Mission, Vision & Values
The Acoustic Neuroma Association, the premier resource to the Acoustic Neuroma community, informs, educates and supports those affected by Acoustic Neuroma brain tumors.
To continually improve the lives of Acoustic Neuroma patients and their families through communication, support, innovation and partnerships with the medical community.
Respect: to honor the needs and privacy of acoustic neuroma patients
Professionalism: to maintain high ethical standards at all times
Objectivity: to remain free of bias in everything we do
Patient Centricity: to place the patient and their community at the forefront of all ANA efforts
Acoustic Neuroma Association® was founded in Carlisle, PA in 1981 by an acoustic neuroma patient, Virginia Fickel Ehr. She found no patient information or patient support available when she had surgery for the removal of an acoustic neuroma in 1977. She resolved that future acoustic neuroma patients should have easy-to-read medical material about their condition, and support and comfort from each other. With the help of her physician, she contacted eight other patients and formed the organization.
The association is incorporated and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The patient-focused, member organization now serves nearly 5,000 members including acoustic neuroma patients, family members, friends and health care professionals providing information regarding all treatment types. It is governed by an all-patient (or family member) Board of Directors and is operated by a small staff in metropolitan Atlanta, GA.
With assistance from a number of leading surgeons and patient volunteers, ANA was incorporated in 1981. During her decade and a half of ANA leadership, Ginny contacted thousands of acoustic tumor patients and worked for the association's growth in services and numbers. In addition she wrote patient-perspective articles for medical journals and spoke to both patient and medical groups in the U.S. and Europe. She retired as President of the Board of Directors of the association in 1992 and now serves at President Emeritus. Ginny continues to be a resource to ANA.
Since the founding of ANA in 1981, thousands of patients, family members, friends and health care professionals have received comprehensive and non-technical information about acoustic neuroma. Pre- and post-treatment information is provided in our quarterly newsletters, patient information booklets, our website, webinars, and support groups.
ANA membership benefits include receipt of a quarterly newsletter, patient information booklets, access to a network of support groups, participation in our webinars by leading medical professionals, access to a list of acoustic neuroma patients willing to talk about their experience throughout the country and our website Member Section. Our exclusive website Member Section includes all of our patient information booklets, newsletters and webinars. ANA also maintains an interactive website at www.ANAUSA.org with an ANA Discussion Forum.
ANA is patient-founded, patient-focused and patient-funded.
Leadership & Staff
Board of Directors
Chad Nye - Lakeland, FL
Neil D. Donnenfeld - Swampscott, MA
Joseph A. Vargo, III - Cresson, PA
Roberta Hutchings - South Bend, IN
Members at Large
Marla Bronstein - Bellingham, WA
Meredith Mueller Daly - Atlanta, GA
Leah Keith - Los Angeles, CA
Hela Kelsch - Spokane, WA
Jethro Montzka - Itaska, IL
Miranda Sacharin – New York, NY
Tom Sattler - San Francisco, CA
Scott Van Ells - Flagstaff, AZ
Deborah R. Walls - New Whitehead, IN
Immediate Past President
Alan Goldberg - New York, NY
Virginia Fickel Ehr - Carlisle, PA
Medical Advisory Board
Calhoun D. Cunningham, III, MD, Duke Health, Raleigh, NC
David S. Haynes, MD, FACS, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Medical Advisory Board Members
Siviero Agazzi, MD, FACS, University of South Florida Health, Tampa, FL
Chrisfouad R. Alabiad, MD, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL
Babak Azizzadeh, MD, Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery, Beverly Hills, CA
Steven D. Chang, MD, Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, CA
Christopher J. Farrell, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Steven L. Giannotta, MD, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA
Shannon E. Kahn, MD, Emory Healthcare, Atlanta, GA
Joseph J. Montano, Ed.D., Weill Cornell Medical College - NY Presbyterian Hospital , New York, NY
Ravi N. Samy, MD, FACS, UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, Cincinnati, OH
Marc S. Schwartz, MD, UC San Diego Health, La Jolla, CA
Patrick Shumrick, DPT, The Center for Balance and Dizziness, Cincinnati, OH
Kris Siwek, UC San Diego Health, La Jolla, CA
Rafael J. Tamargo, MD, Johns Hopkins Medicine Baltimore, MD
Allison Feldman - CEO
Jennifer Farmer - Director of Programs and Development
Melanie Hutchins - Manager of Volunteer Programs
Stephanie Rommer - Project Manager
Kristin von Meyer - Office Specialist
Holly Stone - Assistant
Melissa Baumbick - Communications Specialist
Choosing a Healthcare Provider
It is the individual's responsibility to verify the qualifications, education and experience of any healthcare professional, hospital, or other provider of services and products and to assess the suitability of any services or products. In the case of doctors, information is generally available from state medical boards concerning a doctor's number of years in practice, where the doctor went to medical school, if there are any open complaints against the doctor or whether the board took disciplinary action against the doctor's license. Similar information may be available from state licensing authorities concerning other healthcare providers. Read more about researching a provider. Below are a series of questions to consider when choosing a healthcare provider.
- Does the medical team have substantial acoustic neuroma experience?
- Is the physician Board eligible or Board certified in the related specialty?
- Has the physician received specialized training or have significant ongoing practice experience related to acoustic neuroma treatment?
- Does the treating physician use a team approach for treatment where applicable, with access to a team or referrals, with the patient having access to all members of the team? In the case of surgery, a neurotologic and neurosurgical team should be used. In radiosurgery, a team would consist of the radiation oncologist, neurosurgeon or neurotologist and radiation physicist.
- Are specialists skilled in a variety of rehabilitation issues (facial reanimation, cognitive, vestibular balance, hearing, tinnitus, headache and physical therapy) available before and after treatment as needed?
- Is the physician willing to share the number of cases and outcomes with the patient?
- Is the physician willing to discuss all treatment modalities with the patient, where applicable, and willing to explain why the physician is making the specific treatment recommendation?
- Does the physician allow sufficient time during the initial consultation and subsequently if need be, so that the patient feels all of the patient’s questions have been answered satisfactorily prior to making a decision about treatment?
- Does the patient feel comfortable with the physician’s experience, demeanor, and responsiveness to questions?
Licensing requirements for physicians vary from state to state. To facilitate the verification of the license status of practitioners, most states provide Medical License Lookup web tools. License lookup tools for other health practitioners can be found at the Federation of State Medical Boards.