About Us

About the ACI Alliance

The American Cochlear Implant Alliance is a not-for-profit membership organization created with the purpose of eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation by sponsoring research, driving heightened awareness and advocating for improved access to cochlear implants for patients of all ages across the US. ACI Alliance members are clinicians, scientists, educators, and others on cochlear implant teams as well as parent and consumer advocates. An annual meeting for professional members is convened.


In 2010, a group of surgeons, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and representatives of Cochlear Implant manufacturers met to discuss the initiation of an organization that would address the existing challenges they faced involving Cochlear Implants. This group determined that an inclusive and collaborative organization was needed to eliminate barriers to cochlear implantation. The organization would drive change by improving access to, and increasing awareness about Cochlear Implants through a concerted effort among health care professionals, patients and their families, corporations, clinics and hospitals. Hence the “American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance Foundation” was born, and its founding members began working on building this important organization.

The founding members consisted of some of the country’s top professionals in the field of otology and audiology:

Thomas Balkany, MD
Craig Buchman, MD
Teresa Caraway, PhD
Jill Firszt, PhD
Bruce Gantz, MD
Rene Gifford, PhD
Donald Goldberg, PhD
David Haynes, MD
Ronald Hoffman, MD
Alice Holmes, PhD
William Luxford, MD
Marilyn Neault, PhD
John Niparko, MD
Tom Roland, MD
Jay Rubinstein, MD, PhD
James Saunders, MD, MS
Susan Waltzman, PhD
Kathryn Wilson, MA
Nancy Young, MD
Terry Zwolan, PhD

The American Cochlear Implant Alliance is committed to eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation by sponsoring research, driving heightened awareness and advocating for improved access to Cochlear Implants for patients of all ages across the U.S.

Over the course of the next several months this group of volunteers honed the organization’s mission and its commitment. Founding sponsors provided the seed money to establish the organization.

Our Progress and Accomplishments 2011

  • Founder’s Board established, officers named, quarterly meetings held
  • Mission Statement, Goals and Aims created
  • Organization concept introduced at CI2011 Conference in Chicago
  • Governance documents adopted and registration applications filed
  • Incorporated in State of Delaware as a 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • Alliance Founder’s Board Members meet with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), discuss potential sponsored study


  • Developed proposal to evaluate revised indications for Cochlear Implant candidacy for adult CMS population , “ERID”
  • “ERID” proposal submitted to CMS, patient registry included
  • CMS judges proposal credible, fully qualified response to Spring, 2011 mandates
  • CMS requests 19 point clarification, volunteers formulate response, in discussion with CMS
  • Nominating Chair named, Committee prepares Board/Chairman slate
  • Elections held for organization’s First Board of Directors at Annual Meeting.
  • Conference Committee Chair named , committee addresses guidelines for future Cochlear Implant conferences
  • Conferences announced for CI Pediatric 2014 Nashville, 2017 San Francisco and CI International 2016 Toronto
  • Tax-Exempt status received from IRS retroactive to 2011 incorporation
  • Membership Chair named, program defined and launched
  • Phase I website launched May, 2012 and Phase II launched November, 2012
  • Search Committee Chair named, Committee launches Executive Recruitment, Executive Director named
  • Research Chair named, soliciting patient registry proposals for Board vetting