Board of Directors Position Statements
Amyn Amlani, Ph.D.
Amyn M. Amlani, PhD, is President of Otolithic, LLC—a for-profit firm with its global headquarters in Frisco, TX—that provides healthcare companies with competitive market analysis and support strategy, economic and financial assessments, and consumer insights, to ensure long-term profitability and economic viability. His past experience includes serving as Director of Professional Development and Education for Audigy, and as Department Chair and tenured Professor of Audiology for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Dr. Amlani holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Audiology/Psychoacoustics from Michigan State University, a Master of Science in Audiology from Purdue University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders from University of the Pacific. He also holds a Certificate in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (C-HECOR) from the University of Washington. Dr. Amlani is a regular contributor to national and international publications on topics related to audiology and hearing industry economics.
The profession of audiology has yet to rise to its potential. Despite, a growing demand for audiological services, the profession’s ability to meet this demand is constrained by factors such as (i) a shrinking doctoral-level workforce, primarily of our young professionals, (ii) service opportunities lost to neighboring professions through an overlapping of state licensed scope of practice (e.g., cerumen management, tinnitus), and (iii) managed care and product-centric corporations that have besieged provider autonomy.
The future success of our profession depends on (i) new service-based revenue models that supersede the historic product-centric revenue model, (ii) legislation that reclassifies the profession, minimally, to practitioner status and, in time, to limited license physician status, (iii) revisioning the direct-access needs of Americans with appropriate service-delivery models, and (v) ensuring that professionals have the requisite skills and knowledge needed to provide new and emerging services (e.g., gene therapy).
The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) is the singular professional organization that has the foresight and capability for audiology to realize its true potential. ADA has been and continues to be purposeful in ensuring audiology’s position within the healthcare landscape through identifying, evaluating, and implementing service efficiencies that promote professional autonomy while serving the hearing healthcare needs of Americans.
I am honored to be nominated as President-Elect. If elected, I vow to serve the organization with humility, integrity, and transparency. Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.
Whitney Swander, Au.D.
Dr. Whitney Swander earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Audiology from University of Northern Colorado, in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and her doctoral (Au.D.) degree from A.T. Still University in 2008.
She has spent her entire career in private practice, starting as the first audiologist in a practice of hearing instrument specialists and becoming the Director of Audiology. Eventually she purchased the two locations from the previous owner, transformed it into an audiology practice providing best practices and a wider scope of care, and grew it to 7 current locations. Dr. Swander has mentored and employed dozens of interns, externs and audiologists at all stages in their career.
Dr. Swander was honored as a Notable Woman in Healthcare by BizWest, the Northern Colorado Business Review in 2021. She was also awarded the Leo Doerfler Award, which recognizes an audiologist who has demonstrated outstanding clinical services in the community throughout his or her career, by the Academy of Doctors of Audiology in 2022.
She lives in Colorado with her husband, Jeff and their two rescued beagles, Marley and Maddie. She is an avid gardener and a creative cook with all her garden goodies.
I am honored to be nominated to run for President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. ADA was the first group I joined when I purchased my practice and needed to be around like-minded audiologists. Due to the priceless relationships and resources I have received over 15 years, I have been a faithful member of ADA ever since.
Private practice audiologists are the movers and shakers of audiology who move the needle forward for the whole profession. We have the most at stake and we put our time, talent and treasure where our mouth is, over and over again. We have a responsibility to present and represent audiology well in legislation, in media, to other professions who serve our patient population and to the public.
Despite similarities with other professions, we have a unique and distinct scope of practice. We have a rightful seat at the table to make decisions on how to best serve the population of patients with hearing, balance and processing disorders that we pledged to serve. We contribute by linking arms where we can to keep our patients as our mutual focal point, while standing in our identity as clinical doctors of hearing and balance. And we move the needle by advocating for audiology through lobbying and legislation, staying aware and flexible about Medicare and other reimbursements, educating the public about audiology services separate from hearing aids, and keeping our finger on the pulse of the potential disruptors to the profession. If elected, I look forward to participating in all of the above and continuing to move us forward.
Jill Davis, Au.D.
Dr. Jill Davis is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she received both her Doctorate of Audiology and Bachelor of Science degrees. She is the owner and audiologist at Victory Hearing and Balance in Austin, Texas and a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA), Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association (TSHA), Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), and American Academy of Audiology (AAA).
