Mission: The American Tinnitus Association exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research.
Programs: Research: the ata stimulates tinnitus research by providing funds inthe form of grants to researchers. In 2013/2014, the ata funded two new research grants totaling $60,000.
advocacy: ata advocates for increases in federal budgets for tinnitus research through the development and implementation of public policies by serving as a resource for objective information for all policy makers and government agency leaders. This year's advocacy efforts resulted in a congressional caucus briefing by the hearing health caucus that focused on tinnitus as the leading service connected disability for veterans and active duty military personnel. Officials from the department of defense and the department of veterans affairs (va) briefed congressional staff on tinnitus and what these departments are doing to address it. A tinnitus specific bill calling for better treatment and more research was also introduced to the house va committee. Our advocacy efforts successfully increased tinnitus research funding through the national institutes of health where it became a priority area for research. For the fourth year in a row the department of defense funded tinnitus research through multiple institutes including the office of naval research and through its congressionally directed medical research programs. These programs allow tinnitus researchers from around the globe to apply for funding to further the study of this condition in military populations.
support: ata produces a triannual magazine, tinnitus today, that informs tinnitus patients of the best treatment options and latest medical research. Ata's support program also provides resources to tinnitus support group volunteers around the country, to facilitate group discussion around tinnitus treatment. Additionally, ata connects tinnitus patients with qualified health professionals for diagnosis and treatment on the association website; ata. Org.
I have served as a board member of the American Tinnitus Association, and currently help as a volunteer. I have always respected how the staff and directors of this organization realized that the old mission of being an information and support organization had been superceded by the advent of the internet, so the organization was retooled from the ground up to pursue the ultimate mission for a health-related organization -- to cure tinnitus. The ATA devised its "Roadmap to a Cure" to show the scientific pathway we intended to follow. It overhauled its website to focus on raising funds and other resources for tinnitus research. And the ATA did these things without losing the communication and compassion skills that have made this organization the lifeline for many people suffering from tinnitus. The ATA leverages its staff to fulfill many functions at the same time. Through skillful planning and preparation, volunteer efforts are channeled into the most productive avenues -- for example, the Advocacy department first was the prime mover to encourage research by the Dept. of Defense into tinnitus, and then allowed for volunteers such as myself to offer our services as unpaid consultants to the DoD on funding research proposals. Finally, the ATA is a good steward of donations -- they make a budget and stick to it, and never lose focus on the organization's mission in the process.