Upper Midwest Audiology Conference

February 20-21, 2020


Debbie Abel, AuD is the manager of Coding and Contracting Services for Audigy after serving as staff at the American Academy of Audiology and is the President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. She has also had a private practice in Alliance, OH. Dr. Abel is the editor of The Essential Guide to Coding in Audiology: Coding, Billing and Practice Management, the author of a chapter in the Essential Guide to Coding in Otolaryngology: Coding, Billing and Practice Management, three editions of Strategic Practice Management: A Patient Centered Approach/Business and Procedural Considerations, and has authored articles in various audiology publications.

A.U. Bankaitis, PhD is Vice President at Oaktree Products, a multi-line distributor of audiology and hearing health care products located in St. Louis, MO. Her primary focus involves serving as a resource to audiologists seeking product and business solutions for their clinical practice. Since earning her PhD at the University of Cincinnati in 1995, she continues to educate colleagues on various product and implementation protocols related to infection control, cerumen management and hearing assistance technology along with identifying and managing different approaches to technological disruptions occurring throughout the hearing industry.


Melissa Ferrello, Au is a senior audiologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Computer Applications from University of Notre Dame in 2003, and her Au.D. from Indiana University in 2006. Melissa currently provides diagnostic and rehabilitative services at CHOP. Her areas of clinical interest include pediatric cochlear implants, pediatric vestibular assessment, hearing assistive technology and electrophysiologic assessment. In addition her to clinical position at CHOP, Melissa is the current chair of the American Academy of Audiology Ethical Practices Committee and serves on several committees for ASHA and AAA.

Josie Helmbrecht, AuD is the owner of Spirit River Audiology and practicing Audiologist at MHealth Fairview Audiology - Princeton. Dr. Helmbrecht graduated with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders in 1994 from St. Cloud State University and her Doctor of Audiology from the Central Michigan University in 2000. She was of the Minnesota Academy of Audiology in 2005 and has served as the chair of the Government Relations Committee for the Minnesota Academy of Audiology since 2007.  

Jessica (Jesi) Spratt Novak, AuD, CCC-A, PASC is a licensed audiologist with a specialty certification in pediatric audiology. She received her Doctorate of Audiology from Lamar University in 2014. Jesi is the lead audiologist at Children's MN, practicing out of St. Paul Minnesota. She sees patients from birth to early to early adulthood. Jesi’s interests include electrophysiology, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. She serves on the advisory board of Minnesota Hands and Voices, and on the Minnesota Department of Health Newborn Hearing Screening/Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Committee.

Kristi Oeding, AuD, CCC-A is a third year Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota. She worked as an audiologist for 6 years prior to going back to school. Her interests include hearing aid outcomes, cognition and hearing loss, speech understanding in noise, and improving the sensitivity of outcome measures.

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