Best of Lawrence Profile: ‘Hearing Your Best’ is the goal at Associated Audiologists

Left to Right: David Paul, Au.D., Audiologist and Leavenworth and Lawrence Clinic Manager; Katelyn Waldeier, Au.D., Audiologist; Shannon Ocsody, Lawrence Office Administrative Assistant

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored content produced by the Journal-World’s advertising department. Businesses who received a top three award in the Best of Lawrence competition are eligible to participate in the Best of Lawrence Spotlight Series program, which includes a question-and-answer profile. Look for future profiles in the print and online editions of the Journal-World.

Congratulations on being voted the “Best of Lawrence”! How does it feel to receive this recognition from the community?

We are thrilled to be selected and voted as “Best of Lawrence” especially since we are building on the tradition of Marston Hearing. Many of our doctoral level team including Dr. Paul and Dr. Waldeier are graduates of the University of Kansas Audiology program so it’s a special recognition from the Lawrence community.

Katelyn Waldeier, Au.D., Audiologist

What do you believe sets your business apart?

Associated Audiologists, Inc. has always been dedicated to the highest level of patient care and experience for audiology services. We strive for providing individualized approaches while following best practices such as real-ear verification on every patient which allows us to customize each prescription digital hearing aid fitting. It is our hope that each person truly experiences our personalized touch, care and compassion which is part of our core values.

Can you provide a brief overview of your business’s history, including its founding, initial goals and how it has evolved over the years?

Associated Audiologists, Inc. was founded in 1985 in Olathe, KS. It has grown over the years with the most recent addition being the acquisition of Marston Hearing in 2022 when Dr. Gerald Whiteside retired. The ability to continue quality audiology services to the Lawrence community was consistent with Associated Audiologists, Inc. goals which included Dr. David Paul and Dr. Katelyn Waldeier who both live in Lawrence. Associated Audiologists, Inc. has 8 clinics with 16 audiologists.

David Paul, Au.D., Audiologist and Leavenworth and Lawrence Clinic Manager

Community support is crucial. How do you engage with the local community, and how has this engagement impacted your success?

Dr. Paul and Dr. Waldeier are members of the community who live and work right here in Lawrence. In addition, as a small business within our community we are proud to support other local business. We also take pride in staying engaged with the educational programs at the University of Kansas to support students and the next generation of professionals. Dr. Tim Steele, CEO and Owner, is also a member of the KU School of Health Professions Board of Advocates.

Could you share an example of how your business has embraced innovation to stay ahead of the curve?

Associated Audiologists, Inc. participates in providing continuing education at local, regional and national conferences. Several providers sit on technological advisory boards to assist in technological advancements within the industry. We also participate in important clinical research that helps further efforts to advance the profession.

Businesses face challenges as well. Can you discuss a significant hurdle your business has overcome and the lessons learned from it?

Like many industries, the field of audiology has faced significant change in the past several years. This has included significant changes in Medicare Advantage programs as well as the recent law allowing the offerings of over-the-counter hearing aids. We have been able to stay educated because of our involvement in our state and national professional organizations to be prepared for these changes. As a small business, we’ve also been able to respond quickly to the questions and real needs of the consumer and our patients. Ultimately, we have been able to continue to focus on our expertise of prescription hearing aids which has allowed us to expand various offerings to help more patients.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to create their own successful ventures?

It’s important to be passionate about whatever you do and to do your very best. If you provide the community with your best, they will recognize it and spread the word!

The “Best of Lawrence” title often indicates a commitment to excellence in customer service. How do you ensure that every customer has a positive experience with your business?

We do the best we can to follow up with every patient through follow up surveys and on-line reviews. We have strong protocol to make sure we are constantly asking for feedback from our patients and this helps us constantly improve. Our Google reviews reflect high patient satisfaction which we work hard for.

What does being an integral part of the Lawrence community mean to you, and how do you plan to continue contributing positively?

Dr. Larry Marston started Marston Hearing Center with a high caliber. He taught at the University of Kansas and had an influence on the local profession of audiology through his teaching and his practice. The ability to carry on this legacy after Dr. Whiteside retired and acquire this great practice in the Lawrence community is a tremendous responsibility and one that our team takes very seriously. One important step is being recognized by the community so we look forward to continue finding ways to serve our patients with excellence and make the Lawrence community proud. There will be other opportunities that likely arise over the years for our team to get involved both personally and professionally and these will be welcomed ways to continue giving back.

The profession of audiology is growing and changing rapidly as the demographics of our population change and an ever-increasing awareness and acceptance of the importance of good hearing occurs. There are more options than ever to help people and the experts at Associated Audiologists, Inc. can assist people in navigating some of the confusing choices they face. The start is a comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluation. This serves as a “blue-print” of what’s going on to properly decide next steps including if additional medical referral is necessary or if amplification may help. In some cases, bothersome tinnitus can be the first symptom of hearing loss. In other situations, it might be important to begin use of hearing protection. Regardless, having a hearing examination and consultation with a doctoral-level audiologist can be the start of developing the right next steps.