Today on our blog, we’re excited to feature Government Services Audiologist Julie Dunphy! Julie has been with Starkey for nine years. Her role is unique in that her primary responsibilities involve training Starkey partners within VA hospitals and clinics, military bases and Native American reservations.
What is your background (education, training, etc.)?
I received my bachelor’s degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Ohio University, my master’s in Audiology from Miami University, and my Au.D. from the University of Florida. I worked in the Ohio VA system for seven years before coming to Starkey in 2006.
How did you get your start in the hearing aid industry?
I wanted to work with children and aural rehabilitation. I was fluent in sign language and worked with the hard of hearing in high school and college. Once I was in graduate school, I had the opportunity to do a yearlong externship at a VA hospital and fell in love with the population and have been working with this group in some capacity ever since.
What are your main job duties?
I am a territory manager for Starkey Government Services. My territory includes Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia. My customer base includes Veterans Affair hospitals, military base hospitals, and hospitals on Native American reservations. I cultivate relationships with the audiologists and technicians there as well as talk about what Starkey has to offer them as well as their patients.
What has been your most memorable moment at Starkey?
If I am being completely honest, the AAA party on the aircraft carrier in San Diego in 2010 was pretty awesome. Being on the ship while the Beach Boys sang and fireworks went off gave myself and everyone around me chills. People are still talking about it today. It was a fantastic display of our American background and had such a connection with our customers.
What's the most exciting part of your job?
I have to say the most exciting aspect of my job is getting a customer who has been reluctant to try Starkey to try and have them be excited about their success. It is so rewarding to see not only the patient’s life improve but also the audiologist’s as well. Making their fittings easier so they can focus on more important aspects of the job such as counseling and seeing their reaction to that never gets old.
How do you address the challenges you face on the job?
It is so easy to get caught up in the little hurdles and hiccups that come at us throughout the day. I try to focus on the big picture as much as I can. All jobs have obstacles and not every day will be perfect –or even fun. However, I get to be involved in making a positive impact on the lives of our veterans and active duty military on a daily basis. No challenge is big enough to outweigh that.
What are some of the most exciting hearing technology trends you see on the horizon?
The integration of wireless has already made a huge impact in the industry but I believe that we have just scratched the surfaced. The sky is the limit! I look forward to the expansion of direct-to-hearing aid streaming as well as the expansion of what the hearing-impaired world will be able to connect with. I just had a conversation with a customer last week that we probably can’t even dream of what the hearing aids will be like a few years down the road. That is someone’s job at the Starkey Hearing Research Center. :)
What advice do you have for students who are interested in the hearing industry?
I would encourage them to get as much experience as you can while in school. There are so many different options out there in the field and it is important to try as many as possible. I was convinced that I wanted to go down one route until I was introduced to another. Also, get a solid hearing aid foundation. Having a strong grasp of how hearing aids work will allow you to be able to select what is truly appropriate for your patients. There are a lot of options out there and knowing the basics will help you keep up on the technology trends. Don’t be afraid to call the manufacturers and ask questions. I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “We don’t want to bother you.” It is our job – we wouldn’t have it without you! And we like what we do!
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to cook (when I’m home) and love a home cooked meal with a nice glass of wine. I also enjoy kickboxing and running (to offset the cooking and wine). I have participated in a triathlon and half marathon in the last couple of years. I have always joked that my next project is going to be writing a book on the airports across the country (because that is the sightseeing I do) but for right now I settle for curling up with a good David Baldacci book.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
O-H-I-O! Go Buckeyes!