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Audiology and jazz: Educating and entertaining audiologists

Audiology and jazz: Educating and entertaining New Zealand audiologists

Internationally acclaimed audiologist Chuck Berlin is in Wellington this week as keynote speaker at the NZ Audiological Society conference being held at Te Papa from 2–5 July. Sponsored by the Oticon Foundation in New Zealand, Professor Berlin will deliver a number of addresses including “Hearing loss after brain injury and temporal lobe surgery” an area where he and his colleagues published germinal research from studying brain-injured Vietnam War veterans and hemispherectomy patients.

Audiologist and Secretary to the Oticon Foundation Karen Pullar says Professor Berlin’s visit is an exceptional learning opportunity for New Zealand hearing care professionals to hear him speak on his research in audiology.

‘The Oticon Foundation is committed to supporting continuing education. Chuck Berlin, who is retired from Louisiana State University Medical School where he was Professor of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and Physiology is universally recognised in the audiology world as ’the teacher’s teacher’. He is renowned for his ability to make complicated auditory concepts accessible to parents, teachers, hearing aid specialists, and audiology and medical students,’ Ms Pullar says.

Chuck Berlin, an accomplished jazz pianist, will cap off his Wellington appearance with a grand piano performance at the conference dinner to be held at the Grand Hall, Parliament.

Professor Berlin was the first director of the LSU Kresge Hearing Research Lab and has edited or co-edited numerous books and scientific articles. He was a practicing licensed audiologist and director of the Louisiana clinic that Family Circle Magazine selected in 1987 as ‘the country’s best clinic for hearing health care’. His research and discoveries have been cited in Time Magazine, ‘That’s Incredible’, Discover Magazine and on the ‘Today Show’. He was a founding member of the Advisory Board to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Professor Berlin has received numerous awards in recognition of his contribution to audiology, including the:
• Presidential Citation from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (its highest award)
• Frank J. Kleffner Award for Lifetime Clinical Achievement from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association
• Lifetime Career Research Award from the American Academy of Audiology

He is also the first audiologist and hearing scientist to have an Academic Chair named after him—the Charles I. Berlin Ph.D. Chair in Molecular and Genetic Hearing Science, which colleagues, friends, and grateful patients and their parents donated towards establishing in 2004.

The Oticon Foundation was established in 1976 as the charitable trust of Oticon New Zealand Ltd. Oticon was founded in Denmark in 1904 and is one of the oldest hearing aid manufacturers in the world. The Oticon Foundation provides approximately $100,000 in funding each year to projects that help remedy hearing loss and improve the quality of life for hearing impaired individuals and their families.

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