12th Annual Coalition for Global Hearing Health
January 20-22, 2022 • Fully Virtual
Coalition for Global Hearing Health 2022. Virtual Global Conference. 20 - 22 January 2022. 14h00 - 17h30 (CET)

Abstract Details

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10/26/2019  |   3:45 PM - 5:00 PM   |  Ventana Ballroom B

Romania to Albania - A 16 Year Journey

My goal is to present and describe my 16 year journey from Romania to Albania. I plan on describing the status of hearing healthcare in Romania (a country of 22 million) when I arrived in 2003 and how their entrance into the European Union influenced their progress and advances over the years which culminated in four programs for the hearing-impaired and deaf citizens now available through the National Health Ministry to provide hearing aids and cochlear implants. How in 2010 patient advocacy became the best job in the world helping poor parents of deaf children to find the services of cochlear implantation. The same advocacy model that I have employed in Romania over the years I now will employ in the new country of Albania – connecting and advocating poor parents of deaf children to the necessary professionals in order to receive a cochlear implant, provide needed technical support and collaborate with speech therapists. I plan on describing the plight of the Albanian parents of two deaf children, the younger son being implanted through a humanitarian foundation but his older sister was refused due to discrimination of females in Albania. Through a large donation and help from my team in Romania how the little girl, Armela was able to be implanted in Romania in November 2018. How the next Albanian child is already lined up to be implanted in Romania. Hopefully the Albanian Health Ministry will soon start taking care of their own deaf children. I plan to describe and explain how the hearing healthcare services in Albania in 2019 are similar to the status of Romanian services when I arrived in 2003. Much improvement is needed in this country of less than 3 million.

  • To describe and explain about the status of hearing health care in Romania
  • To explain how patient advocacy is the best job in the whole wide world
  • To describe and explain status of hearing health care in Albania


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Patricia Towle (POC,Primary Presenter), One Collective,;
I always wanted to offer my skills in a cross-cultural setting. I graduated with my MS in Audiology in 1987 and it was in the year 2003 when my dream of using my audiological skills cross-culturally came to fruition – I went to Romania as a missionary audiologist. It was through a hearing impaired Romanian patient in my office in Philadelphia telling me about her families’ genetic hearing loss in northern Romania, when I knew that I was supposed to go to Romania. In my 15 ½ years in Romania I have had the opportunity to help design a pediatric audiology suite, provide low-cost hearing aids, start a Romanian non-profit, finish my AuD in 2009, become a patient advocate to parents of deaf children to get a cochlear implant and now I will be applying the same model in Albania. I am moving there at the end of May 2019.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.