Home Audiology An Audiologist Applies Her Communication Skills to a Political Career

An Audiologist Applies Her Communication Skills to a Political Career

by Deanna Frazier
The Kentucky State Capitol Dome in Frankfort with surrounding gardens in spring.

As communication sciences and disorders health professionals, we work to improve communication abilities for our patients and their families. And, as an audiologist, I constantly experienced conversations in which people with hearing loss would either withdraw from situations due to a lack of confidence or would dominate verbally so they could drive the conversation. I began to see a similar pattern in politics—and how it led to a disconnect between constituents and their elected officials.

I ran for political office (and won—I was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives last November) because I recognized an opportunity for improved leadership and better communication. I used my listening skills as I knocked on door after door during the campaign. In many instances, my patients also became my campaign advocates for how well I listen and interact with people. Campaigning showed me that no matter what job we do, we’re all really in the relationship business.

My community recognized I was a good listener, a fiscally responsible business owner, a wife, a mother, and someone who wanted to help people after 23 years working with patients in my private practice. Now in office, I still use the same skills as I work to give people their ultimate voice in our state government.

Deanna FrazierMy skills accrued as an audiologist and a business owner are invaluable to me as I listen to the concerns of others. Several of my other skills translate into helping me become a good representative. For example, I do my best to find common ground among constituents and/or colleagues then work to effect change.

As a business owner, I’m always of the mindset that a penny saved is a penny earned. Also, as a health care professional, my experience with medical insurance filing, billing, and collecting is useful as I work with my colleagues to increase access to health care, as well as identify more efficient process and procedures.

When I look back across my 27-year career, I see how it prepared me for this role to serve others. After all, I think the underlying reason that calls us all to the professions is helping people communicate.

Deanna Frazier, AuD, CCC-A, is a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, representing District 81.  Deanna.frazier@lrc.ky.gov

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