Guest Bios

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Guest Bios

Margaret Wallhagen, Ph.D. and Anna Gilmore Hall

Margaret Wallhagen, Ph.D., HLAA Board of Trustees Chair
Meg is a Professor of Gerontological Nursing and a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner in the School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco (UCSF). She received her initial nursing degree from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in New York, her Baccalaureate 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 masters and doctoral level, and works as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. 

Anna Gilmore Hall, HLAA Executive Director
Anna has been the executive director of HLAA since July 2013. Prior to HLAA, Anna was the executive director of Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care. From 2004-2008, she was co-executive director of Health Care Without Harm, the international campaign for environmentally responsible healthcare. She also held executive leadership positions within the American Nurses Association and the Maine State Nurses Association.

Michael A. Harvey, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Michael A. Harvey, Ph.D. provides training and consultation on mental health issues having to do with hearing loss, including consultation and training for audiologists regarding motivational interviewing and the psychological aspects of patient care. As a clinical psychologist, he has a private practice in Framingham, Massachusetts and was a consultant faculty at Salus University, where he taught online courses relating to the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss. He writes regularly for Hearing Loss Magazine. In addition to his more than 45 articles, his books include Listen with the Heart: Relationships and Hearing Loss, The Odyssey of Hearing Loss: Tales of Triumph, Psychotherapy with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons: A Systemic Model, and a co-edited book entitled Culturally Affirmative Psychotherapy with Deaf Persons.

Michael D. Seidman, MD

Michael D. Seidman, MD attained both his B.S. in Human Nutrition and M.D. from the University of Michigan. After a five-year residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) he completed a fellowship in Otologic/Neurotologic and Skull Base Surgery at the Ear Research Foundation in Florida. 

Seidman is the Director-Division of Otologic/Neurotologic Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery for HFHS, Past Director of Otolaryngology Research Laboratory, the Co-Director of the Tinnitus Center, the Chair of the Center for Integrative Medicine for HFHS, Director of Product Development (nutritional science/projects) for ViSalus Sciences, a past President of the Michigan Otolaryngology Society, and was elected in 2009 to be the next Chair of the Board of Governors for the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 

Seidman is an active scientist and has extramural funding from the National Institute of Health and other major institutions. He is considered an expert on the molecular basis of aging, noise induced hearing loss, otologic/neurotologic-skull base surgery, all aspects of ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery, tinnitus, herbal therapies, nutrition/antioxidants and their relationship to health, sports and aging and complementary/integrative medicine. 

Seidman lectures internationally on such topics; has more than 80 major publications; a book published by Time Warner “Save Your Hearing Now” numerous awards including being honored as one of the top Doctors in the USA. He has been interviewed on Good Morning America, CNN and other national news venues and has been quoted nationally and internationally in such magazines as “O”, “Shape”, Women’s World, Men’s Health, The Wall Street Journal, New York and the London Times 

He has been recognized by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, when he was honored with the Clinical Practitioner Excellence Award (given to one Otolaryngologist each year) and has been awarded two patents, one on a supplement that positively effects age-related hearing loss and a second one that is able to determine an individuals “molecular age”. Additionally, he has multiple patents pending on, aging, mitochondrial function endurance enhancement, Alzheimer’s disease, and surgical tools and techniques. 

Seidman is also a Co-Editor for the International Tinnitus Journal, the Associate Editor for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery journal and is on the Editorial Review Board for seven major Otolaryngology Journals and the American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 

He has been appointed to the State Medical Board of Audiology (appointment by Gov. Granholm), the Scientific or Medical Advisory Board of the Hearing Loss Association, the Life Extension Foundation, IntraEar, the Ear Research Foundation, Arches Company, Auris Medical, the American Tinnitus Association, Gel Tech (producers of homeopathic remedies), BASF (specifically on the work for SAMe) and WebMD (work related to analysis of weight loss/nutrition software). 

In 1997 he founded Body Language Vitamin Co, whose emphasis is to promote health and enhance the lives of everyone through responsible vitamin, mineral, herbal and phytonutrient supplementation as well as dietary modifications, exercise and stress reduction. 

He has also served as a consultant to professional athletes, and has been an advisor to teams in the NHL, NFL and the ABA .

Nanci Linke-Ellis

Nanci Linke-Ellis has been a lifelong advocate for captions since forming Tripod Captioned Films in 1993, and later, InSight Cinema, a non-profit organization that forged alliances with the major film studios and theatre chains to distribute and promote captioned versions of first-run films to deaf and hard of hearing audiences nationwide. Nanci’s outreach and advocacy efforts have grown to include in two new projects: Captions West, an entity to bring live theatre, opera and all forms of captioned entertainment to the DHH communities. She has also formed a new company, known as SightLine Media; along with a group of partners to bring an innovative wireless captioning technology designed for deaf and hard of hearing and deaf-blind audiences to market. 

