Conferences Program Committee
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ACI Alliance Conferences Program Committee



American Cochlear Implant Alliance will initiate a new process for development of the scientific program for our annual conferences beginning with CI2021 (April 28-May 1, 2021) in Dallas. Instead of selecting one institution to develop the program, we have formed the ACI Alliance Conferences Program Committee comprised of 16 individuals drawn from institutions across the United States. Conferences Committee members will serve a three year term.

A New Format: Conferences Program Committee

Since convening its first CI conference in 2013, conferences organized by American Cochlear Implant Alliance have alternated between collaborations with university partners to determine the conference program and conferences organized and planned programmatically by the ACI Alliance Board of Directors. After the upcoming international conference in March 2020 (a collaboration with the University of North Carolina), we will move to a format in which a program committee is selected through an application process to guide the development of the conference scientific program. This will provide opportunities for wide-ranging members to contribute to our conferences. Our Conferences Program Committee will be: geographically broad; include representatives of wide-ranging institutions; and incorporate diversity of training and knowledge (i.e., clinicians across the care continuum, educators, and scientists).

Locations Selected First to Ensure Efficiency and Geographic Balance

We believe that the new conference organizing method will allow us to competitively select locations and venues that best serve the logistical and economic needs of our conferences. It will also allow us to better respond to member requests to hold the conference in more geographically dispersed locations. The new Conference Program Committee members will serve for three years and then rotate off, permitting continuity in committee membership while encouraging participation of new individuals in program planning. ACI Alliance staff will continue to oversee conference management, allowing for continuous improvement of the meeting.

All Conferences to Cover Pediatric and Adult Content

Another change in future CI conferences is to include pediatric and adult content in all of our meetings. In prior years, the pediatric CI meeting was held every other year. CI2019 was the last pediatric only conference. Given that adults comprise the largest number of new recipients and an increasing number of clinicians wish to focus on cochlear implantation and implantable bone conduction devices in adults and children, there is strong interest in the organization providing tracks for age specific topics. With the rapid rate of change in the field and concerns related to how to manage the growing number of new recipients (along with the installed base of patients who must be cared for over their life-time), our conference interests have expanded to include research to practice topics related to serving this population in a challenging healthcare environment. Additionally, we have been asked that our conferences more intensively explore (re)habilitation in children and adults who receive cochlear implants at our conferences. At the upcoming CI2020 International conference, a special symposium will be held to focus on pediatric habilitation and education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. The session Data to Delivery: Implementing Research-Based Intervention will be held on Friday afternoon with attendance limited to CI conference attendees.

Inaugural Conferences Committee

The ACI Alliance membership was given the opportunity to apply to serve on the new committee. The Board of Directors selected the new committee to reflect individuals from across the care continuum and from around the United States and from overseas.  We are pleased to announce the new committee members, who will plan the conference program for the first time in 2021. 

Conferences Program Committee

Colin Drisoll MD (Co-chair); Mayo Clinic
Sarah Sydlowski AuD, PhD (Co-chair); Cleveland Clinic
Matthew L. Bush MD, PhD; University of Kentucky Medical Center
Matthew Carlson MD; Mayo Clinic
Ivette Cejas PhD; University of Miami
Heather Grantham PhD; Washington University School of Medicine
Ana H Kim MD; Columbia University Medical Center
Kenneth H. Lee MD, PhD; UT Southwestern Medical Center
Kara Leyzac AuD, PhD; Medical University of SC
Nancy K. Mellon MS; The River School
Aaron Moberly MD; The Ohio State University
Sarah Mowry MD; University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Lisa Park AuD; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sandra Prentiss PhD; University of Miami
Bridget Scott-Weich PhD; John Tracy Center
Holly Teagle AuD; University of Auckland, New Zealand
Naama Tsach PhD; Naama Tsach Auditory Rehabilitation

The mission of the American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance is to advance access to the gift of hearing provided by cochlear implantation through research, advocacy and awareness.