Distinct Tracks


Business Development

How should you prioritize and organize your practice and resources for customer acquisition, marketing engagement, and employee relations? Hear from leading experts on using current thinking and approaches to strengthen your hearing health clinic. Learn how to develop, innovate, and accelerate a process-driven, patient-centric team and identify barriers to change.



We live in a culture of technological change, with instant access to new tools and programs that make our lives easy. Artificial Intelligence, Software Apps, 3D Ear Scanning are just some of the high-tech realities disrupting hearing health—and the way you work with patients. Explore and examine how technology is shaping the future of hearing health today.



Immerse yourself in clinical assessment, amplification, and rehabilitation, hearing research, technology implementation, hearing science, and a comprehensive range of topics within the practice of audiology. Refine your clinical program to meet the challenges of patient and device changes, improve patient experience and satisfaction, and ensure the fiscal health of your practice.



With a full range of sessions across three tracks, attendees can customize the offerings to their needs. Empower offers dozens of pathways to engage with the brightest minds and best ideas in our industry today. The daily schedule for the Conference is listed below. As our call for papers concludes and individual sessions are accepted, the detailed agenda will be published.

Presented By: Chris Erickson   |   Beginner Level

With the myriad conflicting advice on where to spend your marketing dollars, it's no wonder many practice owners are confused. Include the increasing prominence of online retailers, the hearing health care industry is changing rapidly. To make matters more complicated, Google's algorithm updates have pushed independent practice websites lower and lower in search results. Google is now prioritizing large, corporate websites and directories over locally owned businesses. With their limited time & resources, what should small practice owners focus on when it comes to marketing their business online?

Presented By: Ena Nielsen (w/ Darcy Benson)   |   Beginner Level

Research shows that people with hearing loss have better outcomes and are more satisfied with their care when they feel listened to, experience empathy and are involved in decisions about their own care. This is also known as person-centered care. The Ida Institute has launched a new, free program entitled Inspired by Ida that offers practitioners and clinics a way to demonstrate the commitment to person-centered practices. By completing two online courses on person-centered care and client motivation, practitioners and clinics become eligible to receive the Inspired by Ida label – a benchmark of quality that signals their dedication to person-centered care and that can be used to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

The presentation will introduce participants to the Inspired by Ida program. They will be introduced to the course contents and learn how they can use the Inspired by Ida label and marketing kit actively in their clinics’ marketing efforts to increase client satisfaction and build client loyalty and trust.

Presented By: Henrik Nielsen   |   Beginner Level

Hearing healthcare practices across the globe are implementing new modern ways to communicate with their patients. This presentation will provide proven strategies for using these new communication methods and internet services to drive incremental revenue to your practice. See how to integrate and automate these services as a way of providing the most cost-effective tools for driving revenue, increasing patient retention rates, and improving office efficiency.

Presented By: Indira Alvarez   |   Beginner Level

What could your practice achieve if every team member was a Rockstar? Many practice owners and managers report that recruitment is the least favorite part of their job. You don't need a crystal ball to figure out if your next hire is the Rockstar you have been waiting for!

Whether you are hiring your next provider, an FOS, or a back-office assistant, by following this clear process you can approach hiring with a strategy, and not just "hope you get lucky this time." Everything you need to know to hire with confidence and hire your next Rockstar!

Presented By: Michael Petrosillo   |   Beginner Level

Your brand: What is it? How do you get one? How do you define it? And why does it matter? These are important questions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and the answers aren’t always what we think. This session answers these questions and looks to well-known names for information on how you can create a brand to be proud of.

Presented By: Ronald Gleitman   |   Beginner Level

As a practice owner, you have to consider how industry performance, change in patient sources, and effects of third party and the internet can influence your business. This session will explore the solutions you need to embrace and the steps you need to take in your practice that will help you create value in today’s market.

Presented By: Susanne Jones and Jennifer Dahmer   |   Beginner Level

Now more than ever, consumers are looking to the internet to learn about other peoples' experiences when considering a major or minor purchase. People use the same process when searching for a hearing aid or a hearing clinic. Online reviews have become the modern-day “word of mouth” advertising and using them to your best advantage can significantly impact clinics' bottom lines. After studying consumer attitudes toward online reviews for many years, we’ve learned how hearing care practices can successfully use reviews to build and maintain a positive and trustworthy reputation online. We’d like to share these ideas with you to encourage and empower hearing care practitioners, practice owners and marketing staff to embrace online reviews as an important tool for promoting a positive reputation of their clinic and understand that today’s savvy consumers are seeking authenticity more than flawlessness. This
doesn’t have to cost your clinic anything and it can be done in just a couple of hours a week. Join us to learn how you can apply a few simple strategies to create an effective plan for online reputation management.

