Wallhagen Named Chairperson of HLAA Board of Trustees

By Phoebe Byers

Margaret Wallhagen, PhD, professor of gerontological nursing in the UCSF School of Nursing and a geriatric nurse practitioner, has been named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the nation’s leading organization for people with hearing loss.

“Meg Wallhagen's collaborative leadership style, passion and commitment to people with hearing loss are an asset to HLAA and will serve our members well at this most important moment in our history," said HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall. "We are fortunate to have a Board of Trustees whose diversity of experience and strength of leadership are commensurate with HLAA’s standing as the most effective organization focused on the consumer needs of people with hearing loss.”

Wallhagen has conducted a number of research projects in gerontology and chronic care management. Her research and publications focus especially on how older individuals and their families manage chronic illnesses as well as changes that occur with age. She has explored issues related to informal caregiving, diabetes, and successful aging, but for the last several decades has focused specifically on hearing loss. Her most recent work included a four-year longitudinal study of the experience of hearing loss in older adults and their partners, and she is now doing a study on the benefits of integrating a screening and educational protocol into primary care settings to promote better access to care and treatment.

Margaret Wallhagen, PhD

"This is definitely an exciting but also humbling opportunity as I follow in the footsteps of leaders in promoting access for all persons with hearing loss,” Wallhagen said. “I am very much committed to the mission of HLAA and look forward to working with everyone to assure its fulfillment."

Wallhagen received her nursing degree from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in New York, her baccalaureate and master’s degrees from UCSF, and her doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle. Since joining the faculty at UCSF in 1988, she has taught gerontological nursing at both the master’s and doctoral level, and worked as a geriatric nurse practitioner. In January 2006, Wallhagen became the director of the UCSF/John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence as it entered its second five years of funding.

Wallhagen was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in June 2010. She officially assumed her new role as chairperson in June at the organization's 2014 conference held in Austin, Texas.

To find out more about Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), please visit their website.