Renowned surgeon joins RIDBC board - Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children

Renowned surgeon joins RIDBC board

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The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has announced the appointment to the Board of renowned cochlear implant surgeon, Clinical Associate Professor Catherine Birman.

As a prominent Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and in her capacity as Deputy Director of the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre (SCIC), A/Prof Birman has worked closely with RIDBC staff and families for many years.

A/Prof Birman said she was thrilled to be joining the board of RIDBC at such an exciting time for the organisation.

“I have a very good understanding of RIDBC and its purpose,” said A/Prof Birman. “I’m looking forward to being part of the Board as we embark on the next five year plan, building further technological capacity to assist more children across Australia with expert therapy and educational support.

“As a cochlear implant surgeon, I know how important technology is for children who are deaf or blind. RIDBC is a pioneer in providing innovative solutions for children with vision or hearing loss.”

Prior to joining SCIC as a cochlear implant surgeon in 1998, A/Prof Birman completed a paediatric fellowship and a cochlear implant fellowship at the New Children’s Hospital (now called the Children’s Hospital at Westmead).

She is the first female Ear Nose and Throat surgeon in Australia to be given the Clinical Associate Professor title.

Chris Rehn, RIDBC Chief Executive, said RIDBC was fortunate to have the experience of A/Prof Birman on the Board.

“A/Prof Birman is one of the most experienced and well-regarded cochlear implant surgeons in Australia and globally, looking after children and adults from all over NSW and interstate.

“While she will continue her relationship with RIDBC families and staff through her capacity as a clinical consultant for our early intervention therapy services, I’m delighted that she will now bring her wealth of experience and knowledge to the RIDBC board.”

A/Prof Birman has been the Chairman of the NSW division of the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, past Secretary of the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Otolaryngology Society, is a member of the Macquarie University Medical Advisory Committee, and is now a Board Member of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC).

RIDBC provides vital support to over 1000 children with significant hearing and/or vision impairment and their families across Australia. As well, RIDBC provides vision and hearing screening to around 2000 babies and children each year.

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