In 1994, Linke-Ellis received her first Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant, and her second in 2006. She has been a Bionic Ear Association Volunteer since its inception and continues to mentor new and prospective CI users. 

Nanci is a member of the HLA-CA Board of Trustees. She founded the Santa Monica chapter of HLAA and is presently part of the HLAA-LA and HLAA-Carlsbad steering committees. 

Before her entry into the world of film captioning and advocacy, Linke-Ellis began her career in television with diverse production credits and is a member of the Director's Guild of America. She was given the 1982 Silver Award by the International Film and TV Festival in New York for her short on the Fashion Institute of Technology. She served on the Educational Programs Committee for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) Foundation for 15 years. Linke-Ellis is a member of the Motion Picture Industry’s Digital Cinema Initiative’s Committee created to establish captioning standards and a universal file for digital transmission. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis is a member of the Entertainment Industry Council and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and Women In Film. Linke-Ellis has also served on the FCC Consumer Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis also serves on the advisory boards of VITAC and RAPIDTEXT captioning companies. She has been honored for her efforts in media access and as a captioning advocate 1982 Outstanding Young Women in America, the 1998 Who's Who of Media, the 2001 Academy of American Audiologists with the “Oticon Focus on People” Award. Additionally she was honored by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 2001, Tripod in 2002, and the SHHH-CA State Association in 2005 for her work in Media Access. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis received 2007 James C. Marsters Promotion Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to improving the accessibility of telecommunications or media for people in the United through efforts in promotion, marketing, or public relations and in recognition of her past efforts in raising public awareness by consumers, as well as Hollywood film industry through the promotion of movie captioning and the development of a grassroots network of local theaters committed to making the magic of movies accessible to everyone. This award was given at TDI International’s Biennial Conference in San Mateo, CA. In February of this year, she was honored at the Creative Access PAH Festival in Philadelphia for her work in movie captioning access. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis lives with her husband in Santa Monica, CA.

Nancy Macklin

Nancy is the director of external affairs and events (previously director of events and marketing) for HLAA, re-joining the staff in 2008. She worked for SHHH (now HLAA) from 1992 to 1998 as the business manager and liaison to the board of trustees.

Natalie D. Ryan

Natalie D. Ryan graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2009 with a bachelor of science in marketing. Shortly thereafter, Natalie began working with Sprint as a Care Support team member, learning the Sprint Relay business from the very core. She began with assisting all Relay staff members on their state business requirements including traffic reports, yearly filings, and daily administrative activities. Her role slowly transitioned to focusing on the Federal Relay business, where she became the Federal Relay Account Manager.

Natalie is currently responsible for the Federal Relay business, under which six different services are provided to federal government employees (including TTY, STS, CapTel, IP Relay, VRS/VRI, and RCC). Her roles include outreach and education on the Federal Relay program, responsibility for monthly invoices and deliverables, maintaining contract compliance, and working with more than 85 different government agencies on the procurement and provision of services.

Natalie has a passion for the Sprint Relay business as she is a CODA (child of deaf adults), and was raised relying on the Relay services to speak with her parents. She sees the empowerment that Relay provides to the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled community, and thoroughly enjoys being a part of Sprint Relay’s mission. Natalie resides in Denver, Colorado. 

Neal Pecchenino

Neal Pecchenino, Director of Product & Operations at Simple Matters LLC.

Niaz Siasi

Niaz joined the HLAA staff in the fall of 2016 as Meeting Planner. She is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor of arts degree in communications, with a concentration on public relations.

Nicole Raia

Nicole Raia, Sc.D., CCC-A, FAAA, pediatric audiologist at University Hospital, Newark, NJ.
Dr. Nicole Raia received her Doctorate of Science in Audiology from Montclair State University. She joined the staff of University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey in July 2012 after completing her Fourth Year Clinical Externship at Weill Cornell Medical College where she focused on the diagnosis and management of hearing loss in a vast pediatric population. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

Dr. Raia is licensed in audiology through the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Her expertise is the diagnosis and management of pediatric hearing loss, including ear-specific behavioral audiometry and electrophysiologic testing. Additionally she is an active member of the cochlear implant team at University Hospital, where she evaluates, fits and maintains cochlear implants as well as osseointegrated auditory implants.

Pat Dobbs

Pat Dobbs is passionate about educating people on hearing loss, having experienced steep declines in her hearing starting at age 20. Pat, who currently uses bilateral cochlear implants, is the author of The Hearing Loss Revolution and its Nine Guiding Principles, a sought-after speaker, and writes a popular blog on living with hearing loss. Pat launched the HLAA-Morris County Chapter (New Jersey) in 2011 and currently serves as its president. She is also a trustee of the HLAA-New Jersey, and a member of the HLAA-NJ Hearing Loop Committee.

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