The House Institute Foundation:

Looking Back Through the Decades



  • 1946 Los Angeles Foundation of Otology is founded by Howard P. House, M. D.
  • 1946 First educational films demonstrating mastoid and fenestration surgery techniques
  • 1946 Courses on the procedures and techniques of otologic surgery offered


  • 1952 First educational campaign aimed at insurance carriers and manufacturers to inform them of the adverse effects of excessive noise on hearing
  • 1956 1st patient-donated temporal bones to establish Temporal Bone Bank
  • 1956 Foundation develops standards for noise-induced hearing loss soon adopted by the government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration


  • 1960 First formal Clinical Fellowship offered
  • 1961 William F. House performs the first middle fossa removal of an acoustic neuroma 
  • 1965 Dr. William House teams up with engineer Jack Urban to develop the first cochlear implant system for long-term use  
  • 1968 Visiting Physicians Program formalized


  • 1970 First Temporal Bone Dissection Course offered to physicians from around the world who wish to learn innovative ear procedures
  • 1972 Dr. William House implants his first single channel platinum electrode induction coil system which becomes the protype for the cochlear implant device
  • 1973 Dr. William House begins clinical trials for the single-channel cochlear implant with five adults


  • 1980 President-elect Ronald Reagan begins medical care. Later, in 1983, Dr. John House prescribes a hearing aid for the President
  • 1981 The institute becomes the first center in the world to implant a pre-school-aged child with a single-channel cochlear implant  
  • 1981 Name is changed to House Ear Institute (HEI) in honor of founder Howard P. House, M.D.  
  • 1984 FDA approves the first cochlear implant, the 3M/House device for adults  
  • 1984 Dr. John House and Derald Brackmann’s facial nerve grading scale for reporting results is adopted as the international standard by the American Academy of Otolaryngology and the International Facial Nerve Studies Committee


  • 1990 Grand opening of House Ear Institute’s five-story research and education facility  
  • 1995 The Institute discovers how temporal cues (timing) are critical in speech recognition, leading to improved speech-processing strategies for cochlear implants and hearing aids  
  • 1995 The Institute develops the HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) – the first standardized, functional hearing test that measures directional hearing in noise


  • 2000 Institute develops the ABaer™, a hearing screening device for newborns and infants
  • 2000 institute in partnership with Cochlear(R) receives FDA approval for the world’s first auditory brain stem implant (ABI), which benefits patient deafened as a result of Neurofibromatosis Type II (NF2)  
  • 2003 Clinical trials begin at House Ear Institute for the first penetrating electrode auditory brainstem Implant (PABI)


  • 2013 House Ear Institute refocuses on research, education and global health to build out a world-class organization committed to advancing hearing health
  • 2018 Executive Director Jeremy Sidell and Board Chair William Slattery, III, M.D. begin the rebuild process  
  • 2019 House Ear Institute changes its name to the House Institute Foundation, in collaboration with the House Institute Ear and Neurosurgery Clinics, and the House Institute Hearing Aid Dispensaries