National Academies of Practice and Audiology
Three members of the American Academy of Audiology, Bettie Borton, AuD; Victor Bray, PhD, and Victoria Keetay, PhD, were recently selected to serve in leadership positions in the the National Academies of Practice (NAP). Bettie Borton and Victoria Keetay are the chair and vice chair of the Audiology Academy in the NAP, respectively. Victor Bray, founding chair of the Audiology Academy, has been elected as secretary/treasurer to NAP’s Executive Council.
The NAP is a non-profit interdisciplinary organization dedicated to improving health care. While 14 professions are represented in this organization, audiology was only added in 2014.
Bettie Borton, AuD, audiology chair, was asked “What does having audiology represented on the NAP mean for the profession?" Here is what she had to say:
Founded in 1981, the National Academies of Practice was created to advise various governmental bodies regarding the health-care system, and remains the only broad interdisciplinary group dedicated to such issues. Audiology is delighted to have been included in NAP’s 2014 expansion of academies, and our current roster of distinguished fellows in the categories of scholars, providers, and policy-makers hopes to raise interest in and awareness of the role of the audiologist in such team-based practice. As an emerging doctoral profession, audiology’s active and visible involvement in promoting wellness and accessibility through a patient-centered, collaborative approach is vital to this process.
NAP-Audiology members now have the opportunity to work in tandem with 13 other health-care professions within this organization for the interprofessional advancement of the nation’s health-care policies and practices. It is our firm belief that audiology's inclusion in NAP will add value to this organization, as well as to any public health discussions in which NAP engages, by contributing to a stronger collective voice.
Victor Bray, PhD, secretary/treasurer, further emphasized the importance of audiology holding one of the seats.
Of importance to audiology within NAP is that we may be the smallest of professions within NAP. Many of the professions in NAP have well over 100,000 practitioners, or even millions (nursing). I am pleased that, in 2013, we were able to have NAP create two separate and automous academies—audiology and speech language pathology—instead of their initial plans to bring on a single communication sciences disorders Academy. Due to our formative work in this organization, the other professions are becoming aware of audiology as a distinct and autonomous profession.
Their awareness is being raised about how crucial communication is to effective healthcare process and how breakdowns can disrupt or destroy patient care. They are learning about all of the value we can add as a profession to patient care and to ameliorate communication disorders, as so much of patient care is based upon aural communication.
Victoria Keetay, PhD, audiology vice chair, added the following:
NAP Fellows believe that it is critical that health-care practice incorporate a sound interprofessional foundation, and that addressing the whole person provides better health care, treatment outcomes, and preventive care, and can help address the Triple Aim, and the proposed Quadruple Aim, of health care.
With increasing awareness of the importance of hearing health and associated comorbidities, audiology’s presence within this multidisciplinary organization could not materialize at a more critical juncture in the history of American health care, and is a critical step toward appropriate recognition and relevance for our profession.