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Vol. LXVI, No. 2
January 17, 2014

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Meet OEODM Program Managers at Open House, Jan. 28 in Wilson Hall

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management will host an open house on Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Bldg. 1. Meet special emphasis managers Golda Philip, Federal Women’s Program; and Tyrone Banks, Asian American and Pacific Islander Program. Learn more about and share goals and visions of both programs. Sign language interpreters will be provided. For reasonable accommodation and details about the event, contact Philip at (301) 594-8401 or; or Banks at (301) 451-9692 or Visit online at

Hearing Loss Was Hot Topic of NIDCD’s First TwitterChat

NIDCD and its health education campaign—It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing—recently hosted its first TwitterChat to raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and to celebrate NIDCD’s 25th anniversary and Noisy Planet’s 5th anniversary.

Dr. Rick Davis of NIOSH participates in Twitter-Chat on noise-induced hearing loss.
Dr. Rick Davis of NIOSH participates in TwitterChat on noise-induced hearing loss.

Every day, we experience sound in our environment, coming from television and radio, household appliances and traffic. Normally, these sounds are at safe levels that don’t damage our hearing. However, when we’re exposed to harmful noise—sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time—sensitive structures in our inner ear can be damaged, causing NIHL.

The TwitterChat helped participants learn more about NIHL and how to reduce the risk of NIHL for themselves, their families and community. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, co-hosted the event.

Subject matter experts for the chat—Dr. Gordon Hughes, clinical trials director at NIDCD, and Dr. Rick Davis, co-team leader of NIOSH’s hearing loss prevention team—answered questions from locations in Bethesda and Cincinnati.

NIDCD began the conversation with tweets about how to participate in the chat using the #NIDCDchat hash tag. During the chat, a total of 180 total accounts used the tag. Participants shared tips and resources and also answered quiz questions that were scripted for the chat. NIDCD tweeted information about NIHL, such as the causes, how many people have it and how to prevent it. Noisy Planet partners, audiologists and others interested in the chat asked about NIHL safety tips and research on the topic. The most popular retweet was about how loud sounds can damage sensory cells in the inner ear and included a diagram of the parts of the ear and where the damage happens.

NIHL expert Dr. Gordon Hughes of NIDCD ponders response.
NIHL expert Dr. Gordon Hughes of NIDCD ponders response.

Participants asked questions about NIHL, retweeted information and communicated with one another during the hour-long chat. One eager participant tweeted a question 20 minutes before the start of the chat, seeking “tips on how to talk to relatives with hearing loss about getting hearing aids over the holidays.”

The team responded with a link to NIDCD’s checklist—“Ten Ways to Recognize Hearing Loss”—to help initiate a conversation about hearing loss and what constitutes a hearing problem.

Tweets using the #NIDCDchat hash tag reached an estimated 1.2 million accounts and had an estimated 12 million impressions, helping spread the word about how NIHL happens and ways to prevent it. Davis noted the “corresponding increase in visits to the NIOSH noise web page and a bump in Twitter followers for @NIOSHNoise.”

Kidney Foundation Honors Rodgers

NIHL expert Dr. Gordon Hughes of NIDCD ponders response. NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers (r) accepts the National Kidney Foundation’s Outstanding Achievement Award from WJLA-TV news anchor Jummy Olabanji at a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes Rodgers’ commitment to bettering the lives of patients through research and by increasing awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease through the National Kidney Disease Education Program and his “Healthy Moments” radio show.


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