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Guest Bios

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.

Paul E. Hammerschlag, MD, FACS

Paul E. Hammerschlag, MD, FACS is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU School of Medicine Dept. of Otolaryngology, New York. His areas of expertise include Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss(SSNHL), Surgical Treatment of Hearing Loss, Cochlear Implants, Ménière's Disease, Facial Nerve Reanimation, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease(AIED), Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Tumors of the ear/skull base, Acoustic Neuroma, and Stereotaxic Surgery of Acoustic Neuroma. 

Medical Education
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 1972-1973

Residency Training
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Harvard Medical School (Otolaryngology) 1974-1977; Virginia Mason Hospital (General Surgery) 1973-1974

Clinical Fellowships
Harvard Medical School (Otolaryngology) 1976-1977

Perry C. Hanavan, Au.D.

Perry C. Hanavan, Au.D., currently teaches in the Communication Disorders program at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He has taught audiology and technology courses the past 40 years. He has provided audiologic rehabilitative services and audiology consultation services to area schools, hospitals, and private ENT clinics. In addition, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in technology. He has provided numerous presentations at HLAA, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and American Academy of Audiology Conventions.

Roger Goldblatt

Roger Goldblatt is responsible for advising the Bureau Chief of FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau on consumer outreach and consumer education activities related to the digital transition (DTV). Currently he is serving as the Pacific Region Coordinator for the Commission’s Nationwide DTV outreach program. He has concentrated his efforts on the Commission’s Outreach towards underserved communities, such as non English speaking, low income, seniors, children and the disabled community. Mr. Goldblatt has created our DTV deputy program and leads presentations of the program nationally. 

Mr. Goldblatt has been with the FCC since the year 2000. Prior to joining the Commission, he was the Federal Outreach Manager for the federal Government’s Y2K transition, working with other federal and local agencies, businesses and associations. He created and managed the Y2K federal hotline and Web site, organized informational town hall meetings and worked extensively with the media. As a senior public affairs officer at the Department of Labor, he managed outreach programs for their Pension Welfare & Benefits Administration. He worked at the White House as the director of the Health Care Reform Information Center and then Director of the Office of Special Projects. Over his long federal career, Mr. Goldblatt has developed a reputation for creating consumer outreach programs on sensitive and difficult to understand issues. He has also written and designed hundreds of publications and outreach tool kits. 

Mr. Goldblatt has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors in Communications from George Washington University.

Samuel Trychin, Ph.D

Samuel Trychin, Ph.D. has served as the HLAA mental health/rehabilitation advisor for more than twenty years. He has worked with hundreds of people who have hearing loss and with their communication partners, has written numerous books, chapters, and articles on coping with hearing loss. Sam has a hearing loss resulting from military service.

Dr. Trychin also has a private practice in which conducts on-line and self-study classes for people who have hearing loss and their families. He also continues to conduct national training programs, classes, and workshops for people who are hard of hearing, their family members, and professionals who provide services to them. His specialty is the application of psychological concepts, principles, and procedures to problems and issues related to hearing loss. 

Dr. Trychin has written 15 books, authored several professional book chapters and journal articles, and produced a variety of videotapes related to coping with hearing loss. He has conducted hundreds of workshops and training programs across the United States and in Canada. He and his wife Janet, an audiologist, frequently conduct workshops together. 

Dr. Trychin received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the George Washington University, Washington, DC. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania. He is currently the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Advisor to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Previously, he was a member of the Advisory Committees for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Trychin is hard of hearing himself and was issued his first hearing aids while serving in the United States Air Force. He has been a hearing aid user since that time. Further information about Dr. Trychin’s program for people who are hard of hearing, their family members, and professionals who provide services to them can be obtained at

Scott D. Smith, CEP, PFT

For 20 years, Scott Smith has worked as an EMS for Rincon Valley Fire District in Arizona, as an EMT instructor for Coconino County Community College, and as a Captain and Paramedic in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Scott also has a degree as an electronics engineer, developing software for court reporting and captioning industries. Scott, working with his wife, Deanna Baker, provides assistance to the many CART reporters at the annual Convention of the Hearing Loss Association of America, ensuring the audiovisuals seamlessly link to the CART and captioning throughout the convention. He also helps troubleshoot problems with the many assistive listening devices throughout the Convention site.

Sean Smith

Sean Smith, HLAA Controller, Registered IRS Agent
With his background working with HLAA as the controller, Mr. Smith brings professional experience as the owner of an accounting firm as well as more than a decade of experience working with HLAA volunteer leaders.

Stephanie Czuhajewski, CAE

Stephanie Czuhajewski, CAE, is the executive director of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, a leading national association representing autonomous audiologists, who are committed to best business and clinical practices. Ms. Czuhajewski has two decades of non-profit leadership experience, with a focus on outreach and stakeholder relations. Ms. Czuhajewski holds a B.S. in Marketing Science from Sullivan University.

Steven Gordon

Assistant United States Attorney Steven Gordon has been with the Department of Justice since 1995 and has worked on a variety of legal matters over the years, including civil rights investigations, health care cases, the Department of Justice’s civil racketeering case against the cigarette industry, and government contract litigation.

Currently, Mr. Gordon is the Coordinator for Civil Rights Enforcement for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and many of his recent cases come under the Department of Justice’s Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative. Through the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, the United States Attorney’s Offices have targeted their enforcement efforts on a critical area for individuals with disabilities – access to medical services and facilities. The Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative includes effective communication for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, physical access to medical care for people with mobility disabilities, and equal access to treatment for people who have HIV/AIDS. 

Mr. Gordon was the lead attorney for the Government in several recently settled cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act involving the failure to provide appropriate auxiliary aids or services to the deaf and hard of hearing including cases against the following:  (1) Fairfax Nursing Center, a skilled nursing facility in Fairfax County, Virginia; (2) Dominion Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Falls Church, Virginia; (3) Commonwealth Health & Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility located in Fairfax, Virginia; and (4) Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, a podiatry practice.  Additionally, Mr. Gordon worked with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division on an ADA effective communication case against INOVA Health System, which has multiple hospitals and other medical offices in Northern Virginia.