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NIDCD’s Amy Donahue receives HLAA’s 2016 James B. Snow Award
Amy Donahue, Ph.D., deputy director of the NIDCD’s Division of Scientific Programs, received the James B. Snow, Jr., M.D., Award at the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)’s annual convention in Washington, DC, on June 26, 2016. The award was created by the HLAA in 1997 to honor the contributions of Dr. Snow—the first director of the NIDCD—toward furthering scientific research in the field of hearing loss. The award is given annually to a recipient who exemplifies this spirit.
Dr. Donahue was selected for “her commitment to research on hearing loss and healthy aging, [and] furthering scientific research in the field of hearing loss, especially as it relates to the promotion of accessible and affordable hearing health care,” according to the HLAA’s award announcement. As noted in their award presentation: “She has been instrumental in promoting scientific research in this critical area, as well as in facilitating a greater focus on the cost of care and behavioral aspects of dealing with hearing loss within the NIDCD.”
Among Dr. Donahue’s many career achievements was spearheading the development of the 2009 NIDCD-sponsored Working Group on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss. Together with co-chairs Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina, and Lucille Beck, Ph.D., Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Donahue led the working group to develop a research agenda to increase the accessibility and affordability of hearing health care—including accessible and low-cost hearing aids—for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The working group articulated the opportunities, barriers, and research needs for promoting accessible and affordable hearing health care. Since that time, Dr. Donahue has led several NIDCD funding initiatives leading to the development of a research portfolio informing this public health area.
Based in large part on the outcomes of that workshop, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine took on the issue of hearing health care, convening an expert committee to study the accessibility and affordability of hearing health care. On June 2, the committee released its consensus study report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability, which describes 12 goals to advance hearing health care in the U.S.
The NIDCD congratulates Dr. Donahue on this well-deserved recognition.