Member Spotlight

The OAA Board proudly presents our “Member Spotlight” highlighting our members. Our current member in the ‘spotlight’ is Mindy Heater, Au.D., Audiologist with Diseases of the ENT in Gahanna, OH.  Mindy received her Au.D. from the Ball State University, returning to Ohio in 2005.  Mindy grew up in Mentor-on-the-Lake, a city east of Cleveland, OH.  She attended Ohio University for her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences.  Her husband Tommy works at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Mindy and her husband both enjoy family time outdoors, hosting a weekly bible study in their home, and serving at their church.  Their children Lexie and Levi attend Liberty Christian Academy.

Recently, Gina Hounam, OAA Secretary, had the pleasure of asking Mindy a few questions about her journey to becoming an OAA member.  Here is what Mindy had to share.

What is your favorite part of Audiology?  My favorite part of audiology is developing relationships with my patients and learning life lessons from them. I have especially learned from those who have endured trials and maintained joy. They have strengthened my faith. Witnessing the amount of pain caused by simple loneliness has opened my eyes and convicted my heart. I am learning to take the advice and wisdom of those that have experienced the consequences of their own mistakes. I have laughed and cried with patients as they have shared the pleasures and tribulations of life. The empathy and compassion that is developing in my heart from these relationships is not meant to stay there. I leave work better equipped to love and serve others in the world because of the meaningful time spent with my patients.

Where do you currently work and what does a typical day look like for you? My morning typically begins pondering questions that were never covered in graduate school. Questions like: What did I do before dry shampoo? Does giving into corndogs for breakfast make me a bad parent? Do all 7 year-old girls have hypersensitive heads when a brush is near? Do all 3 year-old boys lose total control of their muscles while getting dressed? Do all neighborhood school buses stop at every other house or just the ones that are on my way to work?

I finally make it into work at Diseases of the ENT in Gahanna. I started there 11 years ago as a fourth year extern and never left.  I am blessed to work for a fantastic practice with co-workers that are like family. My workday is typically a busy day of a combination of vestibular evaluations, hearing aid checks, hearing aid consults and audios. I usually end my workday wondering how the day went by so fast. I eventually settle on leaving a pile for the next day so I’m not the last parent to pick up their kids from extended care.

Please share a favorite Audiology patient story with us:  I like the funny stories. Recently as I was fitting a patient with hearing aids, he recalled a story from his childhood about his father losing a hearing aid on the farm. He said that his dad gathered all the boys to start looking for it in a specific area. He happened to find his dad’s hearing aid right away. But instead of revealing his find, he decided to continue to search alongside his father and brothers for about an hour while randomly cupping his hand around the hearing aid to make it squeal every couple minutes!

Why did you join OAA? When I returned to Ohio to start my career, I knew very little about The Ohio Academy of Audiology. Fortunately I worked with people that saw the value of getting involved. They showed me that it was more than just paying dues to get a discounted rate at the OAC. It is joining with other audiologists with the common goal of advancing the field of audiology. It is encouraging and supporting each other as we plan for and participate in professional development activities together.

I have been privileged to work closely, at my current practice, with two past presidents of OAA over the years. They have allowed me to witness the professional growth that occurs when you put your time and talents into an organization like OAA. I know that my schedule does not currently allow for that kind of commitment so I get involved at a much smaller level as the registration committee chair for the OAC. In all honesty, I initially volunteered out of a little bit of guilt because of my lack of involvement while I watched a small group of people do the work of many. To my surprise, my obligation turned out to be enjoyable! I have had a ton of fun learning from other audiologists and becoming friends with OAA members as we serve the profession together.