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Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University begin new partnership to train audiology students

March 28, 2011

DETROIT - Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University have reached a new affiliation agreement designed to enhance clinical training of audiology students and better prepare them to provide high quality hearing and balance care in Southeast Michigan.

The five-year contract creates an academic partnership between Wayne State's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Henry Ford's Division of Audiology in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Discussions aimed at creating this partnership began in early 2010.

As part of the agreement, Wayne State students enrolled in the four-year Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program will have the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to patient care in their first year, as well as have formal clinical training at Henry Ford Hospital during their second year in the program.

Through this enhanced program, Henry Ford also will arrange clinical placement opportunities for students at cooperating clinical facilities and hospitals throughout the country.

"The goal of this partnership is to raise the bar in terms of audiology clinical education and in doing so, attract some of the best and brightest students to the program," says Brad A. Stach, Ph.D., division head of Audiology at Henry Ford.

"This agreement will allow us to guarantee exceptional levels of clinical training to our Au.D. students throughout their degree program," Jean E. Andruski, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at Wayne State.

The agreement also calls for the two sides to collaborate in the design, development and staffing of a University Audiology Clinic in an existing facility on Wayne State's campus.

The on-campus clinic, funded in part by the Carls Foundation, will offer first-year students clinical experience, under the supervision of Henry Ford audiology staff.

Wayne State currently has 40 audiology students enrolled in its four-year degree program - 10 students for each year of the program.

Under the new agreement, students will be trained by Henry Ford experts to evaluate and manage hearing and balance problems in newborns, children and adults. Students also will have a very diverse audiology training experience at Henry Ford, from hearing aids and cochlear implant evaluations to infant hearing screenings and tinnitus management.

Each year, Henry Ford's Division of Audiology manages more than 15,000 patient visits, including audiometric evaluations, auditory evoked potential examinations, balance function tests, and hearing aid fitting and dispensing.

"I chose Wayne State largely due to its deeply-rooted relationship with the Detroit- area medical community, and to have such an outstanding hospital as Henry Ford take this momentous and groundbreaking step in advancing the program and fostering my education is remarkable," says Wayne State audiology student Tim Maxwell, who is in his first year of the Au.D. program.

"One of our unique features is that we have otolaryngologists and audiologists working side-by-side to provide the best in patient care. For Wayne State students that translates into a diverse learning experience and the opportunity to see first-hand the multidisciplinary nature of their specialty at one of the nation's leading academic health centers," says Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

"This partnership provides students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences a terrific chance to acquire state-of-the-art clinical training at a world-class hospital from the very beginning of their Doctor of Audiology program," says Robert Thomas, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State.

Several Henry Ford audiologists have faculty appointments in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Wayne State, and many Henry Ford research scientists and teaching physicians have faculty appointments in the Wayne State School of Medicine through previous agreements.

In December 2010, Henry Ford and Wayne State's School of Medicine signed a five-year affiliation to increase the number of Wayne State medical students training in Henry Ford facilities. This agreement encourages more collaborative research, co-brands some physician residency and fellowship programs, and explores the creation of a school of public health and seeks efficiencies through programmatic integration.

To learn more about the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at Wayne State University, visit www.clas.wayne.edu/csd. More information about Henry Ford's Division of Audiology is available online at http://www.henryford.com/.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

  • Contact: Paul Clemens
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