From September 25-27, faculty, students and alumni from the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA)
attended the Academy of Doctors of Audiology’s (ADA) AuDACITY conference at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Adjunct professor and past ADA president Rita Chaiken, AuD ’03, along with adjunct professor Jiovanne Hughart, AuD conducted an advanced cerumen management lab during the conference. Associate professor Victor Bray, AuD presented a two-part workshop entitled, “Co-Managing Comorbidities in the Audiology Private Practice,” while Robert DiSogra, AuD ’03, OCA Advisory Board member, presented, “Drug Side Effects on Audiological and Vestibular Testing.” Assistant dean Jonette Owen, AuD ’03, also received special recognition for her service to the ADA’s Board of Directors as director at large from 2016-2017.
Four students claimed two of the top three spots in the ADA’s Student Business Plan Competition, which challenged students across the country to develop innovative independent audiology practices. Jessica Strzepek ’18AUD and Katrina Smith ’18AUD placed second with their plan for Empire State Audiology, while Roksolana Voshchilo ’18AUD and Amanda McVey ’18AuD placed third with a plan for Goldenrod Family Audiology.
Dr. Hughart, who mentored the students throughout the entire process, is extremely proud of their accomplishments.
“It is quite an incredible achievement that two of the three competition teams were from Salus University,” she said. “The annual ADA Business Competition is very competitive and rigorous. Our Salus students presented their plans with professionalism, creativity and a comprehensive understanding of business in the current healthcare environment.”
The Business Plan Competition consists of a nine-step evaluation process over the course of five months, culminating in a final presentation during the AuDACITY conference. Dr. Hughart requires all students in her Audiology Practice Management 1 class to create a business plan and encourages those with standout plans to apply for the competition. The teams took all aspects of business into consideration when devising their plans – location, competition, marketing, office layout, competitive advantages and more.
Strzepek said the experience taught her how detailed one must be when constructing an audiology practice for the real world.
“This experience taught me to look past the bigger picture and to see even the minutest of details that can ultimately make or break a business,” she said. “It taught me to keep asking questions and to delve deep into what I envisioned for the practice.”
Smith agrees the project was a great learning experience as she prepares to graduate next spring.
“This experience tied together with my current externship at a private practice in N.J. gave me a whole new outlook on the profession and on private practices,” she said. “This project has been so rewarding, and I never would have expected to learn so much just from one assignment.”