Presented By: Suzanne Yonkers   |   Beginner Level

TeleHealth is a new concept that is both exciting to consider its potential while simultaneously challenging in its conceptualization of how to implement it for a successful outcome. This course discusses the key performance indicators and return-on-investment outcomes for a variety of clinical scenarios that will assure a success for a business' bottom line.

Presented By: TBD   |   Beginner Level

How does what we say and how we say it influence patient decisions about hearing aids?

Presented By: Andrew Hebert   |   Intermediate Level

The world is evolving. The marketplace has changed. And no industry is immune. Artificial intelligence and big data are being used by companies to target consumers and meet their needs faster, better, and more efficient than ever before. This presentation will explore how these changes are influencing behavior and what today’s hearing healthcare practice can do to keep pace in a world that is so heavily influenced by consumer information.

Presented By: Brian Anderson   |   Intermediate Level

While reaching a goal you can't see is difficult, reaching a goal you don't have is impossible! Goal setting in your hearing health care business is a key function of all managers. Doing it well can set the stage for your future growth. This presentation will cover setting reasonable goals, identifying key performance indicators needed to achieve these goals, putting an action plan in place, and discuss the importance of evaluating your actual results as compared to your goals. This process is intended to help you "raise the bar" as it relates to your operational and financial performance in your practice.

Presented By: Brian Becker   |   Intermediate Level

In today’s hearing world, we only effectively help 1 in 5 people hear better. We fail to understand the challenge of overcoming denial and indecision in short periods of time. We often chase misleading information instead of using clues to solve the customer’s hearing problem. Identifying and understanding these clues will change the way we approach the patient in front of us.

Presented By: Diana Dobo   |   Intermediate Level

In order to achieve the greatest results for your practice, you must inspire each employee every day on how to be the best versions of themselves. This session will teach you how to develop your ability to inspire employees and create a culture of high engagement by introducing you to the pillars of inspiring leadership. We’ll teach you the Consult YHN processes that will help you to take your business to new heights.

Presented By: Ernie Paolini   |   Intermediate Level

The creation of a great culture will encourage the highest levels of employee engagement. This starts with hiring the right people. We’ll show you how to attract, vet, select, and develop a team that will define the company culture you’ve always strived for.

Presented By: Jodi Bryan   |   Intermediate Level

Effective onboarding is not just a one-way communication to a new employee. You must help new employees quickly acclimate to their team, operate in line with your practice’s purpose, learn how to organize functions, and feel empowered to perform. In this session, let us show you how to build an onboarding program that connects your employee to your practice’s mission or purpose and demonstrate how they personally impact the brand or patient experience.

Presented By: Jodi Bryan   |   Intermediate Level

The task of creating a culture of engagement keeps many business leaders up at night, and with good reason. Companies that create a culture defined by meaningful work, job fit, organizational fit, and strong leadership will outperform their peers and beat the competition in attracting top talent. This vital area is no longer “owned” by Human Resources. Creating an aligned culture with engaged employees takes hard work and commitment, and all leaders across an organization must play a role. Practice leaders can start by employing three straightforward behaviors that will set the tone for a positive workplace culture and lay the groundwork for engaging employees.

Presented By: Katie Hutchinson   |   Intermediate Level

Do you find data driven marketing confusing? Are you curious how you can use data not only to calculate return on investment (ROI) but to identify opportunities to reach and convert more patients at a lower cost? Businesses adopt a data driven approach to marketing with the expectation that it will allow them to drive sales at a lower cost per acquisition. But ROI is more than just a scorecard of your marketing efforts; rather, it’s a tool that should guide business decisions. ROI as a measurement in and of itself provides enormous value. Attend this session to learn how to use ROI insights to drive your marketing strategy.

Presented By: Ken Gregory   |   Intermediate Level

The need for leaders to coach employees effectively is greater today than ever before. When we say, "improve performance", are we really talking about improving results? Sometimes leaders struggle with effectively managing employees, showing them what good looks like, and holding them accountable. This session will demonstrate an effective face-to-face coaching process that will drive peak performance and improve employee engagement, resulting in better patient care and patient experience while maximizing profitability.

Presented By: Mary Catherine McDonald   |   Intermediate Level

Are you doing everything possible to provide the best patient care to each person who walks through your door? How do you stop patients from “shopping around?” Do you want to learn how to motivate your staff to provide the best patient experience possible? A focus on patient experience has proven to be an effective method for private practices to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. One of the best ways that you can impact patient experience is through sharpening your communication skills. This will be an interactive and informative session to learn how you and your staff can communicate more effectively to ensure the best patient experience.

Presented By: Megan Nightingale   |   Intermediate Level

An evolutionary journey of one owner's experience in dealing with conflict with staff members. From avoiding conflict to the detriment of the practice to dealing directly with the issues and those involved quickly, this session is designed to help participants avoid some common pitfalls when dealing with staff members in conflict with each other or with you.