Driven by her desire to help patients hear their best, she created a music-based auditory training program called Victory Brain Training, which is designed to improve memory and speech in noise processing. Because of this program, she developed a specialty in cognitive hearing science and enjoys working with audiologists across the country on implementing cognitive screening into practice.
Dr. Davis works with students from the University of Texas and surrounding AuD programs to encourage full scope audiologic care in the private practice setting and educates on small business ownership.
I am honored to be nominated for Director-at-Large for the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. I am truly grateful for the support I have received from ADA, especially over the past four years of being a private practice owner. I am looking forward to giving back to the Academy and supporting other audiologists in the same manner.
My primary goal is to support the reclassification of audiologists to practitioners under Medicare statute, by helping pass the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act of 2023. By taking a more comprehensive approach to patient care, we can transition from perceived retail clinics to a medical model of hearing healthcare that will improve our status in the medical community and increase our reimbursement with insurance. We can strengthen our relationships with physicians and provide our patients with improved access to our clinics for quality care when we practice to the full scope of our license.
I would also like to be a resource for audiologists who may be navigating ethical dilemmas within our field. We are in an exciting time for the field of audiology and although we have been faced with a few disrupters, the future is very bright if we are able to embrace change.
Thank you for your consideration for Director-at-Large for the ADA Board of Directors!
Carly Girard, Au.D.
Dr. Carly Girard earned her Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.) from Indiana University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa. She is the owner of Hearing Associates, Inc., a private practice with two locations in the northern Chicago suburbs.
Dr. Girard has structured her practice to place a high emphasis on patient-centered care and continued education through the precepting of students. As a practice owner, she prioritizes creating a positive work environment and fostering a culture of teamwork among staff. She has extensive experience in adult cochlear implants, in addition to diagnostics and hearing aids. She has previously served on the Illinois Academy of Audiology board and has presented at both state and national conventions.
Dr. Girard and her husband currently live in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago with their two sons and golden retriever, Rusty.
I am honored to be nominated for the position of Director-at-Large on the ADA Board of Directors. I have been a practice owner for 11 years, and over that time the field of audiology has been changing rapidly. I believe that it is vital that private practices evolve in order to keep up with these changes and to help patients understand the landscape of hearing healthcare.
As both a practice owner and practicing audiologist, I offer a perspective on both business and clinical issues. I was a business owner during both the Covid-19 pandemic and the introduction of over-the-counter hearing aids, and have experienced the impact on both my practice as a whole and on individual patients. As alternative service delivery models have become available to patients, we have had to adjust our counseling and business practices to keep with the changing times. Though these transitions brought challenges, I believe that they also resulted in insight that will allow us to provide a higher standard of patient care.
I look forward to the opportunity to take a leadership role in ADA! I have been a long standing member and believe wholeheartedly in the mission of advancing the field of audiology as an autonomous doctoring profession. I have had the privilege to lobby on Capitol Hill with my fellow audiology colleagues and this continued advocacy is essential to our future. Now more than ever, it is important for audiologists to come together and share their knowledge and experiences to further this cause. Thank you so much again for your consideration for the role of Director-at-Large!
Tricia Nechodom, Au.D.
Dr. Tricia Nechodom graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012 with a focus in pediatric audiology and began working as a clinical audiologist at Trinity Health in Minot, North Dakota shortly after. She obtained Pediatric Specialty Certification from the American Board of Audiology in 2014. Tricia worked collaboratively with local service organizations and North Dakota Hands & Voices to found the state’s first hearing equipment loaner program, and has served in numerous leadership roles with the Magic City Lions club to promote hearing and sight initiatives throughout North Dakota.
She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Minot State University and contracts with several local educational agencies to fulfill educational audiology services around the greater Minot area. She is a member at large of the Advanced Practice Providers executive committee at Trinity Health and is the Audiological Affairs representative on the ND Speech Language Hearing Association Board. She has earned the Minot Woman of Distinction Award for the Health category, multiple Eagle Awards from the Minot Chamber of Commerce dedicated to patient satisfaction and numerous Scholar Awards from the American Academy of Audiology.
Outside of audiology, Tricia enjoys spending time with her family and exploring all that North Dakota has to offer.
