Dr. Judith Gravel is one of the world’s preeminent pediatric audiologists. She has made wide-encompassing contributions in research, education and hearing health care policy that have major impact on the lives of children with hearing loss and their families. Dr. Gravel received a BA degree in Communication Disorders and an MA degree in Audiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her PhD degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Gravel is the Director of the Center for Childhood Communication, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Gravel has an active research career, with her projects being funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and the State of New York. She has conducted research and published findings on a variety of topics related to pediatric audiology, with her most prominent contributions being in the areas of otitis media and newborn hearing screening. Because of her expertise in newborn hearing screening, she has helped several states and agencies in the United States with their hearing screening programs and has advised numerous other national agencies including those in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Canada. Similarly, her expertise is sought in the area of otitis media. She has served on editorial boards of four journals and serves as a peer reviewer for more than a dozen others.
Dr. Gravel is an outstanding communicator and is a sought-after international speaker. She has presented hundreds of keynote addresses, symposia and invited presentations. Her colleagues note that her presentations are engaging, thought-provoking and clinically relevant. She has educated countless audiologists, hearing scientists, physicians and other professionals around the world through her presentations. One of her collaborators notes that she is held in high esteem by both clinicians and scientists, which brings a stronger scientific base to the practice of clinical audiology.
As stated in her nomination, what sets Dr. Gravel apart from other researchers is her collaborative nature, consensus-building abilities and vision. Dr. Gravel works on projects that address critical issues, bringing together professionals from a variety of disciplines on order to provide the ultimate services to children and their families. A prime example is that she has been an appointed member of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing since 1999. Moreover, she served as chair of the committee from March 2003 through March 2005 and was one of the primary editors of the 2007 guidelines. Dr. Gravel has served the National Institutes of Health on grant review panels and has been on working groups for agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. In addition, she has served on numerous advisory boards for prestigious conferences and institutions. Her monumental achievements are surpassed only by her warmth, sense of humor, honesty and personal integrity. Dr. Gravel’s scholarship and leadership in pediatric hearing health is richly deserving of the American Academy of Audiology Distinguished Achievement Award.