Currently viewing Vol. 8 • Issue 5 • 2021

Industry News

In Memoriam

Dennis A. Herx
August 25, 1948-July 16, 2021
By Chuck Fuller, M.Sc., RAUD

It is with profound soundness that CAA announces the passing of founding member and first President, Dennis Herx after a short battle with cancer. He passed away on July 16 and funeral mass was held on July 31 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Halifax. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Michelle; children Dr. Leonie Herx of Kingston, ON, Justin Herx of Seattle, WA USA, and Andrew Herx of Kentville, NS.

After serving 3 years in the U.S. Army, including one year in Vietnam, Dennis completed his university degrees at Towson State University in Maryland and Gallaudet University. Graduating as an audiologist. In 1977, he accepted a job in private practice audiology with Paul Kuttner Audiology Associates in Halifax and moved to Nova Scotia with Michelle. A year later he became a partner in the practice. After Paul’s death, Dennis was joined by (the late) Jean Kienapple as partners of Audiology Associates. Together they expanded the practice to 9 clinics in Nova Scotia and PEI with travelling clinics to Newfoundland, making it one of the largest private practice audiology groups in Canada. From Day 1 (and well before it became standard audiology procedure), Audiology Associates practiced “patient centered” audiology. To paraphrase him, “take care of the patient first and the business will take care of itself.”

In addition to Audiology, Dennis loved sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and especially golf, to which he was self-admittedly addicted. He and Michelle also walked the 800 km Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2011.

For several years in the 1990’s, at the American Academy of Audiology conference in the U.S., Al Moore of Dahlberg (now Bernafon) sponsored a fun evening for Canadian audiologists attending the conference. At the meeting in Dallas in 1996, after a couple of hours of fun and drinks, a napkin was passed around seeking names of those who felt Canada needed an equivalent organization, of audiologist, by audiologists, and for audiologists.

Dennis was in attendance at that “meeting” in Dallas and he and Jean decided to take the bull by horns and later that year called together about 20 audiologists from across the country to see if that willingness to start an organization from scratch still existed in the cold light of day. That organization turned out to be the Canadian Academy of Audiology and Dennis agreed to be its first President.

He will truly be missed by many of us, and even if you did not get a chance to meet him, you feel the effects of his influence to this day throughout CAA. 


In Memorium

Jill Taylor

Jill Taylor worked in the field of audiology from 1986 to 2021. Throughout these 35 years she filled the role of clinical audiologist, researcher, mentor and educational audiologist across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. Her schooling first began at the University of Toronto in microbiology which transitioned to audiology, initiating a move to Ohio to complete her Masters in Audiology at Bowling Green State University. She then returned to Canada to work at Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton Ontario where she met many friends, one of whom (Carol Pavey), would introduce her to her future husband John. A few years later she transitioned into a new role at Surrey Place Centre where she worked with the Infant Hearing Program, and specifically children with special needs. At this time, she began her clinical doctorate through Central Michigan University. Later in her career she worked as an educational audiologist in the GTA and continued to meet with students until February 2021 when she was physically unable due to the COVID-19 virus and her progressing illness.  

Jill was incredibly knowledgeable and detail oriented. This attention to detail extended to her professional practice, making her exceptionally thorough and patient with the children she saw. She was incredibly caring, kind and welcoming - traits recognized by all those who met and worked with her. Her cheerfulness and humor made difficult tasks possible, and hard days better. Her insight was extensive and yet she was never boastful. Her humility, intellect and compassion are only a few of the characteristics that made her a valued audiologist. Leaving the profession was difficult for her and ultimately the decision was not her own. On her terms she would have continued practicing because it was a profession she truly loved. She will be deeply missed by family, friends and colleagues.


MCK Audio Launches New Website

MCK Audio, the company that makes HearHooks and Companion Mics, has just launched a new website offering detailed product information, case studies, and research on music practices during a pandemic.

According to MCK Audio Founder and President Mead C. Killion, PhD, ScD(hon), his motivation for the company was simply his desire to “help people hear much better in noise with Companion Mics,” a system designed to help facilitate discussion and improve speech audibility in a multi-talker environment. After a landmark meeting with Rocky Stone, the profoundly deaf founder of Self Help for Hard of Hearing (SHHH) at a party, Killion was so impressed by Stone’s ability to hear amidst the burble of voices, with a microphone attached to a body aid, he set out on a quest to create the Companion Mics.

Killion has been an adjunct professor of audiology at Northwestern University for 36 years and has authored or co-authored 88 papers, 21 book chapters, and 92 US patents in the fields of acoustics and hearing aids. He has also been a frequent author for Hearing Review about PSAP/OTC findings, the assessment of musician’s earplugs, and hearing aid performance and music. Dr Killions 3-part “myths” series from 2004—”Myths that Discourage Improvements in Hearing Aid Design“, “Myths about Hearing in Noise and Directional Microphones”, and “Myths about Hearing Aid Benefit and Satisfaction“—continues to be one of the best-read series of articles in HR‘s archives.

HearHooks and Companion Mics can be purchased on the Oaktree Products website here. For more information about MCK Audio, please click here.

Source: MCK Audio
Image: MCK Audio

Used with permission HearingReview.com June 21, 2021


Widex Introduces My Guide

WIDEX recently introduced My Guide, a new feature in the WIDEX MOMENT™ app, that empowers hearing aid users to maximize the comfort, performance, and use of their aids after the initial fitting to get the most out of them.  My Guide provides advice in the form of step-by-step instructions, videos, and short courses.

Up to 20 % of new users report difficulty and frustration in becoming familiar with their devices. My Guide delivers much-needed education and guidance to ensure that every user experiences the best possible results.

"Using a hearing aid for the first time or adjusting to a new aid can take time and dedication, because users have to form a new habit," said Steven Pugsley, Senior Audiologist, WIDEX Canada "We developed My Guide to make the initial adoption period as painless and positive as possible.” My Guide contains videos and written instructions for proper usage, storage, maintenance and more.

The Videos tab covers the topics of turning the aid on or off, changing batteries, adjusting volume, changing the wax guard and more.

The Troubleshooting tab addresses issues like no sound and physical discomfort due to improper placement.

The Courses tab helps to set expectations, engage in their hearing loss, and learn how to maximize the benefit of their hearing aids. With 24 articles in four categories, these cover everything from how to protect hearing aids while exercising to conversation tips and getting used to new sounds.

The Notifications tab plays a critical role in helping new users become familiar and comfortable with daily hearing aid use. Daily reminders can be set to actively help remember to put the aids in, with the goal of making the hearing aid use a regular habit just like brushing your teeth.

My Guide is available in WIDEX MOMENT™ app version 1.3.


Oticon Medical Canada introduces BecauseSoundMatters.ca

Introducing becausesoundmatters.ca a new blog from Oticon Medical Canada. Becausesoundmatters.ca is resource for patients and clinicians alike who are curious about hearing implants and want to learn more. The blog covers a wide range of topics related to BAHS, CI and hearing in general. At Because Sound Matters you can hear from patients who have experienced the life changing benefits of Oticon Medical implants, learn more about our minimally invasive surgical techniques, discover the benefits of hearing implants and much, much more. Interested in contributing to the blog? Always wanted to write an article about your experience fitting hearing implants? tinnitus? Misophonia? Another hearing related topic? We are always looking for new material and we would love to hear from you. Email us at info@oticonmedical.ca or reach out to your local representative.