Dr. Sweetow Wins Distinguished Award in Audiology

Robert W. Sweetow, PhD, a clinical professor of otolaryngology and director of audiology at UCSF Medical Center since 1991, and co-developer of LACE, has received the 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Academy of Audiology.

Sweetow received the award on April 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The announcement of the award appeared in the American Academy of Audiology’s March/April edition of Audiology Today.

“Dr. Robert Sweetow is a gifted clinician, teacher and researcher,” the bulletin reported. “Dr. Sweetow has provided personal care for many patients with hearing loss, and he has helped countless other audiologists to improve their care for people with hearing loss by his teaching and research. Audiologists around the world recognize the many contributions made by Dr. Sweetow in the areas of aural rehabilitation, hearing aids, tinnitus, counseling and forensics.”


Sweetow is recognized as a pioneer in implementing an effective and affordable rehabilitative program for people with hearing loss. He and his colleagues developed a tool to help hard-of-hearing people, whether or not they use hearing aids, learn skills to become better listeners and consequently improve how much speech they understand.

Sweetow and co-developer Jennifer Henderson-Sabes, a staff research associate at UCSF, designed an interactive computer program called LACE, or Listening and Communication Enhancement, which is an evidence-based, self-paced program. Recently, LACE has been made available on DVD for those without a computer.

Sweetow also has been known for his innovation and enthusiasm as an educator in the clinic throughout his career. He created a fourth-year clinical externship at UCSF Medical Center and provides continuing education for practicing audiologists through his biannual conferences.

Sweetow has served on the board of directors for the American Academy of Audiology and has participated in scientific programs of every annual convention.

Sweetow earned a BS degree from the University of Iowa in 1970, an MA degree from the University of Southern California in 1972 and a PhD degree in audiology from Northwestern University in 1977.

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