AHH seminar: Hearing Loss, Aging, and Public Health


Prof Frank LinSpeaker: Professor Frank Lin
Friday 10 May
 9.00am – 10.00am
Australian Hearing Hub, Level 1, Lecture Theatre

9.00am – 9.05am – Welcome
9.05am – 9.45am – Presentation
9.45am – 10.00am – Q & A

Medicine and public health have evolved through three eras over the past century. Beginning in the first half of the 20th century, infectious diseases were controlled for the first time in human history through vaccinations, hygiene, and other strategies. Subsequently, throughout the 20th century, chronic diseases of middle and later life (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancers) became the leading causes of mortality but have also increasingly been better controlled. These successes of public health have led to a rapidly increasing population of older adults living longer than ever before. In this third era of public health, we are now confronting the challenge of aging and how to best optimize the health and functioning of a growing population of older adults. In this era, hearing and our ability to engage effectively with the environment around us are critically important but not yet priorities in the spheres of public health and public policy.

I will discuss research over the past several years that has demonstrated the broad implications of hearing loss for the health and functioning of older adults, particularly with respect to cognitive functioning, brain aging, and dementia. I will then discuss how this epidemiologic research has directly informed and led to current national initiatives focused on hearing loss and public health. These initiatives include the Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders (ACHIEVE) randomized controlled trial, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, and the development of novel accessible and affordable approaches to hearing care delivery.

Frank R. Lin, M.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health and a Professor of Otolaryngology, Medicine, Mental Health, and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Lin completed his medical education, residency in Otolaryngology, and Ph.D. in Clinical Investigation, all at Johns Hopkins. He completed further otologic fellowship training in Lucerne, Switzerland. Dr. Lin’s clinical practice is dedicated to otology and the medical and surgical management of hearing loss. His public health research focuses on understanding how hearing loss affects the health and functioning of older adults and the strategies and policies needed to mitigate these effects. From 2014-2016, Lin led initiatives with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (workshopconsensus study), the White House President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and Congress that resulted in passage of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 which overturned 40 years of established regulatory precedent in the U.S. This federal law reflects the direct result of his prior research and broader policy work around hearing loss and public health. He currently serves as a member of the Board on Health Sciences Policy at the National Academies.  As the director of the Cochlear Center, he oversees over $30 million in committed NIH and philanthropic funding dedicated to advancing the mission areas of the Center.

Registration:  Entry is free and open to the public.

Please register by Tuesday 7 May 2019 to louise.dodd@mq.edu.au