2020 AVAA Elections

The Executive Board of AVAA is pleased to announce the opening of voting in the 2020 elections.  Voting will remain open until close of business Pacific Standard Time on Friday February 7th.  Winners will be announced at the AVAA business meeting at JDVAC on February 10th.

President-Elect (3 year term)

The President-Elect will act as understudy to the President to become acquainted with the business and operation of the AVAA in preparation for assuming the duties of President. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect will assume the duties of the President. If the President, for any reason, cannot serve out a full term of office, the President-Elect will become President for the remainder of that term and also his/her regular term. In the event that the President-Elect also cannot serve out the full presidential term for any reason, the remaining officers shall cause an election for that office to take place.

Kaitlin Thoden, Au.D.

Bio:   Kaitlin Thoden, AuD, is a clinical audiologist at the Northport VA Medical Center in New York.  She currently runs the Audiology Department at the Riverhead CBOC. Kaitlin has been a VA Audiologist for almost the entirety of her career, beginning as a third year intern at the Miami VA Medical Center.

She was a vital member of the team that expanded audiology services to the Riverhead CBOC as well as running the Mobile Medical Unit program. She currently conducts annual hearing screenings for the employees at the local national cemetery. She is the Whole Health Education champion for Northport, helping to lead the charge for the hospital to change the way they think about healthcare.  She is currently working to become a transformational coach within the VA. Kaitlin has also become more involved with VA Audiology through volunteering at JDVAC and she currently serves as the 2020 JDVAC Social Committee Co-chair.

When not at work, Kaitlin enjoys viewing the world through the eyes of her 3 and 5 year old boys, reading, and traveling.

Statement: : “Ten years ago I was introduced to the world of VA audiology and recognized the importance of AVAA to unite us as colleagues and friends. It is my hope to strengthen this community of audiologists and help increase member involvement. I think in a world today, where social media is so prevalent, we can take advantage of this ubiquitous platform as an opportunity to support our goals as an organization. I am also excited for the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow VA Audiologists to find ways that we can approach hearing health care as part of whole healthcare.  

As Helen Keller said, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ I would welcome the chance to use technology and social media to collaborate with you to make her dream a reality.”

Delia Karahalios, Au.D.

Bio: Dr. Delia Karahalios has been a valuable member of the VA for 10 years. Currently practicing at the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, she not only coordinates the tinnitus program but the vestibular program as well. If managing those two programs was not challenging enough, she also developed and re-introduced the use of monthly aural rehabilitation classes into her clinic. Her passion reaches past the everyday clinical responsibilities to bettering the field of audiology by serving as an adjunct faculty member at Cal State Northridge. Dr. Karahalios  currently has a VA IRB approved study that focuses on Central Auditory Processing Disorders. In addition to her research with CAPD, she recently submitted a paper, “A Pilot Study Examining the Effect of Integrative Tinnitus Management on Tinnitus Distress and Depression Symptoms in Veterans” into the peer reviewed Psychological Services Journal.

Statement: As the spouse of a USMC Veteran, I joined the VA with a respect for those who serve, and the hope of making a difference myself. I remember the clinicians that changed our lives, and the compassion and competence they brought to each encounter.  I strive daily to be one bright stop along what can sometimes be a difficult path to health. These experiences have led me to the AVAA with the common mission of serving those who have served for us, and achieving professional excellence within our community.

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President-Elect (3-Year Term)

Member-at-Large (1 year term)

The Member-at-Large of the AVAA will attend all board meetings to shares ideas, guidance, and expertise, serve on the newsletter committee and assisting with social media as requested by the board.

Thomas Christl, Au.D.

Bio:  Dr. Thomas Christl has worked at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) since 2016 and is a proud member of their audiology department. Prior to working at the Lovell FHCC, he worked as an extern as the Jesse Brown VAMC from 2012-2013.  His passion for helping care for our nation’s heroes (Veterans & Active Duty Servicemembers) started early on as both of his grandfathers served in the Navy and his father is an Army Veteran. Dr. Christl is a Lovell FHCC Command Coin and Director’s Coin recipient and a graduate of VISN 12 Leadership Development Program Class 16. Additionally, he was a member of the Hines-Lovell Interfacility Teleaudiology Team that received the Citizens Services Team Award for Federal Employee of the Year.  When he is not busy in the clinic, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Lauren, his daughter, Olivia, and his two dogs.

