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10/14/2017  |   9:45 AM - 11:00 AM   |  East Ballroom at Shalala Student Services Building

Adapting to Change: The Role of a Non-Profit Organization in a National Health System

As in most developing countries, chronic ear disease and other causes of treatable hearing impairment continue to be significant problems in the Dominican Republic. Over the past 22 years, Project EAR (a non-profit organization providing hearing healthcare to the underserved population in the Dominican Republic) has completed 46 mission trips, performing more than 1000 otologic surgeries, and providing diagnostic audiology services as well as hearing aid dispensing. In 1995, it was estimated that there were fewer than 60 otolaryngologists in the country, and few performed otologic surgery or catered to the poor. In the early years of Project EAR’s existence, scheduling and evaluation of large numbers of patients in need of care was relatively easy. However, the slow emergence of a national health system and a government-sponsored health insurance program, initiated in 2001, has had the paradoxical effect of impeding care for the hearing-impaired population despite increasing numbers of otolaryngologists and improvements in surgical training. This presentation will review the factors that have contributed to this predicament, and propose strategies that will allow non-profit organizations such as Project EAR to continue to advance hearing healthcare within the confines of emerging national health systems.

  • Gain an understanding of the complexities and problems of a national health system in a developing country
  • Learn strategies that allow non-profit organizations to function within a national health system
  • Devise methods to advocate for hearing healthcare in emerging health systems

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Edward Dodson (Primary Presenter), 1. OSU Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery LLC 2. Project EAR,;
Dr. Dodson is a Professor of Otology, Neurotology & Cranial Base Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University. A faculty member since 1996, Dr. Dodson completed all of his education (undergraduate through Neurotology Fellowship) at the University of Virginia. Dr. Dodson also has adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science and the Department of Neurosurgery. In 1995, Dr. Dodson joined his mentor, Paul Lambert, on the inaugural Project EAR medical mission to the Dominican Republic, providing hearing healthcare to the underserved population in the country and educating local doctors and healthcare workers. Since then he has led 41 of the 50 Project EAR trips, and has served as president of the organization since it became an official non-profit organization in 2000. In 2006 Dr. Dodson helped establish the first (and only) cochlear implant program in the Dominican Republic.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Roberto Batista (Co-Presenter), Project EAR,;
Dr Roberto Batista Genao was born in la Vega Dominican Republic , he attended in the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Cibao and obtained his medical degree in the 1990. He completed his otolaryngology residency in the 1995 Hospital Salvador B. Gautier. Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. He returned to la Vega and has been in private practice for 24 years. He has a specialty interest in otology and began working with Project Ear, a humanitarian otology mission, in 1995. He continues to donate many hours each year helping the underserved hearing impaired population in Dominican Republic. He has the cochlear implant clinic from 2006.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.