislation has in the field of audiology. The students expressed that this trip encouraged them to feel empowered. They stated that they will continue to advocate in the future as well as help audiology remain well-represented on Capitol Hill. The students and faculty would like to thank everyone involved in the planning of this trip and those who contributed to its success!