Presented By: Michael Petrosillo   |   Intermediate Level

To thrive in today’s online marketplace, you need more than just a presence on the web—you need a comprehensive digital strategy designed to educate your audience, give them an easy and seamless experience, and reach current and potential patients at every stage of their hearing healthcare journey. This session will explore the foundation of every good website, as well as the patient-driving strategies every hearing healthcare practice needs.

Presented By: Scott Berger   |   Intermediate Level

Where are you on your business lifecycle?
From the time you start your practice, you are on a pathway towards selling it. How should you continually prepare yourself and your practice during each phase of the business lifecycle, and when should you start preparing for your exit?
We will demonstrate how to use financial analyses as your guideline in determining your ongoing strategy, reviewing indicators such as revenue, the real cost of devices, operational expenses, EBITDA, and equity value.

Presented By: Bill Connerton and Leah Breuers   |   Advanced Level

In this session, we will discuss best practices that focus on the following topics: driving traffic into the practice, conducting effective patient appointments, and ensuring excellent patient follow-up to secure long-term success and patient loyalty. We will cover how the patient experience relates to retention and where patient loyalty and patient experience intersect.

Presented By: Brian Becker   |   Advanced Level

In the hearing healthcare world of the early 2000s, people too often sought out the mode of marketing that would provide the immediate solution for all their patient acquisition needs. In 2019, the cost of acquiring new patients is rising. Truly understanding what provides a strong return of investment requires a mindset change. The answer is proper utilization of the patient databases created over many years through hard work, investment, and trust. This change of mindset and technique will allow businesses to succeed and increase profitability amongst the changes to our market in the 2020s and beyond.

Presented By: Katie Hutchinson   |   Advanced Level

What it is, why it matters, and how to execute it. Omnichannel marketing presents an unmatched opportunity for hearing care providers to build brand loyalty, maximize new patient leads, and increase patient retention and conversion rates. In an age of multiple media touchpoints, reduced attention spans, and high expectations for personalized customer service, an omnichannel approach to marketing is essential to a practice’s overall patient experience and potential for growth.

Presented By: Robert Traynor   |   Advanced Level

Over the past 10 years the number of competitors in the hearing health care field has increase exponentially. Some of these clinics are newly established audiology or hearing aid dispensing practices, others are big box stores, government clinics, manufacturer’s competitive clinics, manufacturer owned buying group clinics, insurance companies, internet companies, and, now over the counter hearing devices. Competition, in general, is healthy as it keeps product and service costs down and promotes clinical competence within the marketplace. Competition is also a formidable adversary to business success as it reduces the number of individuals seeking products and services to individual practices. At first glance, this new competition may seem to be an unsurmountable challenge, but this presentation offers methods of market analysis that puts the competition the proper perspective. Once the practice is analyzed according to available competitive intelligence, a strategy can be developed to ensure that each patient has a unique and better than expected experience from their first call to the their last follow up visit.

Presented By: Scott Berger   |   Advanced Level

Making decisions about your practice should not be done by “feel”, but rather through data driven insights. Establishing "what good looks like" for your practice, and how you and your team are performing against those metrics, is essential to your success. We’ll take you through a step-by-step process, breaking down the key elements of business leadership and showing you how to become the insightful, inspirational, and successful leader that your practice deserves.

Presented By: Edward Keller and Ronald Gleitman   |   Beginner Level

Since 2011, the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation has partnered with EarQ to care for the hearing health o former professional athletes and conduct cutting-edge research on the connection between hearing loss and professional playing career. This session will explore the data EarQ has collected on the incidence of hearing loss among former professional players versus the general public, the correlation with players who suffered head injuries and hearing loss, and what additional factors may lead to hearing loss among the player population.

Presented By: Ena Nielsen   |   Beginner Level

Over the past twenty years, advances in technology have revolutionized the way we interact with each other, buy products, and access and deliver services. As the physical barriers to interaction have diminished, an on-demand culture has emerged in which we interact and engage at times and in ways that were previously not possible. This trend is rapidly making its way into healthcare, including hearing care.

The Ida Institute has developed a suite of online tools called Ida Telecare which enables patients to prepare for appointments and learn to successfully manage daily communication and important decisions related to their hearing. By reflecting on their communication needs ahead of time, patients are better able to guide clinicians on the support they need. This also helps clinicians save time and ensure more focused and productive conversations in appointments. The tools are freely available in adult and teenage versions on the Ida Institute website but can also be embedded directly into a clinic’s own website for easier access and use. The presentation will demonstrate the Ida Telecare tools and present the findings of the research studies and discuss their implications for effective and successful implementation of the tools in daily clinic.

