Center of Excellence in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Mission: to link hearing, speech/language, special education, balance-related programs and other professional programs of excellence throughout the Greater San Antonio and South Texas regions in discovery, learning, and engagement to achieve accessible, affordable, evidence-based hearing health care across the lifespan.
Premise: comprehensive auditory/communication assessment, and coordinated inter-professional culturally sensitive/proficient treatment of all individuals with hearing loss and other communication disorders across the lifespan, including those who are underserved and disadvantaged, will improve health outcomes and optimize quality of life and productivity for the millions of people with auditory system disorders and other communicative disorders.
Discovery: Achieve and sustain collaborative research/discovery among UTHSCSA Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery programs (e.g. Audiology, Deaf Education and Hearing Sciences, the Voice Center, ENT residency program) and interprofessional consortium partners.
Learning: Develop and sustain interprofessional (medicine, nursing, PT, OT) and inter-institutional partnerships in the greater San Antonio community and develop an inter-institutional consortia with the University of Texas, Austin Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, all necessary to establish a University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio entry portal to the existing Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree program at UT Austin. The UTHSCSA entry portal would focus on effective/accessible/affordable evidence-based hearing health care delivery and research, with particular focus on military men, women and their families and individuals from the South Texas region. Program graduates would be culturally proficient full-service audiologists with preparation in the full scope of audiology practice enabled by their mentored clinical-learning rotations across the wide array of hearing health care and educational audiology clinical practicum sites throughout the Greater San Antonio, South Texas region and beyond. Recruitment of bilingual students would focus on students from the greater San Antonio region, and partner South Texas undergraduate programs. In addition, the Center will serve as a collaborative resource for interprofessional pre-service and continuing education for such professions as nursing, medicine, physical and occupational therapy, needing to be informed about the communication disorders that affect their patient populations and impact their clinical interventions and research.
Engagement: Engage collaborators in the synthesis and integration of evidence-based innovative technology and service delivery systems that will better enable accessible, affordable, and effective hearing health care for the majority with hearing loss across the life span and inform state and national policy that will help to achieve these outcomes.