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Wilgis Schoffelmeijer the 2018 Dutch Audiologist of the Year
A dedicated audiologist has been awarded the most coveted accolade in her field in recognition of the life-changing impact her work has had on patients in her care.

Wilgis Schoffelmeijer, owner of Hoorcentrum Westerkwartier in Zuidhorn, Groningen, has been announced as the 2018 Dutch Audiologist of the Year after her innovation and outstanding customer service impressed the judges. She was nominated by Willem Postma from Buitenpost, who praised Wilgis for her professional dedication that has enabled him to continue to live his life to the full and enjoy his passion for music despite suffering hearing loss in both ears.

In 2016 Wilgis won this prestigious Award for the first time and she is thrilled to win again in 2018.

In his heart-warming nomination, Willem, who has worn hearing aids in both ears for 44 years said: “Through my work, the situations I find myself in vary from performing music, conducting, singing solo and playing the organ to holding conversations with very softly spoken people in sometimes emotional circumstances.

“In the past, it wasn’t possible for just one hearing aid to meet all these different needs. So, until last year, I used various devices and would change over to, for example, analogue aids such as Widex Quattro when in a musical setting. The professionalism of my current audiologist has resulted in a permanent and positive contribution to my life, which bears testament to the great commitment she shows me as a client.”

Willem added: “She is always innovative and never lacks the energy to come up with fresh ideas. She always goes the extra mile and do you know what makes her so special? She is always so pleasant and friendly. Her approach to work has meant that I can continue working and lead an active social life. Last year I developed a persistent infection in both ears, which required intensive and long-term treatment in hospital. This infection was not caused by Wilgis, I must emphasize. Fortunately for me, once I had recovered, my audiologist restarted the whole process with nothing short of optimism, enthusiasm, joyfulness and patience. That gave me the courage I needed to see this difficult period through. I am also given to understand that she collects hearing aids for children with hearing loss in Africa. For all these factors, she deserves to be crowned ‘Queen of the Dutch Audiologists!’.”

Competition organisers
The competition is organised by Rayovac, a world-leading hearing aid battery manufacturer* and division of Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., in partnership with Audio Infos, a leading international hearing publication for the audiology industry, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH).

Now in its eleventh year, it honours the Netherlands’ top hearing professionals, as voted for by their hard of hearing and deaf patients, who have received excellent levels of support, service and care from their audiologist.

Celebrating a decade of industry excellence, a panel of independent hearing care professionals came together over the summer to judge the high volume of entries, to determine who deserved to be crowned as the winner.

The winners of each country will then go head-to-head before one overall European winner is revealed at the annual Evening of Excellence taking place at the EUHA event in October.

Competition Judge Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General for EHIMA, said: “We are proud to be part of a competition that brings so many professionals from the industry together to recognise their life-changing accomplishments.

“It was hard to pick a winner from so many moving nominations, but the judges all agreed that Wilgis is a deserving recipient of this award, demonstrating a level of care that goes well beyond the consulting room.”

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac, said: “With the support of our sponsors, we are honoured to once again be able to celebrate the achievements of hardworking and dedicated hearing care professionals, like Wilgis, who go the extra mile for their patients. We’ve received an incredible number of entries to the competition, now in its 11th year, showcasing the high standard of work that is taking place. The award is not only an accolade in its own right but plays a key role in supporting the practices of winning audiologists in the Netherlands and across Europe.”

European winner
Judging is now underway to decide which of the winners from each of the participating countries will go on to win the coveted title of European Audiologist of the Year. The winner will receive a cash prize along with a certificate, which will be presented at the annual Evening of Excellence during the EUHA event in Hannover, Germany this October.