Currently viewing Vol. 7 • Issue 5 • 2020

Industry News

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Michelle Ummels leaving Widex

I wanted to let you all know that I will be leaving Widex Canada. My last day working with the Canadian operation will be Friday July 24, 2020. Our global Headquarters, however, has asked me to stay on until September 30, 2020 to help with key projects. The most important one, being the ongoing development of the Widex Global Brand. I will help develop a plan to ensure we continue to meet your needs and your patient needs now and in the future.

I have truly enjoyed my 6 years as the Widex GM and have met so many amazing clinicians and clinic owners. I have been constantly amazed with the dedication and commitment you have for ensuring your patients have the best outcomes. I have been deeply touched by how you change lives everyday and the part that Widex has played.
Working with all of you and also the Widex team and products, has definitely been a highlight in my career.

I know that Widex Canada is on the right trajectory for the future with a pipeline that is very exciting as well as WIDEX MOMENTTM, which was recently launched. Rob Walesa has been appointed as the GM for Widex Canada. I know he will do a great job as he has many years experience in the hearing industry and has a tremendous track record for success. He truly believes in providing the best customer experience possible which aligns with Widex being the premium brand. The rest of the Widex team will remain unchanged.

Please know, I will be leaving with the very best memories and friendships that I know will last forever!

Thanks again for your tremendous commitment and support!

Michelle Ummels
General Manager, Widex Canada

Rob Walesa

GM of Widex

Hello Everyone,

I am very excited to take on my new role as the Leader of the Widex brand in Canada.

I want to thank Michelle for her leadership of the Widex team for the last 6 years and guiding the Widex brand to a premium position in the market. I wish you all the best Michelle and hope that we can continue to collaborate in the future.

I have nearly 30 years in the hearing health care business and have had the pleasure of supporting many different markets and have always led and made decisions through the Voice of Customer. I am very passionate about the customer experience and firmly believe that the Customer Experience will never exceed the Employee Experience so leading our people to support you is most important to me. Even though we are a very product driven industry, everything we do and how we do it is grounded to this and it is how we make our products and services “feelable” to you and your patients.

WSA has invested greatly in a multi-brand strategy and is deeply committed to having all brands succeed. This is demonstrated by the dedication to separate and distinct technology roadmaps with distinct customer facing organizations. This is unique to the market and we are the only multi-brand company supporting different platforms on different chips to create differentiated sound experiences which is essential in supporting the much appreciated Widex sound. I believe in this approach and feel it is superior to other approaches and you have my commitment to the Widex brand by providing you with meaningful solutions for your patients.

I am looking forward to working with all of you and our new future together. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

By the way…our newest product,…WIDEX MOMENTTM, just recently launched, has already been hugely successful. We have had many amazing patient testimonials already. I look forward to all of you trying this wonderful new product and sharing your patient success stories.

Warmest Regards,

Rob Walesa
General Manager, Widex Canada
Cell: 226-751-6369

New name for the School of Human Communication Disorders

When the School of Human Communication Disorders was first created at Dalhousie in 1976, the name appropriately reflected the School’s mission and vision. The word ‘human’ was added because at the time, the word ‘communication’ often referred to the emerging technology field. Those who established the School wanted to make it clear that its purpose was not IT-related.

Over 40 years later, the School decided to change its name to better reflect the programs and services they provide. The new name — dropping the word ‘human’ and adding ‘sciences’ — is a better representation of the School’s broad scope of activities. It’s also more widely recognizable and consistent with similar schools across North America. The change was based on broad consultation with current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and local, regional and national associations affiliated with the School.

“The name School of Communication Sciences and Disorders more accurately tells the story of who we are,” says Dr. Joy Armson, former Director. “It’s more of an umbrella term to encompass more fully the scope of activities within the School, which is much broader than disorders.”

Dr. Michael Kiefte, Director and professor agrees. “We felt the name was somewhat antiquated and not quite accurate. We wanted the name to include the basic sciences, and the advocacy work that we do and highlight the diversity of activities we provide.”

Ontario Resumes Infant Hearing Checks

August 18, 2020

Additional funding will increase audiology capacity to screen infants impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $3.8 million to support hearing checks for infants who did not receive the universal newborn hearing screen due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the past several months, Infant Hearing Program lead agencies suspended the newborn hearing screen commonly provided pre-discharge from hospitals and in community locations based on the advice of health officials.

As the province re-opens, Infant Hearing Program lead agencies are now starting to safely resume in-person services. Understanding how vital the Infant Hearing Program is to the development and wellness of infants, this additional investment will increase audiology capacity by hiring audiologists and increasing referrals for hearing checks. Newborns who did not receive a newborn hearing screen can now do so.

“Supporting the health and well-being of newborns and their families is a priority,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “These additional funds mean that newborns who missed their hearing screening will now be able to receive this vital service, and that concerns or risks can be addressed early and infants are provided with the support they need as soon as possible.”

Ontario’s Infant Hearing Program provides universal hearing tests for newborn babies to detect signs of early hearing loss in children. Infants who are identified as having hearing loss are then referred to a specialist who will work with his/her parents to ensure they have the resources to develop the critical language and literacy skills needed to be successful in school and in their communities.


  • In 2019-20 the government invested $13.6 million in the Infant Hearing Program.
  • In the 2019-20 fiscal year, 128,327 babies were screened across Ontario. Of these, approximately 500 were identified with permanent hearing loss.
  • Infant Hearing Program lead agencies will arrange a hearing check by an audiologist for babies who missed their newborn hearing screen. Contact the Infant Hearing Program location near you for more information.



Palmer Lockridge
Minister’s Office

Jennifer Rushby
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services