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External Advisory Committee (EAC)


  • EAC members are individuals with relevant experience and commitment to provide a national perspective that will help guide RPRC:NCDHR goals, objectives, activities and strategic plans.


Alan HurwitzT. Alan Hurwitz, Ed. D (External Advisory Committee Chair)

Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz became the 10th President of Gallaudet University on January 1, 2010. Before coming to Gallaudet, Dr. Hurwitz had a long and distinguished career as President of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of eight colleges within the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY and Vice-President and Dean of RIT, positions he assumed July 1, 2008. He is former President of the National Association of the Deaf and World Organization of Jewish Deaf. Hurwitz currently serves as EAC’s chair.

Brenda BattatBrenda Battat

Brenda Battat is the Executive Director or the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). HLAA is the nation's leading organization representing people with hearing loss, providing assistance and resources on communication access, public policy, research, public awareness, and service delivery.

Senda BenaissaSenda Benaissa, MPH

Senda Benaissa is a Research Associate for the Gallaudet Research Institute, Graduate School and Professional Programs, at Gallaudet University. Senda's work related expertise consist of measuring accessibility health care for Deaf people, functional assessment, international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF), international disability and disability survey.

David EbertDavid Ebert. M.D.

David Ebert, M.D., is medical director of the Deaf Access Program, a medical practice serving people who are Deaf in Chicago, Illinois. The program provides primary care services at multiple locations in the Chicago area within Access Community Health Network, a large, federally-qualified health center network. Accessible, comprehensive services, including mental health, specialties, laboratory and testing, and inpatient services are made available through collaborative arrangements with affiliated inpatient and specialty services of other healthcare institutions in the region, and local mental health services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. All of the services together have 6,000 to 7,000 visits by Deaf patients every year.

Ken LevinsonKen Levinson

Ken Levinson is an advocate for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Levinson is a partner at Kornetsky & Associates, a CPA firm in San Francisco. He has served in a variety of leadership roles at the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), including two terms on the board of directors (1981-1995 and 2002-2008) and as AG Bell president during the Centennial Celebration from 1988-1990. AG Bell is a lifelong resource, support network, and advocate for listening, learning, talking, and living independently with hearing loss.

Pamela Lloyd-OgokePamela Lloyd-Ogoke

Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke is the Chief of the Community Services of North Carolina, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. She was formerly Administrator of Telecommunication Access of North Carolina (TANC). TANC has been serving Deaf, Deaf-Blind, hard of hearing, and speech-impaired people since 1991. TANC administers Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) and Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (TEDP). TANC enables standard telephone users to communicate with Deaf, Deaf-Blind, hard of hearing, and speech-impaired individuals who use a text telephone or an assistive telecommunication device.

Debra PatkinDebra Patkin

Debra Patkin is a staff attorney with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Her job duties include litigating civil-rights cases, advocating on behalf of the deaf and hard of hearing community, handling consumer inquiries regarding legal issues, and outreach/education. Prior to joining the NAD, she worked as a litigation attorney at the Disability Rights Legal Center in Lost Angeles, California. Debra received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. She also has a M.A. in linguistics from Gallaudet University and a B.S. in Psychology from RIT. She juggles her legal job with another job—being a mother. In her spare time, she enjoys rooting for Boston sports teams and doing outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

Philip ZazovePhilip Zazove, M.D.

Dr. Philip Zazove, M.D. recently was named the chair of the University of Michigan Medical School's Department of Family Medicine. He, is also a Family Medicine physician from the University of Michigan and author of When The Phone Rings, My Bed Shakes, an autobiography about his life as a deaf physician. Working at the University of Michigan, he has several clinical and research interests, which include health services issues of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, incorporating genetics into primary care settings, rising health care costs, and continuous quality improvement. Dr. Zazove's second book, heavily involving Deaf culture, entitled Four Days In Michigan, was released in October 2009.

Former Members

Nancy Bloch

Nancy J. Bloch is Executive Director of Communications & Public Relations at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) in St. Augustine. She is also President of Touchpoint Group, LLC, a management, leadership and technology consulting enterprise. Previously she served as Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Deaf (1992 to 2011), which safeguards the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.She served on the RPRC:NCDHR EAC on behalf of the NAD ( until 2012.

Marcia Dugan*

Marcia Dugan was the former president of International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH). IFHOH works closely with the World Health Organization, having agreed a two-year join work program for developing countries with the Prevention of Blindness and Deafness section of that organization.

Dugan was president of the Self-Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH, now called Hearing Loss Association of America, HLAA) from 1996 to 1998 and was also president of the Rochester, NY, chapter of SHHH. She authored self-help books for people who are hard of hearing. and

* February 2010: RPRC:NCDHR and its community partners were saddened to learn that a long-time supporter of Deaf health research has passed away after a courageous battle with leukemia.