8 Incredible Women in The Field of Audiology
Women’s History Month was enacted to celebrate women’s history and help inspire the next generation of young women to succeed. This month, we would like to showcase 8 of the most brilliant and influential women doctors in audiology. These women have helped to change the world and continue to shape the future of audiology.
Women Doctors in Audiology: Women’s History Month Pioneers
Dr. Marion Downs
A legend in the field of pediatric audiology, Dr. Marion Downs pioneered pediatric audiology. In 1963 she started her work at the University of Colorado School of Medicine to prove that early intervention is critical for developing language in hard of hearing or deaf infants. Dr. Downs literally helped write the book on pediatric audiology, as the textbooks she helped author are still in use today.
Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano
internationally known for her ground-breaking research into social-emotional development, speech, and language for hard-of-hearing and deaf children and infants. Working alongside Dr. Marion Downs, their work was the foundation of universal hearing testing that is in place today. Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano is currently working as a professor at the University of Colorado’s Speech, Language, and Hearing Science Department.
Dr. Deanna Meinke
As former president of the CAA (Colorado Academy of Audiology) and the NHCA (National Hearing Conservation Association), Dr. Deanna Meinke is a pioneer in sound-induced hearing loss prevention. Currently a professor in Speech-Language and Audiology at the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Meinke continues working with the public health sector supporting programs that help improve awareness and prevention of hearing loss, especially in school-aged children.
Founder of Heart of the Village Inc., a not-for-profit endeavor that works with children in Kenya to help treat and prevent diseases of the ears. She has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help raise funds, develop strategically impactful resources, and advocate for patients’ rights. Her efforts were acknowledged in 2019 by Salus University when she was awarded one of the first-ever Presidential Medals of Honor.
Dr. Laura Ann Wilbur
One of the American Academy of Audiology founders, Dr. Wilbur’s commitment to hearing health spans over five decades; her work helped create and define modern audiology. Dr. Wilbur helped write the U.S and international industry standards governing audiometry. She has taught at ten universities, including Northwestern and UCLA, and served as president of The American Auditory Society, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and The Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology.
Dr. Anita Pikus
The first director and founder of the National Institutes of Health Audiology Clinic, Dr. Anita Pikus, was a life-long proponent of the audiology profession. Along with Dr. Lucille R. Beck, they helped create the degree of clinical Audiology (AuD.). Sadly Dr. Pikus passed away in 2007, leaving behind an incredible legacy that will not soon be forgotten.
Dr. Lucille R. Beck
Her numerous awards have shown Dr. Beck’s commitment to hearing health throughout her career. The current Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Services for the Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Beck, was the first Audiologist to receive the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive Service. Dr. Beck was also a co-founder of the American Academy of Audiology. She continues her essential work even today.
Dr. Meredith Holcomb
In 2019 Dr. Meredith Holcomb was named chairperson of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance, not only the first Audiologist but also the first woman to lead this critical and cutting edge institution. Dr. Holcomb’s continuing effort has helped increase the mentorship opportunities for young audiologists, and her work has furthered the field by leaps and bounds