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Via Christi audiologist takes first in national competition

A Via Christi audiologist has won a national competition that honors people who are working to eliminate stereotypes of people with hearing loss.

Susie Ternes was the first-place winner in the Practitioner Category in the 2014 Oticon Focus on People Awards. She designated her $1,000 award to go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi, which has a fund that provides free hearing aids for children.

Oticon, which manufactures hearing aids, invited the public to vote online for the contest’s winners. More than 10,000 votes were cast in categories that also included Adult, Student and Advocacy.

Ternes coordinates the newborn hearing screening program for Via Christi and is involved in the Sound Beginnings board for the state of Kansas, the Kansas Speech Language Hearing Association and Advocates for Southern Kansas Kids who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

She also serves as a sign language interpreter and coordinates weekly sign language classes for families who have children with hearing loss and communication deficits.