Statement: “ My passion for serving our nation’s heroes extends to the AVAA and the profession of audiology. If given the opportunity to serve on the board, I would act as a steward for my fellow audiologists and Veterans through servant leadership.  As a servant leader, my focus would be to improve the already stellar reputation of VA audiologists and increase our influence both locally and nationally.  This would be achieved by continuing to increase our customer service/patient satisfaction, quality, and innovation. I believe that by creating an environment that supports audiologists and fosters their personal and professional development, we can achieve greater outcomes four ourselves and the Veterans we serve.”

Jocelyn H. Sysko, Au.D.

Bio: Dr. Sysko is a staff Audiologist at the Atlanta VAMC. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from East Tennessee State University and was also a VA trainee and extern. She was excited to return to government services following work with two eminent otologists. She specializes in implantable technology and also enjoys precepting 3rd and 4th year Au.D. students. Dr. Sysko has served on the social committee for JDVAC and also presented research posters at both JDVAC and AAA. In her free time, she enjoys being a new mother and is involved with various philanthropic organizations, including a role as a speaker for Georgia cares, an organization devoted to eradicating domestic minor sex trafficking.

Statement: “It is my sincere hope and professional ambition to begin a long and productive journey in service to the AVAA. While serving on the JDVAC committee, I was amazed with how much my colleagues accomplished with far fewer resources as compared to other audiology organizations. It is the passion and vision of the AVAA leader coupled with the work ethic and dedication of a government audiology that realizes meaningful objectives and I aspire to be part of that leadership. As member-at-large, I hope to absorb the in-depth knowledge of the organization and apply these lessons to future positions with the AVAA.

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Member-at-Large (1 year term)

Treasurer (3 year term)

The Treasurer of AVAA will make or authorize deposits and disbursements to and from the Association’s account(s) with any amount over $100 needing to be authorized by at least 2 members of the Executive Board; prepare an annual budget; maintain a paid membership database; send acknowledgements to all paid members, provide a regular budget report at each Executive Board meeting; advise the President and President-Elect on budget status if there are any adverse developments and complete and submit yearly tax statements to the IRS. In the absence of both the President and the President-Elect, the Treasurer will preside at meetings.

Jerrica Lande, Au.D.

Bio : Jerrica Lande, Au.D., is the Director of the Hearing Implant Program at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.  Dr. Lande received her BA from the University of North Dakota, her AuD from the Northeast Ohio Audiology Consortium and completed her Audiology Externship at the Cleveland Clinic.  Her primary clinical and research interests are in the areas of cochlear implants, amplification, bone-anchored implants and auditory electrophysiologic assessment. Dr. Lande is a clinical preceptor actively involved in the clinical training of Doctor of Audiology students and externs. She is currently serving on the board of the Association of VA Audiologists (AVAA) as Member at Large, is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and a graduate from the Minneapolis VAHCS Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) Program. In 2018, Dr. Lande and the Minneapolis VA Interdisciplinary Cochlear Implant Team received the Excellence in Customer Service Team Award from the National Audiology and Speech Pathology Field Advisory Committee. She is also published in the Journal of Educational Audiology. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, hiking and bike riding.

Statement: “Since the start of my career, I have had the pleasure of working with many VA audiologists across the nation, drawing from their expertise and collaborating on projects. Serving as Member at Large for AVAA has enabled opportunities to address the professional needs and concerns of VA audiologists on a national level as well as advocating for audiology outside the VA. This is my passion and I hope to continue serving on the board in a new role.  If elected as treasurer, I would look forward to taking on a more responsibilities, sharing ideas and contributing to the on-going advancement of our field.”

Ilana Glick, Au.D.

Bio : Dr. Ilana Glick earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida in 2011. She completed her externship at the Tampa VA. Although there was not a clinical position available following graduation, she was so passionate about serving our warrior population she obtained a fee basis position relieving veteran wait times for Compensation and Pension evaluations. Once a clinical position became available at the Tampa VA, she still completed fee basis work to continue addressing veteran’s pending disability claims. During her tenure at the Tampa VA, she went above and beyond the average clinical expectations, coordinating and moderating national VA Cochlear Implant quarterly conference calls. Dr. Glick also helped advance the field of audiology by supervising third and fourth year doctoral candidates. She furthered the profession of audiology by co-authoring “A Skin Cancer Screening Model for Hearing Care Professionals and contributing to “A Cognitive Screening Model for Hearing Professionals” journal articles. In 2018, she transferred to the Miami VA, where she continues administering evidence based clinical care and supervising audiology doctoral candidates.

Statement: “I would love be a part of the AVAA board so I can have the opportunity to not only serve our veterans, but to also help serve my fellow VA audiologists.  Being on the AVAA board would allow me to help advocate for our field and continue to move the field in a positive direction.

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Treasurer (3 year term)