The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) relocated its headquarters from Portland, Oregon to the Washington, DC Metro region, to be closer to the center of tinnitus research and the organizations that support those most affected by the condition. The office puts ATA near the Veterans Administration (VA), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the Department of Defense (DoD), medical associations, such as the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF), and the many other organizations, as well as hospitals and laboratories, that lead in tinnitus research, funding, and advocacy.
“Tinnitus affects approximately 50 million people in the United States,” said Torryn Brazell, MS, CAE, executive director of the ATA. “Being in close proximity to organizations that serve this group of people is imperative to ensuring that ATA can continue its mission of providing support to those with tinnitus, educating on prevention, and funding research endeavors that bring about more effective treatments and cures.”
“For more than 40 years, ATA has funded research and developed programs to help people who have what is commonly called ‘ringing in their ears,’ and has done an incredible job, even though we were based over 2,000 miles away from groups with which we consult, partner, and work,” Brazell continued. “It makes sense for the organization, our partners and – most importantly – those with tinnitus for ATA to be as close to others who are as invested in the search for tinnitus cures as we are.” The office is located in Vienna, Virginia, which is 12 miles west of Washington, D.C.
ATA Board Chair LaGuinn Sherlock, AuD, shared that the decision to move the headquarters from Portland was not an easy one for ATA leaders.
“Our roots in Portland are strong and result from a meeting between Dr. Charles Unice who spearheaded ATA's beginnings and Jack Vernon, PhD who was one of the very first tinnitus researchers. They met in the city and worked together to create ATA and begin the four-plus decades of dedication to funding innovative tinnitus research, supporting and promoting relief to those affected by tinnitus, and educating the public about the condition,” Dr. Sherlock said. “Moving to the Washington, DC area was not a decision we took lightly, given how many wonderful years we have had in Portland. However, it makes sense as it puts ATA where we need to be to move forward in research and advocacy.”
In addition to the move, the ATA has engaged a Washington, D.C. government relations consulting firm to advance intelligence, grassroots mobilization, and relationship-building; assist ATA to pro-actively seek policy changes and help garner additional attention and federal funding; and help to stop harmful proposals that could impede progress for tinnitus patients.