Dr. Noel Cohen and Mrs. Baukje Cohen at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Center for Hearing and Communication.
Remembering Dr. Noel Cohen
It is with great sadness that we share news that Dr. Noel Cohen passed away on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
Dr. Cohen was a cochlear implant pioneer helping to set the stage for the extraordinary changes and expansion in our field to serve children and adults with a range of hearing loss characteristics. He was a global leader and gave lectures and conducted training all over the world. He was the recipient of numerous awards from his profession. With Dr. Susan Waltzman, he began NYU Langone Cochlear Implant Center in 1983, a program that encompasses one of the largest clinical and research teams in the world.
Much beloved by his patients and family members, Dr. Cohen was also generous in providing support to hearing loss organizations for adults and parents by serving as a medical advisor, giving talks, and writing columns for a consumer/parent audience.
As an early cochlear implant recipient, I recall the confidence he gave me to move forward after I heard him speak and read his columns. In 1992, some continued to reference CI as an “experimental" procedure and others called cochlear implantation an affront to Deaf people who believed there was no reason for a “fix.” I still remember the gentle way he dealt with those who criticized the fact that many cochlear implant patients and families of children chose to communicate entirely with spoken language. Even in that early timeframe, Dr. Cohen recognized that the decision on communication modality was about parent choice.
He will be remembered for his contributions to medicine and science and by those who were fortunate to have worked and trained with him as well as by the CI patient community.