Did you know that November is Philanthropy Month? This is one of the facts I learned during my first board meeting as a Trustee of the American Academy of Audiology Foundation in October. In fact, there was a lot I didn’t know about the Foundation and all its programs that support audiology.
The AAA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Audiology, and we fund some fantastic programs for students, clinicians, and researchers. We support scholarships for students and award grants to early career researchers. We fund endowed lectureships at AudiologyNOW! that benefit audiologists in all stages of their careers. The Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology has been a forum for outstanding presentations since 2005, and Improving Care through Innovation in Audiology Workplace Management will debut in 2012.
You may have heard of the James Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology Conference; this meeting offers small groups of mid-career audiologists the opportunity to learn about the history of audiology and the Academy, develop leadership skills, and get more involved in the profession. The Foundation also strives to increase awareness about audiology care as it supports National Audiology Awareness Month each October. Are you aware that there is a Member Assistance Program to afford audiologists experiencing financial hardship the opportunity to attend AudiologyNOW!? Did you know that the Foundation also provides student travel assistance for conferences on topics in the hearing sciences, and collaborates with state academies to provide science fair awards to high school students?
I learned that the AAA Foundation team strives to create a culture of philanthropy in audiology to support all of these programs and establish new ways to give back to the future! And I was especially surprised to learn that only 4% of Academy members donate to the Foundation. No gift is too small (or too large) – to be honest, my first gifts were pretty small. But every little bit helps us do more for the profession…and most importantly, for our patients with hearing and balance problems.
I still have a lot to learn, but I am already convinced that the AAA Foundation does some fabulous things to support education, awareness, and research in audiology and hearing science. Check out a full list of programs and initiatives supported by the Foundation here: http://www.audiologyfoundation.org/about_us/annual_report.html. While you’re there, make your gift…and become an audiology philanthropist yourself!
This blog post was contributed by Joscelyn Martin, Au.D., an audiologist and new Trustee of the American Academy of Audiology Foundation. Dr. Martin is an audiology philanthropist who is a past president of the Minnesota Academy of Audiology and a participant in the 2010 James Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology Conference. On behalf of the AAA Foundation Board, Joscelyn thanks A.U. Bankaitis, former Foundation Trustee and generous Audiology Philanthropist, for giving us this forum to share about all the programs supported by our Foundation.