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Dr. M. Patrick Feeney is director of the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research. He is pictured with a VA employee, demonstrating a hearing test. (Photo by David M. Moody, VA Portland Health Care System, Oregon)
VA researcher M. Patrick Feeney, Ph.D., has been recognized by the American Academy of Audiology for his work to improve the lives of Veterans and others affected by hearing loss.
The academy presented Feeney with the 2019 Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology. Over the last 30 years, his research has focused on peripheral and central auditory function in Veterans and others.
Feeney directs the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) at the VA Portland Health Care System in Oregon. NCRAR, funded by VA Rehabilitation Research and Development, is the only VA research center dedicated to the discovery and delivery of innovative solutions for Veterans with hearing impairments.
The center works to educate Veterans and the public about preventing hearing loss and coping with tinnitus—or ringing in the ears. It partners with institutions in the community to promote education, share clinical information, and train auditory researchers and clinicians.
Feeney has worked as a clinical audiologist and served on the faculty at several research institutions. He is currently a professor at Oregon Health and Science University. In the past, he has also been a faculty member at Ohio State University and the University of Washington.
He is active in several professional organizations and was past president of the American Academy of Audiology in 2008-2009.
Feeney has contributed to more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 11 textbook chapters for the profession of audiology, and more than 50 published abstracts.
His recent research has focused on click-evoked otoacoustic emissions—sounds given off by the inner ear when responding to a sound that is heard. The research suggests OAE may be useful in screening for hearing loss in patients with cystic fibrosis who are treated with antibiotics that can damage hearing.
The Jerger Award is given annually to an investigator whose research contributions have significantly impacted the practice of audiology.
The award has been given to three other VA researchers: James Henry, Ph.D., in 2017 and Stephen A. Fausti, Ph.D., in 2010, both with the NCRAR; and Richard Wilson, Ph.D., James H. Quillen VA Medical System, Mountain Home, Tennessee, in 2014.