Dr. Blair Mattern, ’06, AUD ’10, director of Interdisciplinary Clinical Operations at Ball State University’s College of Health, was recently one of four appointments made to the Indiana Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Board by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. The board’s primary responsibilities include reviewing licenses, dealing with disciplinary issues, and reviewing laws and regulations for speech and audiology.
Dr. Mattern will serve a four-year term on the board, ending in December 2026, with a possibility of reappointment.
Dr. Mattern is excited about this new role. “If something has changed in the landscape of speech pathology and audiology practices, the board has a role in evaluating our current practice rules to ensure that patients are safe and that our professions maintain a high level of respect and trust in the eyes of the public,” said Dr. Mattern.
“As a board, we can provide information related to practice rules for speech pathologists and audiologists. We may also be able to provide additional clarity to practitioners so they can practice at the top of their license and provide the services they are trained to provide.”
Though he is passionate about the field, Dr. Mattern did not initially want to be an audiologist. He’d been on the pre-med track at Ball State; but, near the end of his undergraduate years, he discovered that traditional medicine wasn’t for him. He’d anecdotally heard from family members about increasing expectations in medicine, and work and life balance issues, and started to rethink his path.
Because Ball State has so many options, he decided to explore other fields. Dr. Mattern had a family member with a communication disorder and another with hearing loss, so he decided to take a 100-level Speech Pathology and Audiology course to explore that avenue.
“I loved the weeks that we talked about audiology, so I enrolled in another course the next semester,” he explained. “In that course, I got some real hands-on experience in the clinical setting, and I just fell in love with it.”
Dr. Mattern has been a practicing audiologist since 2010—becoming part of Ball State’s staff in 2011—and has had several rewarding experiences in the job he loves. One of the instances that stands out in his mind involved an individual he diagnosed with profound hearing loss as an infant. He followed the child over the years through appointments and hearing-aid fittings, which were not as successful as hoped however, it allowed the family to pursue cochlear implantation. A few years later, he ran into them outside the clinic.
“Even seeing them from afar, it was incredible to see how that individual interacted with people,” said Dr. Mattern. “I’m almost certain they would not have been able to do what I witnessed had we not caught the hearing loss that early on. It’s those types of experiences that really reaffirm what I do.”
In Dr. Mattern’s current administrative role in the Interprofessional Community Clinics, he is unable to work with patients as much as he’d like. Still, it remains one of his favorite aspects of his job. Daily, he oversees compliance, finances, sustainability, marketing, and other operational aspects of the four community-facing clinics within the Interprofessional Community Clinics: Audiology, Counseling Practicum, Speech-Pathology, and Healthy Lifestyle Center.
His colleagues in the College of Health also anticipate his success in this appointment.
“I am grateful to Dr. Mattern for his many talents as director of Interdisciplinary Clinical Operations for the College of Health,” said Dr. Scott Rutledge, College of Health dean. “Being appointed to the State Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Board is a testament to his growing reputation as a leader in Indiana. Ball State is fortunate not only for his leadership but also for his service to the state.”
Learn more about Interprofessional Community Clinics’ services online or call 765-285-4422.