UCSF Audiologist Wins Distinguished Achievement Award

April 29, 2008
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Robert W. Sweetow, director of Audiology at UCSF Medical Center since 1991, received the 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Academy of Audiology. Sweetow received the award on April 2 in Charlotte, N.C. The announcement of the award appeared in the American Academy of Audiology’s March/April edition of Audiology Today.

"Dr. Robert Sweetow is a gifted clinician, teacher and researcher,” the bulletin reported. "Dr. Sweetow has provided personal care for many patients with hearing loss and he has helped countless other audiologists to improve their care for people with hearing loss by his teaching and research. Audiologists around the world recognize the many contributions made by Dr. Sweetow in the areas of aural rehabilitation, hearing aids, tinnitus, counseling and forensics."

Sweetow is recognized as a pioneer in implementing an effective and affordable rehabilitative program for people with hearing loss. He and his colleagues developed a tool to help hard-of-hearing people, whether or not they use hearing aids, learn skills to become better listeners and consequently improve how much speech they understand.

Sweetow and co-developer Jennifer Henderson-Sabes, a staff research associate at UCSF, designed an interactive computer program called LACE, or Listening and Communication Enhancement, which is an evidence-based, self-paced program. Recently, LACE has been made available on DVD for those without a computer.

Sweetow is known for his innovation and enthusiasm as an educator in the clinic throughout his career. He created a fourth-year clinical externship at UCSF Medical Center and provides continuing education for practicing audiologists through his biannual conferences.

He has served on the board of directors for the American Academy of Audiology and has participated in scientific programs of every annual convention.

Sweetow earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of Iowa in 1970, a master's degree at the University of Southern California in 1972 and a Ph.D. in audiology at Northwestern University in 1977.

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