American Tinnitus Association

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American Tinnitus Association
Founded 1971
Founders Jack A. Vernon, Ph.D. and Charles Unice, Ph.D.
Focus "ATA aims to improve the tinnitus patient experience through compassion, education, empowerment, and advocacy."[1]
Origins Portland, Oregon
Area served
United States
Method  • Education
 • Endowments
 • Public policy
Key people
 • Michael Malusevic, Executive Director
 • Gary Reul, Chairman

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) is a patient-centered membership association that directly funds research related to tinnitus. It is the largest national nonprofit organization working to cure tinnitus. The association funds research in the hope of discovering the source of tinnitus, as well as relief options and ultimately a cure for sufferers.[1] Starting in 1980, the association has granted funding for tinnitus research. Many of these researchers have gone on to receive larger grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) based on ATA-funded research. Contributions to the association also go towards advocacy work in Washington, D.C. [2] It also distributes information about tinnitus, health care professionals, support groups and volunteers.[3]


The ATA was created as resource for the under served tinnitus community. Many tinnitus patients had been routinely disregarded by physicians who did not have the information they needed to proficiently treat and diagnose tinnitus patients.

Jack Vernon, Ph.D. joined Dr. Charles Unice to form the ATA in 1971. The two met while Dr. Vernon was conducting clinical research at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, OR and began treating Dr. Unice for his tinnitus condition. With aim to raise money for tinnitus funding, the ATA was born. Portland, OR still serves as base for the organization.

The ATA started in a small studio sized office and was staffed by Portland area volunteers. Since then the ATA has become the largest group of individual contributors that awards grant money for research relating to tinnitus. Until his death in 2010, dr. Vernon was involved with the organization as an honorary board member, patient advocate, and general adviser.[4]

Board of Directors[edit]

The ATA's board of directors consists of a carefully chosen group of professionals. These professionals includes physicians, researchers and tinnitus advocates. All participants have been influential in creating a nonprofit organization that aims to fund tinnitus research as well as serve as a resource for tinnitus sufferers.[5]

The Scientific Advisory Committee[edit]

ATA's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), consists of scientists who are influential in the tinnitus community. The committee is in charge of choosing individuals for the grant awards. To apply for an ATA funded grant, applicants are required to show the relevance of their application to the Roadmap for a cure.[6]

The Action Alliance[edit]

ATA also has a network of volunteers known as the Action Alliance, who work to spread information to Congress and other administrations about issues relating to tinnitus. Their aim is to positively influence elected officials to make funding decisions and public policies that positively affect the policy making decisions relating to tinnitus.[7]

Nonprofit status[edit]

The ATA is a 501(c)(3) association.[8]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]