American Tinnitus Association

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American Tinnitus Association
FoundersJack A. Vernon, Ph.D. and Charles Unice, Ph.D.
Focus"The mission and core purpose of the American Tinnitus Association are to promote relief, help prevent, and find cures for tinnitus, evidenced by its core values of compassion, credibility, and responsibility."[1]
OriginsPortland, Oregon
Area served
United States
Method • Education
 • Endowments
 • Public policy
Key people
 • Torryn P. Brazell, MS, CAE, Executive Director
 • LaGuinn Sherlock, AuD - Board Chair

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) purpose is to promote relief, help prevent, and find cures for tinnitus.[1] Starting in 1980, the association has granted close to $6 million in 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. [3] It also distributes information about tinnitus, health care professionals.[4] On December 1, 2017, the ATA moved its headquarters from Portland, Oregon to Vienna, VA (Washington, DC Metro Area).[2]


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 Vernon was conducting clinical research at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, OR and began treating 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, Vernon was involved with the organization as an honorary board member, patient advocate, and general adviser.[5]

Board of directors[edit]

The ATA's board of directors consists of a carefully chosen group of professionals. These professionals includes audiologists, researchers and tinnitus advocates. All participants have been influential in creating a nonprofit organization that aims to serve as a resource for tinnitus sufferers.[6]

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.[7]

Nonprofit status[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b "American Tinnitus Association".
  2. ^ a b Mark Athitakis, Time to Move? One Association Learned a Few Lessons, Money & Business, December 2017
  3. ^ "About ATA | American Tinnitus Association". Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  4. ^ "American Tinnitus Association - - ATA". 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  5. ^ "The American Tinnitus Association: A Resource for Enhancing Tinnitus Patient Services Cheryl McGinnis, MBA, Executive Director of the American Tinnitus Association. AudiologyOnline". 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  6. ^ "ATA Board of Directors | American Tinnitus Association". 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  7. ^ "ATA's Scientific Advisory Committee | American Tinnitus Association". Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  8. ^ "Charity Review of American Tinnitus Association". Retrieved 2012-03-04.