Presented By: Ena Nielsen   |   Beginner Level

What motivates one person to take action on a hearing loss while others remain reluctant? Attempts to instill behavioral change in others are often met with failure, much to the regret of those who would like to see the change happen such as family or friends. Trying to persuade reluctant clients to become motivated is, however, rarely the most successful approach. Instead, when motivation is lacking, hearing care professionals must assess and guide each client to discover their own internal motivation for change, helping the individual to recognize the drawbacks of untreated hearing loss and to communicate his or her own considerations for action. The Ida Institute’s Motivation Tools are designed to structure conversations with clients about their ambivalence and possible motivators for taking action. Based on the principles of motivational interviewing, the three tools, the Line, Box and Circle, can help clinicians save time in appointments and build trust and loyalty with their clients. The tools are quick and easy to implement, and their effectiveness is documented by research. In this presentation, participants will learn about the tools and try them out with an ethnographic video case to explore how they may be implemented in everyday clinical practice.

Presented By: Oliver von Borste   |   Beginner Level

Many in hearing dispensing industry apply ‘product’ or brand selling methods rather than putting the focus on individual patient’s needs in improving their quality of life. This often ends in a dissatisfying situation for the patients, and spouse or family member. The needs of a patient are not only to ‘amplify’ sound but, even more important, to help the patient and his/her spouse to an improved quality of life.

Presented By: Barry Friedman and Ian Windmill   |   Intermediate Level

Medicare plays a key role in providing health insurance to 60M older people. Audiologists are subject to the rules and regulations that govern payment for services to beneficiaries. Recent initiatives have necessitated an in-depth exploration of the economic relationship between Audiology and Medicare. In this session we will review the data collected and published by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about audiology services provided to Medicare beneficiaries in the last decade. This presentation will cover payment trends, future payment possibilities, Medicare Advantage programs, implications for direct access, co-morbidities associated with audiology services being tracked by CMS and their implications for defining medical necessity, and historic and future trends for clinical best practices. One thing is for sure, audiologists better get their act together to meet the current and future demands for hearing and balance services.

Presented By: TBD   |   Intermediate Level

Trust and verify! Fitting to target improves patient satisfaction, differentiates your practice and sidelines OTC.

Presented By: Don Schum   |   Advanced Level

Getting qualified leads into your office and turning them into purchases is an on-going challenge, but equally important is ensuring that the fittings stick. Over the past several years, we have spent considerable time digging into the mindset of the first-time user. In this talk, we will discuss our observations and recommendation on how to make the first 30 days of use as successful as possible.

Presented By: Doug Beck   |   Advanced Level

The single largest complaint from people with hearing loss (and from people wearing traditional hearing aids) is their inability to understand speech in noise (SIN). This session focuses on the importance of measuring the SIN ability of each patient and applying those results to help define successful hearing aid fittings. In this presentation we will briefly review the published results associated with improving SIN results via directional microphones, beamformers, Multi Speaker Access Technology (MSAT) and digital noise reduction (DNR), to enable the HCP to select the most effective solution based specifically on the problems the patient experiences. We will discuss and review key concepts such as Spatial Hearing, Interaural Loudness Differences (ILDs), Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), SNR-50 and more. Many supporting PDFs will be available, and questions are welcomed throughout the presentation.

Presented By: Gary Rosenblum   |   Beginner Level

Innovations in hearing healthcare are developing at a faster pace than ever. These innovations contribute to, and shape the future for hearing healthcare professionals, the industry and your practice. Learn more about these top industry trends and how you can leverage them to drive success for you and your practice.

Presented By: Sheena Oliver   |   Beginner Level

Oticon continues to lead the industry with breakthrough technology that addresses the number one problem of people with hearing loss - listening in challenging environments. In 2016, Oticon Opn™ ushered in a new level of performance and raised consumer expectations from hearing aids. With the recent launch of Opn S™ and Opn Play™, Oticon has taken the open sound experience and benefits of BrainHearing™ technology to the next level. This session will review Oticon’s range of A technological options in a variety of styles, with proven BrainHearing™ benefits for all listeners.

Presented By: Suzanne Yonkers   |   Beginner Level

TeleHealth is the remote examining, diagnosing and treating of patients using telecommunications technology. Basically, it means conducting patient visits using audio and video over the internet rather than meeting in person. This method of healthcare is gaining traction as fast as technology and legislation will allow. Expansion into hearing healthcare is no exception. This presentation discusses the status of TeleHealth laws and rules, TeleHearing Care as an effective solution to today’s practice challenges, patient satisfaction outcomes, and equipment and service options.

Presented By: TBD   |   Intermediate Level

Need an update on implant candidacy, outcomes and satisfaction?
Information you need to know to remain an expert in your field.

Presented By: TBD   |   Intermediate Level

You can now perform real ear measurement inside Hearing Aid software. With software developed to be compatible with IMC2 standards, collaboration between equipment and devices creates seamless real ear measurement. Learn more about this integration and how it can benefit your clinic in this presentation.