Can Regulatory Changes Improve the Health of Older Americans with Hearing Loss?
Only one in seven Americans who could benefit from a hearing aid owns one. Why is this, what are the consequences, and what can we do about it? In a new article in the American Journal of Public Health, NYU Wagner Professor Jan Blustein and her colleague, Professor Barbara Weinstein of the CUNY Graduate Center, argue that better health policy could substantially improve our nation’s health.
They note that hearing loss is particularly common among older Americans. One quarter of US adults aged 60 to 69 has a disabling hearing loss, and this rises to 80% for those over 80. Studies show that people with hearing loss are more apt to be isolated and depressed. They are also linked to a number of poor health outcomes, including falls, fractures and cognitive decline. Low rates of hearing aid uptake reflect many factors, but importantly, they argue, hearing aids are too expensive. A typical aid costs $2,500, and most older people need devices for both ears. The Medicare program does not cover hearing aids, and seniors in need cite affordability as a key barrier to buying hearing aids.
As it stands, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly regulates hearing aids and related devices, stifling competition in the device market. The authors cite two recent reports that argue that changes in the FDA’s rules could help. By creating an over-the-counter class of hearing devices, the FDA could bring hearing assistance within the financial reach of more seniors. If prices came down as a result, insurers might find it easier to cover the cost hearing aids. Being able to afford hearing aids could improve the lives of the 42 million Americans with hearing loss.
The article can be found here.
Capstone Event Exhibits Findings of More than 80 Student Teams
New messaging for the New York City Fire Department aimed at attracting minorities. A study of food supply chain vulnerabilities for the Myanmar Association for Public Policy. Research on whether a statistically significant relationship exists between political representation (Democratic or Republican) and infant mortality rates across the United States.
The much-anticipated exhibition of NYU Wagner's Capstone Program, held May 13, included 82 student teams – with 365 students in all. The teams crisply presented the summaries of their consulting work for 70 different organizations in 2013-14. Four applied research projects were also presented. Those projects described above were just three examples of the Capstone Program's latest output.
Some 400 guests, including students, faculty, alumni, and organizational clients, attended the upbeat, findings-filled evening event at the Kimmel Center for University Life.
This year as in past years, NYU Wagner's Capstone program has provided students with a centerpiece of their graduate school education whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice in the field. Since 1995, more than 4,800 students have participated in nearly 1,110 projects for more than 750 organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, and in the city, region, and world.
Capstone Expo Highlights 79 Consulting and Research Projects in Public Service
The 2016 Capstone Expo brought hundreds of students, professors, and organizational leaders to the Rosenthal Pavilion in NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life, where soon-to-graduate NYU Wagner students displayed a total of 79 poster-board summaries of their year-end Capstone consulting and research projects, and toasted their achievements at an honorary reception.
The Capstone Program is a valuable service that NYU Wagner proudly offers to the city, the region, and the world. It is the centerpiece of students’ graduate education, where they translate their classroom learning into practice. Capstone teams have spent the academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for clients in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
The Expo displayed the high-level public service work in research, management and implementation that the 79 teams conducted for a diverse range of clients, such as
Johnson & Johnson, the New York City Department of Education, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York.
For Enterprise Community Partners, for example, a Capstone team worked on issues of housing insecurity for the aged. For the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, another team analyzed the potential for agency participation in a carbon-avoidance market. And for the World Bank's Urban Division, Bangladesh, still another Capstone group worked on a capital investment plan and loan program for cities in developing countries.
The NYU Wagner Capstone Program was supported this year by FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds.
Capstone Study in the News
A Captone study by a team of NYU Wagner students concerning the proposed Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum drew front-page attention in the Westchester weekly section of the New York Times on May 20, 2007. The article, written by Kate Stone Lombardi, reported that the main findings of the study were presented at a community meeting on May 8 by Ossining Mayor William R. Hanauer. The Capstone team's economic analysis found that a museum, if approved for construction, would be "a strong tourist attraction with real economic benefits for the Village of Ossining, the Hudson Valley, and New York State."
The Capstone program is a rigorous part of the core curriculum of the Master�s Program at NYU Wagner. It provides students with both a critical learning experience and an opportunity to work in a team over the course of an academic year to perform a vital public service.
Class on Design Thinking Makes Its Debut [Video]
A new course at NYU Wagner taught by Mike Peng of IDEO, an adjunct professor, introduced students to the concept of design thinking. In their final projects, student teams employed design thinking, an approach most commonly used in the development of consumer products, to effect policy change and social impact. The challenge was to come up with people-centered improvements for New York City schools, subways, hospital care, or other services. In this NYU Wagner video, Peng discusses design thinking and its relevance for change makers. The students presented their final presentations, also excerpted here, at the close of last semester (Fall, 2010). The course title was "Design Thinking: A Creative Approach to Problem Solving."
Conference on Social Theory, Politics and the Arts, Oct. 11-13
On October 11th, 12th and 13th, the Conference on Social Theory, Politics and the Arts (STP&A) -- the premier arts and cultural policy conference - will be conducted for the first time in more than a decade in New York City, and the first time ever at NYU. The 33rd annual conference, which was held last year in Vienna, Austria, will be chaired by NYU Wagner Professor Ruth Ann Stewart. It begins Thursday evening, Oct. 11, 2007, with an opening reception in the Puck Building in Manhattan, the landmark home of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. About 200 scholars, artists, and cultural-organization leaders from 26 countries and 22 states throughout the U.S. are expected to attend the conference and share their professional experience and research findings through papers and panels. The six conference themes are: Artists, Activism, and Social Change; Leadership in, of, and through the Arts; Sustaining Cultural Industries and Organizations; Role of the Arts in Bridging Ethnic, Cultural, and Regional Differences; Cultural Planning, Development, and Economics; Urban Revitalization and the Arts.
The online conference schedule can be found at http://stpa.culture.info. Anyone interested in attending this exciting event may contact the Conference Coordinator, Darren Flusche, at email@example.com.