The adult audiology division at the Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM) is nothing if not resilient. They are adjusting to life with COVID restrictions and welcoming new leadership. The team includes Judy Peterein, Alison Brockmeyer, Adam Voss, Cathryn Collopy, and new Director of Adult Audiology Amanda Ortmann, PhD. All share in routine patient testing, but they have some designated specializations as well.
The group unanimously agrees that the best part of the job is helping patients. Mandated face masks create issues for communication when lip reading and facial expression provide important cues for patients with hearing loss. To overcome this hurdle, the team uses transparent face shields to optimize communication with these patients, and they have implemented the use of tablets with real time speech-to-text transcription to facilitate conversation. They also offer curbside service to collect devices in need of repair so patients don’t even have to leave their vehicles.
Team veteran Judy Peterein, AuD has been here more than 30 years. In addition to hearing tests and hearing aid fittings, she conducts electrophysiological assessments of the auditory system, and she teaches a course on electrophysiology for the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (PACS). She also works with the Department of Dermatology to conduct hearing tests for subjects in a research study on a new drug treatment for alopecia (hair loss).
Alison Brockmeyer, AuD, has been with the group for ten years. She serves as the principle research audiologist for studies run by adult audiology. As such, she would write Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications and recruit and test study patients.
“I often catch myself just chatting with patients about things not even related to their appointment,” said Lauer. “I love being a part of their lives and their journey; I find so much inspiration in them.”
Adam Voss, AuD, has been a team member for almost four years. One of his specializations include patients with osseointegrated hearing implants or bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA). He also performs evaluations for central auditory processing disorders (CAPD).
“We are trying to implement more telehealth visits in our clinic,” says Voss. “There are ways that we can remotely fine-tune hearing aids and have remote virtual visits with patients via hearing aid software.”
Cathryn Collopy, AuD, is the newest member of the team. Her niche of the practice is inpatient testing. “If there is a patient at Barnes Hospital in need of a hearing test, I take a cart of equipment to the patient’s room and test them at bedside,” she explained. “I am also available to help troubleshoot their hearing aids or to provide a Pocket Talker – an amplifier used to enhance local sound signals – while they are admitted to Barnes.”
According to new Director of Adult Audiology Amanda Ortmann, PhD, the division has a long-standing culture of patient-centered care.
“I am extremely proud to be working with such a strong team of audiologists,” she said. “They not only provide excellent clinical care backed by careful research, but they truly care about their patients. I am honored and humbled to be working alongside them as we look to future of audiological care.”