Board Members

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Board Members

Margaret Wallhagen, Ph.D. - Chairperson

Margaret Wallhagen is a professor of gerontological nursing and a geriatric nurse practitioner at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. She received her initial nursing degree from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in New York, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCSF, and her doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle. Since joining the faculty at UCSF in 1988, she has taught gerontological nursing at both the master’s and doctoral levels, and works as a geriatric nurse practitioner.

Dr. Wallhagen has conducted a number of research projects in gerontology and chronic care management. Her research and publications focus on studies of: the experience of control in caregivers and in persons with diabetes; successful aging for persons with chronic conditions; self-care and symptom management; cross-cultural interventions to support family caregivers with dementia; and the impact of hearing impairment on older adults. She recently completed a four-year longitudinal study of the experience of hearing impairment in older adults and their partners. In January 2006, Dr. Wallhagen became the director of the UCSF/John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence as it entered its second five years of funding.

Dr. Wallhagen was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in June 2010.

Committees:  Dr. Wallhagen serves as the Chair of the Development Committee and also serves on the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees.

Don Doherty - Vice Chairperson

Don Doherty is a retired Marine Corps combat Veteran (1965-1987) who lost his hearing in Vietnam. He has worn hearing aids since June 1970. He has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for more than 20 years, and is currently the Education Specialist for the National Chaplain Training Center which serves in excess of 1,100 Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplains at more than 153 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers nationwide. His specialties include education, chemical dependency, mental health, posttraumatic stress and compassion fatigue.

Mr. Doherty has many years of experience working with different boards and organizations in Virginia. He is the former American Academy of Medical Administrators state director for the states of Virginia and West Virginia; two-term Commandant, Senior State Vice Commandant, and State Judge Advocate for the Marine Corps League; former Chair of the Virginia State Standards of Practice Committee; former member Board of Directors for the Virginia Council on Alcoholism; and former member of Virginia Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Illegal Drug Use in Virginia. Don received the Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award in 1997 in recognition of his record of community service.

Currently Mr. Doherty is a member of Hamilton CapTel’s “Heroes with Hearing Loss” program; president of the HLAA Virginia Beach Chapter, and HLAA Virginia state coordinator. He is also currently enrolled in the Gallaudet University two-year certificate program in Peer Mentoring.

Mr. Doherty graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology from Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania. He also holds a master’s degree in education and human development and an education specialist degree in higher education, both from George Washington University. He resides in Moyock, North Carolina.

Don was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in May 2014.

Katherine Bouton - Secretary

Katherine Bouton is the author of “Shouting Won’t Help,” a memoir of adult-onset hearing loss, published in 2013 by Sarah Crichton/Farrar Straus & Giroux. She is a former editor at The New York Times, where she was deputy editor of the Sunday Magazine for ten years. She also held senior editing positions on Science Times, the Sunday Book Review, and Culture. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere.

Ms. Bouton has had progressive bilateral hearing loss since 1978, and in September 2009 received a cochlear implant. Her writing and speaking now focus on hearing loss and other disability issues. Her blog What I Hear appears on the Psychology Today website. She is currently working on a practical guide to living with hearing loss, tentatively titled “Come to Your Senses: Learn to Live Better with Hearing Loss.”

She has been a member of HLAA since 2010 and was appointed to the Board of Trustees in October 2013.

Michael H. Stone, Esq. - Treasurer and Stone Family Representative

Michael Stone is employed by Donatelli Development. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit, a master’s degree in International and Strategic Affairs from Georgetown University, a law degree from Antioch, and an L.L.M. in securities regulation from Georgetown University. He started his career on Capitol Hill as the legislative director to Representative James L. Oberstar (D-MN). He later became a Washington lobbyist representing Fortune 500 companies. He has worked as deputy counsel for the Federal Asset Disposition Association (renamed the Resolution Trust Corporation) which is a part of the administrative branch of government. In 1990 he entered private practice and co-founded Mobile Communications Holdings, Inc., which received a license to provide satellite-based telecommunications service. In 1995 he co-founded Eagle Eye, Inc., a company which provides satellite-based tracking services. He has also taught history at a private school and served as an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. 

Mr. Stone has written numerous book reviews for Best Sellers magazine, has been an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University and has served on numerous corporate boards of directors. As the Rocky Stone Family representative to the Board he brings a unique historical perspective of the organization’s history and a passion for people with hearing loss to the Board. In addition he also brings legal experience and problem-solving skills.

Mr. Stone served on the first Board of the organization, then known as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). He has served his current term since 2005.

Committees:  As treasurer, Mr. Stone serves as chair of the Finance Committee, and serves on the Executive, Membership, and the Rocky and Ahme Stone Endowment Fund Committees.

Diana D. Bender, Ph.D. - Immediate Past Chairperson

Diana Bender is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in organic chemistry at the University of Munich, in Germany. In her professional career she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware, followed by 21 years as a research chemist and product manager at a Philadelphia area specialty chemicals company. She was first diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss at the age of 10 and received a cochlear implant in 2004. 

Dr. Bender has been a member of HLAA since 1995 and served as chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees from 2012-2014. She served as the chapter president of the Montgomery County (PA) Chapter from 1997 to 2001 and is a former editor of the chapter’s newsletter. Dr. Bender has been a member of the HLAA-PA Advisory Council since the state office originated in 2001 and has served as the state director of HLAA-PA since 2004. From 2004-2006 she represented HLAA on the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee, a committee convened by the U.S. Access Board. She has served on several state advisory committees in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Gallaudet University Peer Mentoring Program. 

Committees:  Dr. Bender serves as Chair of the Executive Committee and also serves on the Strategic Planning Committee.

