- Published on 01 November 2019
Professor Laura Viani, the founder of Ireland's National Cochlear Implant Programme has become the first winner of the new Cpl World-Class Talent Award.
Recognising "outstanding global leaders who have made meaningful contributions to our economy and society", the acknowledgement is a new project by the Dublin-based human resources firm, Cpl, which operates throughout Ireland and Europe.
Neurotological surgeron Viani opened Ireland’s first cochlear implant clinic in Dublin in 1994 and completed the country’s first cochlear implant surgery in March 1995. She remained Ireland’s only cochlear implant surgeon until 2009.
Over the last 25 years, Prof Viani and her team have raised hundreds of thousands of euros for cochlear implant (CI) surgery in Ireland and have lobbied the Government for improved public access to the treatment. Today, Prof Viana and her team carry out 200 cochlear implants a year at a new national centre for CI therapy in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. Opened in April 2019, The National Hearing Implant and Research Centre (NHIRC) is a state-of-the-art facility that has been spearheaded by Professor Viani.
The centre was inaugurated by Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who paid tribute to Prof Viani's work: "She has revolutionised how we treat severe hearing loss and ear disorders in Ireland. Through her work, thousands of lives will be transformed and people of all ages will be able to hear and communicate with those around them," he commented.
The Cpl award winner herself stressed: “Teamwork is everything. You’ve got to have empathy, and you need to want other people to succeed. Keep an open door and have respect for other people. As a leader, you need to have a goal and a plan for how to get there.”
“It really is inspiring to see the kids doing so well," she continued, "particularly when you hear that they’re speaking so well and have acquired local accents. You see them forever; a cochlear implant is part of a lifelong journey. Just recently, a patient I treated as a child, who received a cochlear implant, wrote to me to say that they had achieved a first-class degree in medicine at UCC.”