Oticon, Inc., has unveiled its 12 finalists for the 2020 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national program that honors inspiring students, adults and advocates with hearing loss, and the hearing care practitioners who empower their patients to advocate for themselves and others. From New York City to Vermillion, South Dakota, this year’s finalists are making a difference in communities across the United States.

Created in 1997, the Oticon Focus on People Awards has honored nearly 300 outstanding individuals who demonstrate that hearing loss does not inhibit a person’s ability to make a difference. The program is a central part of Oticon’s mission to raise awareness, increase opportunities, and deliver life-changing hearing technology to people with hearing loss.

This year’s finalists include inspiring students, determined adults, and pioneering hearing care professionals who have gone above and beyond in their care for their patients.

The 2020 Oticon Focus on People Awards finalists include:

• STUDENT — Owen Chapman of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina; Wyllow MacLaren of Cleveland, Tennessee; Sara Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas

• ADULT — Matt Deller of Sun City, Arizona; Matt Hay of Westfield, Indiana; Narita Snead of Richmond, Virginia

• ADVOCACY — Sherry Ball of Fall Branch, Tennessee; Jerry A. Bergman of New York, New York; Dylan M. Rafaty of Plano, Texas

• PRACTITIONER — Sheri Mello, AuD of Raleigh, North Carolina; Jessica Messersmith, PhD of Vermillion, South Dakota; Kristina Sheehan, AuD of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Online voting for the Oticon Focus on People Awards is open through Nov. 16, 2020, and winners will be announced in January.

First place winners in the Student, Adult, and Advocacy categories will receive a pair of new Oticon hearing aids. In addition, first place winners in each of the four categories will receive a donation to the charity of their choice. All finalists will receive a cash prize.

To learn more about the Oticon Focus on People Awards and to vote for your favorites, visit www.Oticon.com/FOP.

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