Jan Blustein, M.D., Ph.D.

Jan Blustein is a professor of health policy and medicine at New York University, where she teaches courses in statistics, program evaluation, and research methods. Health service equity, chronic illness, and the Medicare program are some of her longstanding interests. Ensuring financial access to health care services has been a consistent theme in her research, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, British Medical Journal, Health Affairs, and other leading journals.

Dr. Blustein is interested in raising awareness of age-related hearing loss in the medical community, and making hearing screening a routine part of primary care. She works on issues related to insurance coverage for hearing health care and hearing technologies. She holds a medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. from New York University.

Dr. Blustein was elected to the HLAA Board of Trustees in October 2015.

Mary Miskimen Clark

Mary Miskimen Clark has had a lifelong hearing loss and began wearing a hearing aid when she was five years old. One of her sisters, who also has a hearing loss, was the one who introduced her to HLAA (then SHHH) when she became a member in 1990. Ms. Clark has a degree in medical technology and she has worked in hospital labs and academic research labs, but most of her career was in the medical device industry. She retired in 2010 and moved from California to New Mexico. She has volunteered extensively for HLAA at the local, state and national levels. An experienced trainer and facilitator, Ms. Clark has given workshops related to hearing loss since 2000.

Since her retirement, Ms. Clark has been teaching classes through the OSHER program under the University of New Mexico Continuing Education curriculum. Her courses on Living with Hearing Loss and Hearing Loss 102 (or I Have a Hearing Aid – Now What?), have been well received and continue to be popular with students. She has served as an officer at the chapter and state level in California and at the chapter level in New Mexico. As a result of the leadership development classes offered through HLAA in California and Bethesda, Maryland, she has become an advocate for chapter and state organizations.

Ms. Clark was elected to the HLAA Board of Trustees in December 2015.

Shari Eberts

Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer and speaker. She blogs about her experiences living with hearing loss and tinnitus at Ms. Eberts also serves on the Board of Hearing Health Foundation (Chair 2012-2015), a nonprofit organization funding research into biological treatments and cures for hearing loss and tinnitus. Ms. Eberts has adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing loss.

Prior to her advocacy work, Ms. Eberts had a 20-year career on Wall Street, serving as associate director of U.S. Equity Research for J. P. Morgan until 2010. Before joining the management team, Shari was an Institutional Investor Magazine ranked equity research senior analyst at
J. P. Morgan, covering retail companies. Ms. Eberts wrote, published, and marketed hundreds of first call notes and larger company reports; she was also frequently quoted in leading financial and retail industry publications and has appeared on CNBC to discuss her stock views.

Ms. Eberts also worked as an associate at McKinsey & Company and as a financial analyst in Real Estate Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Goldman Sachs. Ms. Eberts holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Duke University and a master’s from Harvard Business School.

Ms. Eberts joined the HLAA Board in October 2015.

Richard Einhorn

Richard Einhorn is a composer whose unique music has been described as “hauntingly beautiful,” “sensational,” and “overwhelming in its emotional power.” Richard Einhorn graduated summa cum laude in music and has written opera, orchestral and chamber music, song cycles, multimedia events, film music, and dance scores. Voices of Light, described as an “opera with silent film” has been hailed as “a great masterpiece of contemporary music” and “a work of meticulous genius.” The piece has been performed more than 200 times, selling out such venues as Avery Fisher Hall; Kennedy Center (with the National Symphony); National Cathedral of Washington; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his music.

Mr. Einhorn brings an extensive background in all aspects of audio technology to the Board of HLAA. During the course of his career, Mr. Einhorn has produced 30 classical recordings with artists such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Murray Perahia. His recording of the Bach Cello Suites with Yo-Yo Ma was awarded a Grammy.

Since losing much of his hearing overnight in 2010, Mr. Einhorn has also become a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss and been the subject and/or author of numerous articles and other media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and international medical and audiology journals. A compelling public speaker, Mr. Einhorn has given dozens of presentations on hearing loss to conferences in both the United States and England, including the keynote at the Hearing Loss Association of America Convention 2014 in Austin, Texas. He is also active as a consultant on hearing loss issues for both individuals and companies.

Mr. Einhorn was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in May 2014.

Peggy Ellertsen, M.Ed., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Peggy Ellertsen completed training as a speech pathologist in the graduate program at Northeastern University in 1970. She earned the Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech/language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 1971 and a Certificate of Advanced Study in reading and human development from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1979. Ms. Ellertsen has worked as a speech/language pathologist and reading and language specialist in clinic, public school and private practice settings for more than 30 years.

In 2003, with the progression of her own sensorineural hearing loss, Ms. Ellertsen began to expand her professional focus to include aural rehabilitation for adults with acquired hearing loss and has studied best practices in aural rehabilitation through membership in ASHA’s Special Interest Group for Aural Rehabilitation and Its Implementation and The Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology (ARA.) In 2013, her paper on the implementation of aural rehabilitation in hearing loss treatment was published in the Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitation Audiology, and she presented a program, The Use of Patient Stories in Hearing Loss Treatment to the ARA’s 2012 Institute. Ms. Ellertsen is a certified peer mentor for hearing loss through the certificate program at Gallaudet University.

Ms. Ellertsen continues to maintain a small private practice, consulting to persons with hearing loss around active management of communication. As a member of the HLAA Boston Chapter, she has coordinated the chapter’s Speaker and Workshop Series and its outreach initiative to audiology practices throughout Massachusetts. She developed the chapter website as an information station where people with hearing loss and their families can find resources and information about evidence-based practices in hearing loss management.

Ms. Ellertsen was elected to the HLAA Board of Trustees in January 2015.