I am humbled to be considered a candidate for the Director-at-Large position with the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. I hope to bring a fresh perspective from the clinical standpoint and seek opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in a broad range of practice settings. An effective Director-at-Large must embrace innovation as a catalyst for progress. My inherent passion for innovation drives me to seek out new solutions, technologies and methods which have continually transformed my practice over my career. I am dedicated to advancing our field and ensuring that ADA remains at the forefront of cutting-edge practices.
I welcome the rapidly-evolving landscape of audiology and believe it is critical that our leadership is not only well-versed in the fundamentals of the profession but also fueled by innovation, especially in hospital-based settings. Innovation in audiology isn't only about technological innovation, but mainly, enhancing patient care and outcomes. My commitment to patient-centered care aligns seamlessly with ADA's mission, my enthusiasm for exploring novel approaches and my track record of implementing innovative techniques in my own clinical practice can serve as a guiding light for audiologists seeking to expand their horizons. We can continue to work together, learn from each other and elevate our collective knowledge and expertise in our community.
I hope to join the passionate group of professionals currently serving the Board and bring along a commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and practice. I look to innovators in our field, alongside the related fields of neuroscience, technology and psychology to dream big and implement collaborations across these spaces to create new solutions for our patients. I thrive working with like-minded individuals and felt I had found my community with ADA the first time I lobbied with the group In DC several years ago. I will continue to be a loyal advocate for ADA and our profession on the local level and the broader stages. By embracing innovation as a driving force, I am committed to steering ADA toward a dynamic and progressive future, enriching the professional lives of its members and ensuring the highest standards of patient care in the ever-evolving field of audiology.
Stacy O’Brien, Au.D.
Dr. Stacy O’Brien received her undergraduate education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and her doctoral degree in audiology from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She is the founder of Atlantic Hearing, Balance and Tinnitus Center with locations along the east coast of Florida and leads a team who offer hearing, tinnitus, vestibular and cochlear implant services. Stacy is also a partner with Acuity Healthcare Partners, providing strategic business consultation and resources for marketing, strategic planning, all things HR (payroll, recruiting, onboarding, training and retaining for success), patient-centered pathways, creating passionate team culture, special team event planning, strategic planning, and increased profitability.
Dr. O’Brien is on the ACEN steering committee representing private practice, to help improve the student externship process. She is the founder of the Audiology4All Foundation, which funds audiology treatments and projects in her communities and abroad, including funding those in need of hearing aid treatment who can’t afford it, construction of a deaf orphanage in El Progreso, Guatemala, and scholarships to audiology graduate students in need. She has participated in many ADA lobby days in Washington, D.C. and virtually. As an audiology student she was a participant and award winner in the inaugural ADA student business plan competition.
Dr. O’Brien was inspired to become an Audiologist when her youngest daughter suffered from middle ear issues and the treatment process she went through instilled a dream within Stacy to help others in a similar manner. She and her husband live in Ponce Inlet, and love spending their free time at the beach with their family and granddaughter, Lily.
What a privilege to even be considered for this position. It was my dream for decades to become an audiologist, and I am absolutely in love with this profession! It is my passion to help those who need our help have access to our help. I am so grateful and EXCITED to be a part of this organization because of it’s aligned passion, to help those who need our help have access to our help (MAASA), and for their out-of-the-box thinking that gets things done to move our profession toward autonomy. I believe there’s never been a better time to be an audiologist.
Thinking outside-the-box and persistently pursuing our goals are what moves mountains, and I have seen that in my own life and practice. After starting my practice and growing to multiple clinicians it became more and more difficult to grow while maintaining excellent patient care and profitability. It was then I was able to learn from amazing mentors and outside-the-box strategic business planning, that I was able to transform my practice, and my LIFE, by creating excellent patient care that was scalable, and increased profits. The transformation I experienced, from my team culture, and patient-centered scalable care to my home life (not working weekends and nights any more) was LIFE CHANGING, and I began another journey, helping others achieve their dreams, and reducing the prevalence of burn out.
I am positive that we are in the BEST profession on the planet. Patients want solutions, and someone (US!) that they can trust is doing the best for them. They will pay for value. I don’t believe in worrying about competition, focusing on doing our best ensures we stay healthy and growing, with lots of raving fan patients. I will bring to ADA, should I be elected, passion about this profession and serving the needs and desires of ADA and its members. I greatly look forward to working with all of you and helping you, and ADA, achieve its wildest dreams (Napoleon Dynamite reference LOL)!