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2022 Oticon Focus
on People Awards


The Oticon Focus on People Awards recognize outstanding people who are helping to show that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a positive difference in their families, communities, or the world.

 

Life-changing technology opens a world of possibilities for people with hearing loss. The Oticon Focus on People Awards honor the remarkable individuals who have turned those possibilities into realities to make the world a better place for all of us. This one-of-a-kind national awards competition has honored more than 300 outstanding people with hearing loss from across the US.

Votes were cast across to the country to determine this year’s winners and on February 25, we celebrated their achievements and contributions at a special Awards ceremony.

Meet our 2022 Oticon Focus on People Award Winners

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Congratulations to all the winners!

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Student - 1st Place

Erin Cembrale
Dunedin, FL

Erin views her hearing loss as a strength – one that has motivated her to try harder and never give up. The commitment has paid off for the college senior and soccer phenom. Since age 3, she has played for many clubs, high school and college teams and most recently for the US Deaf Women’s National Team (USDWNT). In May, her team captured the gold in the Deafympics in Brazil. In 2023, she will travel to Korea with the USDWNT to compete in the World Cup. Determined and compassionate, Erin inspires and mentors young soccer players with disabilities. Off the field, she is an orientation leader, student recruiter and vice president of the Student Athletic Association Club at Huntingdon College.

Read more about the finalists

  • 2nd Place

    Lauren Harris
    Knoxville, TN

  • 3rd Place

    Mercy Botchway
    Everett, MA


     
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Adult - 1st Place

Zina Jawadi
Los Altos Hills, CA

Diagnosed with significant hearing loss at 3.5 years old, Zina’s life-long passion has been to help transform the lives of people with hearing loss. Today, she is a medical student and the youngest ever member of the Hearing Loss Association of America Board of Directors. Zina advocates for people with hearing loss among medical professionals. She believes accommodations are essential in establishing trust, formulating a diagnosis, creating an effective treatment plan, and ensuring patients play an active role in their health. Her long-term goal is to increase representation of people with hearing loss in the field of medicine and to address accessibility barriers for people with hearing loss and with disabilities more broadly.

Read more about the finalists

  • 2nd Place

    Zaineb Abdulla
    Chicago, IL

     
  • 3rd Place

    Kathleen Dugan
    Lunenburg, MA

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Advocacy - 1st Place

Gregory Scott
New York, NY

Like many people with hearing loss, Greg had difficulty hearing in noisy bars and restaurants. He began to measure noise with a smartphone decibel meter and develop lists of quieter spots. Friends, those with normal hearing and those with hearing loss, would continuously ask for the lists. This inspired Greg to create the SoundPrint crowdsourcing app. Using the app’s internal decibel meter, anyone can measure and report the sound levels of their surroundings to the SoundPrint database. Today, people around the world can freely access the SoundPrint app to learn if a certain venue is quiet or loud. Beyond making conversation easier, the database is shared with venue managers, public health researchers and hearing health advocates to let them know people care about noise.

Read more about the finalists

  • 2nd Place

    Emily Truell
    Montello, WI


     
  • 3rd Place

    Brett Bachmann
    Louisville, KY


     
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Practitioner - 1st Place

Jamie Marotto, AuD
Fairfield, CT

As Director of the Sacred Heart University (SHU) Undergraduate Program in Communication Disorders and Director of the Audiology Clinic, Dr. Marotto knows the value of integrating her classroom teaching with clinical experience, especially when caring for patients in underserved communities. In the clinic, students learn how evaluating and treating hearing loss across a lifespan can improve a patient’s ability to work, interact socially and minimize health risks associated with hearing loss. To further drive home the importance of using their knowledge and skills to give back, Dr. Marotto leads students on an annual service-learning trip to Guatemala to provide hearing-related services and hearing aid fittings to in-need children and adults.

Read more about the finalists

  • 2nd Place

    Chandace Jeep, AuD
    Durango, CO

     
  • 3rd Place

    Roni Dinkes, AuD
    Millersville, MD

     
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Prizes

Winners in each of the four categories will receive prizes and national recognition that creates awareness and helps to open doors of opportunity for all people with hearing loss.

1st place winners  in Student, Adult and Advocacy
Receive $1,000 cash prize, $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice and a pair of Oticon hearing aids with BrainHearing™ technology

1st place winner in Hearing Care Practitioner
Receive $1,000 cash prize and $1,000 to a charity of their choice

2nd place winners
Receive $500 cash prize

3rd place winners
Receive $250 cash prize


All nominees receive a Certificate of Recognition

Rules & Regulations